Each year, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics honors chapter members and individuals in the community for their dedication to the health and wellbeing of Minnesota’s children and adolescents with the Distinguished Service Award and the Eric Dick Child Advocacy Award. The Distinguished Service Award is presented to a pediatrician for dedicating their life to improving care for children in Minnesota. The newly named Eric Dick Child Advocacy award honors MNAAP’s late lobbyist and is presented to a person or organization from the community who goes above and beyond in their everyday routine to advocate for children, embodying the importance of advocacy that Eric strove to instill in our chapter.
Chapter President Eileen Crespo, MD, FAAP, announced the 2023 award recipients at the annual meeting on Sept. 21. We applaud these individuals for their commitment to advocacy and advancement on behalf of Minnesota’s youth.
2023 Distinguished Service Award: Edward Kaplan, MD, FAAP (posthumously)
Dr. Ed Kaplan (Feb. 1936 – March 2023) left a legacy in pediatrics through his research and his mentorship of hundreds of young physicians. Dr. Kaplan was a pediatric cardiologist and infectious disease physician who pioneered critical research in Streptococcal infections. He served as head of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Streptococci. Many MNAAP members remember Dr. Kaplan as a professor at the University of Minnesota where he educated and encouraged young physicians.
Dr. Kaplan continued to contribute a breadth of research to pediatrics even after his retirement in 2013, with many articles for medical journals and chapters in medical books. He was awarded the Gold Headed Cane award in 2015, an honor given for excellence as a physician. MNAAP leaders recognize Dr. Kaplan’s impact on pediatrics both in Minnesota and worldwide.
2023 Eric Dick Child Advocacy Award: Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP
Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, is a force for good in the corner of LGBTQIA+ youth in Minnesota. In addition to their roles as chief medical officer, chief of staff, and medical director of gender health at Children’s Minnesota, they are also a tireless advocate for gender-affirming care and equitable health care for children, teens, and their families. The chapter’s leadership recognized Dr. Goepferd with the 2023 Eric Dick Child Advocacy Award for their efforts to ban the dangerous and destructive practice of conversion therapy in Minnesota, and to establish the state as a trans refuge state during the 2022-23 legislative session.
Dr. Goepferd is a positive, encouraging presence for their patients and families. They represent the epitome of an advocate: a compassionate voice that continues to bring forward the needs and rights of their patients for representation and inclusion.