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Dana Johnson On Advocacy Trip In Ndola, Zambia

Dana Johnson in Ndola, Zambia

As co-founder of the International Adoption Clinic, Dr. Johnson has always prioritized advocacy as an integral part of the work of the Clinic.

From June 7-21, 2013, he traveled with a group of students and chaperones from Visitation High School on their annual visit to the Fatima Girls School and Dominican Convent in Ndola, Zambia, to provide support for the Sisters' medical services and orphanage. 

The students participated daily in the clinic and medical outreach, as well as orphanage caregiving activities. Physical growth data were collected on over 400 children in the various programs provided by the Sisters in order to determine the need for additional intervention programs.

Growth data is collected on children served by Dominican programs, to help inform on the best way to provide services for these children in the future

A high school student learning to do advocacy work

Eckerle Advocacy In South Korea

Judy Eckerle traveled to South Korea in May 2012 to discuss the state of orphans and adoptees in Korea and abroad. There, she met with officials from South Korea's Ministry of Health and Welfare, embassy and other official bodies.

L to R: Susan Cox (Children's Home Society and Family Services, Mr. Yoo (former Vice Minister
of Health and Welfare), Judy Eckerle, and Alex Kang (Hyundai Corporation).

While in South Korea, Dr. Eckerle also attended National Adoption Day where her pediatrician mentor, Dr. Cho, won an Angel Award for dedication to children awaiting families.

Dr. Cho, recipient of an Angel Award, has dedicated her life to orphans in Korea. Photo courtesy of Melinda Dionne.

Others at National Adoption Day included Steve Morrison, the founder of Mission to Promote Adoption in Korea (, who was himself an international adoptee to the USA and has returned many times to Korea to help promote open and transparent adoption and to decrease the shame and secrecy in adoption. 

Steve Morrison, founder of, pictured here with two children who were adopted in Korea
by Korean families and are proudly helping to decrease the stigma of adoption in South Korea 

Dr. Eckerle's annual trips to South Korea to advocate for adoptees is part of the International Adoption Clinic's mission to advocate for the health and well being of children worldwide.

Dana Johnson Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

A huge congratulations to International Adoption Clinic co-founder, Dana Johnson MD, PhD, who was presented with a lifetime achievement award in New York City on April 12, 2012, by Joint Council on International Children's Services (JCICS). Dr. Johnson has made a difference in the lives of thousands of orphaned children worldwide through his pioneering efforts to help establish adoption medicine as a field of practice and his legislative advocacy.

Said current IAC director, Dr. Cindy Howard "We are thrilled that Dana and his work have been recognized with this award. He is a tireless advocate for orphans throughout the world, and we share his passion that every child deserves a family."

View the video made by Emerson Hatch, thanking him for saving her life

Dana Johnson with Angelique Hatch, co-founder and president of the non-profit
International Child Advocacy Network (ICAN) and member of the board of directors for JCICS.

New Advocacy Curriculum Announced

Advocacy expert and Global Pediatrics adjunct faculty, Vidya Ramanathan, MD, and Associate Program Director in Pediatric Education, Emily Borman-Shoap, MD, presented a grand rounds to pediatricians on July 20, 2011, to announce and elaborate on the upcoming implementation of a new advocacy curriculum within the residency program.

Said Dr. Ramanathan, "Advocacy is something you already do every day. This curriculum will teach you practical ways you can make a difference in the lives of your patients."

Her visit to the Twin Cities also included an evening event with residents at a former resident's home.

Muthyala_SpeakerIntrod20110720WEB.jpg EBSandVidyaRamanathan20110720WEB.jpg
Brian Muthyala, MD, 4th year medicine-pediatrics resident with a special interest in pediatric advocacy, introduces the speakers. Emily Borman-Shoap, Associate Program Director in Pediatric Education at University of Minnesota and Vidya Ramanathan, adjunct faculty in Global Pediatrics at the U, team up to give grand rounds on July 20, 2011.

Orphanage Outreach in coastal China

In June 2011, Dr. Judy Eckerle traveled with a medical team to do physical and developmental assessments for 170 kids currently living in a coastal orphanage who had never seen a doctor.


Dr Eckerle Promotes Adoption in South Korea


In June 2011, Judith Eckerle traveled to South Korea on a mission of advocacy. While there, she discussed international adoption policy with lawmakers and other government officials. She also was a guest on the popular morning radio program, eFM TBS Good Morning. You can listen here.

2009 Summer Advocacy Series Wraps Up

The 2009 Global Pediatrics Summer Advocacy Series wound down this week with Charles Oberg's presentation "Dickens Revisited: Hunger and Homelessness Today". His update brought to the attention of U of MN pediatricians in attendance at Pediatric Grand Rounds the alarming fact that the number of families in the United States who are homeless has surpassed the number of single-middle aged men, and the predominant group receiving food assistance are these families. In response to this new information, Dr. Oberg said that it is imperative for pediatricians to screen all children for food security issues and refer as indicated to appropriate agencies in their communities.

Click here to learn more about the origins of the advocacy series and to see past topics.
Click here for Pediatric Grand Rounds, including links to recorded past lectures.