Press Releases

Children’s Minnesota kid experts honored as 2023 TRUST Award winners

Children’s Minnesota is pleased to announce that three of The Kid Experts™ have been selected as 2023 TRUST Award winners. The awards celebrate 20 Minnesota-based women in health care who were nominated by their peers and are paving the way in five areas: collaboration & partnerships, community engagement, health & well-being, innovation, and leadership. The Children’s Minnesota honorees in their respective categories include:

Community engagement: Adriene Thornton, manager of health equity

Throughout 2022, Adriene championed community-based vaccine clinics for kids and teens – especially in the most underserved Twin Cities neighborhoods. Adriene and her health equity team strategically vaccinated hundreds of kids at community centers, elementary schools and block parties in neighborhoods and zip codes ranked most vulnerable for economic and housing stability, and access to health care based on the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index (SVI).

Adriene Thornton, infection preventionist and chair of BEEN

Health and well-being: Dr. Gigi Chawla, vice president, chief of general pediatrics

Dr. Chawla was recognized for leading her team to reimagine the mental health continuum at Children’s Minnesota. Dr Chawla’s team collaborated with mental health providers and organizations across the country, learning from others and evaluating what they need to provide the mental health care that kids in the community deserve – specifically designed for them. They listened to patient families who have experienced a mental health crisis firsthand to identify opportunities for improvement. The team worked to develop and open two partial hospitalization programs as well as the organization’s first inpatient mental health unit.

Dr. Gigi Chawla

Innovation: Dr. Angela Kade Geopferd, chief education officer, medical director of the Gender Health program

Dr. Goepferd was recognized for leading the launch of Children’s Minnesota’s Talking Pediatrics podcast. The podcast was designed to help remove one of the key barriers health care providers have identified to continuing their clinical education – a lack of time. Each episode is purposely produced to run less than 30 minutes to both quickly inform and also fit within the average time of most adults’ scientifically-proven attention span.

The 2023 TRUST Award winners were recognized at The Women’s Health Leadership TRUST’s Annual Forum held April 27 at McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. You can see the full list of honorees here.

Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd, (they/she), is the chief education officer, chief of staff, pediatrician and medical director of the Gender Health program at Children’s Minnesota
Left to right: Dr. Gigi Chawla, Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd, Adriene Thornton.