02/20/2002 AT 01:00 PM EST
She played a physician on TV, but on Thursday, the alter ego of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" will be helping out for real. The Washington Post reports that Jane Seymour, 51, is to be inducted into the American Red Cross's new Celebrity Cabinet, focusing her attention on "dealing with childhood illnesses that could be easily prevented -- specifically right now measles, which is killing millions of children unnecessarily in Africa." Seymour is herself the mother of six. Her association with the Red Cross goes back to her taking safety courses with the organization when she was a child in England. During World War II, her mother volunteered for the Red Cross in Indonesia, while her father was a surgeon in Britain, reports The Post. Seymour's new association with the group is also being viewed as a way that the Red Cross might begin to fix its recently tarnished reputation, notes The Post, given that the Red Cross did not funnel all of its post-Sept. 11 contributions to people directly affected by the terrorist attacks on America, as those giving the money had believed. "They are now making sure that the wish of the people who donated the money will be fulfilled," she said. "Before I got involved, I made sure of that. If you give someone a birthday present, even if they get 100 birthday presents, that's still their present."