As a frontline for victims of human trafficking, Emergency Department personnel and other health workers may be the first, and in some cases, the only service providers to come into direct contact with victims of human trafficking. Additionally, nearly one third of victims of trafficking, receive medical assistance from healthcare providers and remain unidentified while experiencing exploitation. It is imperative that health professionals be included in capacity building programs that equip providers to better identify and respond to child victims of trafficking.
This summer, we are joined by several interns, who will be assisting us with program outreach, capacity building, research and evaluation. One of these interns is Cheryl Winter, a graduate student from Washington University in Saint Louis, who is working toward dual Masters degrees in Public Health and Social Work. With a background in communications, training facilitation, and evaluation, Cheryl will dedicate her time at IOFA to developing partnerships with hospitals and healthcare providers, identifying gaps in service provision and health provider policies, and adapting training materials for health providers to better identifying and responding to the needs of trafficking victims.