MINNEAPOLIS, MN- September 20, 2018- Judith Eckerle, MD, the Director of the Adoption Medicine Clinic, University of Minnesota Medical School, has been nominated as a 2018 Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) Angels in Adoption® Honoree.

Eckerle is being honored for her work with international and domestically adopted and foster care children in Minnesota. She has been at the forefront of change in recent years, whether that be due to her research and clinical care given at the University of Minnesota or on behalf of advocacy for change in adoption policy.

The CCAI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the millions of children around the world in need of families and work towards policy changes for adoption. The Angels in Adoption® Program is CCAI’s signature public awareness event and provides an opportunity for all members of the U.S. Congress to honor the good work of their constituents who have enriched the lives of children in the United States and abroad.

“I was honestly shocked,” said University of Minnesota Health Adoption Medicine Physician Eckerle of when she received the news. “I had dreamed that someday in my career I might be recognized by CCAI  because it was a life goal, but I never thought I would be getting it now.”

Eckerle, nominated by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, will be joining other Angels from across the nation in Washington, D.C. on September 25th and 26th to meet with governmental leaders.

“It’s exciting to know I will be able to sit down and be face to face with the people who are helping to shape some of the federal legislation around adoption,” said Eckerle. “I want them to know the gold standard of care we are trying to accomplish here in Minnesota and the fact that our department of human services in the state have been really active and supportive of us to help these adopted and foster care kids. We need to bring that model federally so that all of the kids in foster care can get similar services.”

Eckerle first came to adoption medicine about 15 years ago, when it was mainly international adoption. Throughout the years, she has witnessed and incorporated a lot of changes in adoption. In the last few years, The University of Minnesota Adoption Medicine Clinic has been able to expand services to include internationally adopted, domestically adopted and foster care children. Currently, Eckerle says they are embarking on a partnership grant with the MN DHS for the next four years which could double their capacity.

“This is an incredible and very well deserved honor for Dr. Eckerle. She has devoted her professional career to the care of this very special population of children and her work has had global impact,” said University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital Physician-in-Chief, Joe Neglia, Head of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School. “All of us at the University take great pride in this work.”

About the University of Minnesota Medical School
The University of Minnesota Medical School is at the forefront of learning and discovery, transforming medical care and educating the next generation of physicians. Our graduates and faculty produce high-impact biomedical research and advance the practice of medicine. Visit med.umn.edu to learn how the University of Minnesota is innovating all aspects of medicine.

About the University of Minnesota Health
University of Minnesota Health represents a collaboration between University of Minnesota Physicians, Fairview Health Services and University of Minnesota Medical Center. Working together, we provide exceptional care in a wide range of specialties at our hospitals, clinics and in community-based facilities throughout the region. Visit: www.mhealth.org.

Contact: Krystle Barbour