AYUDA FAMILIAS Receives National 2019 Impact Award for Legal-Medical Partnerships

Recognizing the plight of medically fragile immigrants, AYUDA FAMILIAS has been quietly filling this niche since the Immigration Crisis of 2018

The inaugural 2019 Impact Award by the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership at Milken School for Public Health at The George Washington University, will recognize front-line team AYUDA FAMILIAS during their Whole Person, Whole Team, Whole Communities Summit on Sept. 19 in National Harbor, Maryland. This award was created to champion medical-legal partnerships that initiate change to positively impact the health and well-being of current and future patients and community members. AYUDA FAMILIAS will be the first recipient of NCMLP’s Impact Award.

“Many of the cases we have worked with are hidden by the government while the immigrants are in detention. We only learn about them when other immigrants who are released tell us about other inmates who are suffering terribly. That’s when we jump into action,” said Dionne Ukleja, Executive Director for AYUDA FAMILIAS.

AYUDA FAMILIAS’ timely collaboration with their founding volunteers, attorney Ruby Powers of Ruby Powers Law, and Dr. Kate Sugarman are being honored at the Summit for their rapid-response approach to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, beginning in the summer of 2018 and continuing today. 

AYUDA FAMILIAS is a nationwide multi-disciplinary collaboration. Created in the aftermath of zero tolerance and designed to immediately confront the separation of children from their families. They leverage leverage the existing health and legal systems to support and protect people and families in the U.S., regardless of immigration status.

AYUDA FAMILIAS brings together the expertise of each profession and oversees case management, research, and logistics from prison release to family reunification by utilizing including doctors, attorneys and logistics volunteers. Their focus on the most urgent medical cases in immigration detention allows them to deliver efficient and effective justice through health care to the medically fragile immigrant population which is so vastly hidden and under-served. Their efforts have been documented in Time Magazine, BBC, The Daily Beast, The New York Times, and HBO, among others.

For more information about this topic, please call Dionne Ukleja at 281-660-6491 or email dionne@ayudafamilias.org.




Houston, TX