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Friday, December 8 • 9:20am - 9:50am
Detecting the Undetectable: Training Healthcare Providers in Identifying Victims of Human Trafficking

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Human trafficking is a tragic global enterprise that has enslaved over 20 million citizens of the world (1). In 2014, a study showed that 88% of victims of sex trafficking in the US reported some contact with healthcare providers while being exploited (2). Moreover, 68% of all encounters of a victim with a healthcare provider were in the emergency room (ER) setting. For this reason, it is imperative that healthcare providers in various disciplines, and especially emergency medicine physicians, are skilled at identifying victims of human trafficking. Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals working in the ER, in particular, could play a pivotal role in making sure such screenings and assessments are appropriate and trauma-informed, given the extensive challenges faced by this patient population. Moreover, many of the victims meet the criteria for PTSD, substance use disorders, mood disorders, and so on, and do not have access to mental health services in a safe setting (3).We have developed a training workshop for healthcare providers in our community to educate them on key aspects of human trafficking. We have also created a screening tool to identify victims of trafficking and developed a protocol to triage and support potential victims in an ER setting. Our training is designed for psychiatry residents, attendings, social workers, and psychologists. We have administered our training in various clinical and academic settings with good responses. In this resident-run workshop, we hope to share some of our experiences and help the audience become more comfortable with screening for human trafficking victims, understanding how to support victims, providing trauma-informed care, and helping link these victims to appropriate resources.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Name the types of trafficking and red flags used to identify victims.
  2. Understand the role of the healthcare provider, including barriers to identifying victims, and the public health approach to identifying and treating victims of human trafficking.
  3. Learn to screen victims, implement trauma-informed care, and provide appropriate resources

avatar for Jinal Patel, MBBS

Jinal Patel, MBBS

PGY-3 Resident, Maimonides Health
Dr Jinal Patel is a PGY3 psychiatry resident at Maimonides. She attended medical school at Imperial College London. She is passionate about health disparities and minority mental health, public psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry. She is involved in research at the Maimonides LGBTQ... Read More →
avatar for Erica Cohenmehr, MD

Erica Cohenmehr, MD

Resident Psychiatrist, Maimonides Medical Center
Dr. Erica Cohenmehr is a PGY-3 adult psychiatry resident at Maimonides Medical Center. She completed her medical degree at Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University in Israel, where she spearheaded the program's first mental health and wellness group as a space for discussing... Read More →

Friday December 8, 2023 9:20am - 9:50am PST
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