Online Program

Establishing policies and building capacity of federally qualified health centers to address sex trafficking

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:42 a.m.

Kimberly Chang, MD, MPH, Harvard Medical School, Department of Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership, Mongan Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Policy, Boston, MA
Isha Weerasinghe, MSc, Hepatitis B Policy, Association for Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Washington, DC
Nicole Littenberg, MD, MPH, Kokua Kalihi Valley Community Health Center, Honolulu, HI
Jeffrey Caballero, MPH, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Oakland, CA
There is recognition that human trafficking, and particularly sex trafficking, is a health issue.  In 2013, the US federal government released a federal strategic action plan to address human trafficking from a multi-sector perspective, including healthcare; and a 2013 Institute of Medicine report on child sex trafficking further highlighted this health issue.  In January 2015 alone, twelve bills pertaining to human trafficking passed the House of Representatives - one of which mandated training in medical and nursing schools, and the development of best practices in identifying victims of human trafficking.  Beyond efforts to train individual healthcare professionals, however, the healthcare delivery system must also be well-equipped to address victims' needs through multi-sector collaborations.  Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) are essential components in a robust approach to care for sex trafficking victims; FQHCs will need assistance in navigating the local legal environments and social service resources.  Legislation, reporting, and resources differ by state or county, even though federal legislation exists defining human trafficking and who is considered a victim.  This presentation describes and analyzes a policy campaign by the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recommending programmatic health policies to build capacity of FQHCs (the safety net health care delivery system) to deliver coordinated, trauma-informed, and culturally appropriate care for victims of human trafficking.  This campaign culminated in a HRSA-wide human trafficking training focused on healthcare systems solutions along with a HRSA policy briefing.  Lessons learned and strategies will be discussed.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the benefits on engaging the health care delivery system in addressing sex trafficking as a public health issue. Describe the process of developing a policy brief to the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) to inform federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) of the issues involved in combatting sex trafficking from a health care perspective. Define at least two programmatic policies that would better equip FQHCs to identify and treat victims of sex trafficking.

Keyword(s): Health Care Delivery, Special Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I developed the policy brief for the Health Resources Services Administration regarding incorporating human trafficking as a topic area requiring technical assistance for the FQHCs. I am a physician who has extensive experience in human trafficking issues, particularly sex trafficking of minors in the FQHC setting. I served on a Technical Working Group for the federal government's training for health care professionals on human trafficking.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.