Miracle Babies, a nonprofit organization that provides financial and emotional support to families with critically ill babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), has named Carmel Valley resident Jill Epstein as its executive director. In addition to providing monetary support to needy families with babies in the NICU so they can be together for essential breastfeeding and Kangaroo Care, Miracle Babies hosts “Miracle Hours” for NICU parents at local hospitals. These “Miracle Hours” provide a meal, crafts, and a brief opportunity to escape the isolation of the NICU. Miracle Babies also delivers thousands of care bags each year to moms with babies in the NICU.
Epstein said, “Having a baby in the NICU is a terrifying experience for any family. When there are financial barriers to being with your baby - limited money for transportation to and from the hospital or no child care for siblings – the experience becomes even more overwhelming.”
The 9th Annual Miracle Babies Gala will be held on Oct. 20 at Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa, where proceeds will be raised to fund these essential programs.
“The generous contributions from donors and sponsors allows Miracle Babies to directly impact these families,” explained Epstein. “When mothers and fathers can be with their babies, the benefits to the babies can be profound.”
Prior to joining Miracle Babies, Epstein was the executive director of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), an independent professional organization representing the interests of 32,000 licensed marriage and family therapists. Epstein came to CAMFT after serving as the first chief operating officer of the California Massage Therapy Council (CMTC), an organization created by the California Legislature to develop and implement statewide voluntary certification for massage therapists.
Epstein moved to San Diego from Chicago, where she spent seven years as the chief executive officer of the Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) Society of Chicago, one of the world’s largest financial analysts’ society..
During Epstein’s 11 years in Washington, DC, she worked for the American Medical Association, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and AARP.
Epstein received her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. She received her Juris Doctorate from the American University – Washington College of Law in Washington, DC.
Epstein currently serves on the Solana Beach School District Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee and on the Solana Beach School District Foundation Board of Directors. She also volunteers at Jewish Family Service of San Diego in the Hand Up Food Pantry and as a driver for the Rides and Smiles Program. Epstein is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association, the American Society of Association Executives, and the California Society of Association Executives.