Human Trafficking & the Healthcare System

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Friday, April 5, 2019
8:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
MHA Conference Center, Burlington, MA
$169 MHA Member Rate
$269 Non-Member Rate

The Intersection of Human Trafficking and the Healthcare System:
What Caregivers Need to Know
Friday, April 5, 2019 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


Human trafficking is a public health issue, one that often goes undetected in medical offices and hospitals. Defined by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security as “a modern form of slavery in which people are forced into sex or labor by threats of violence, fraud, coercion, or other forms of exploitation,” human trafficking brings in $150 billion a year and victimizes 20.9 million people worldwide, according to the International Labor Organization.  The health system can play an important role in identifying and treating these victims. From their immediate physical and emotional healthcare concerns to the longer-term mental health and substance use issues, trafficking survivors often need a complex array of services. Mental health services are particularly important, as virtually all survivors have experienced some form of trauma. Because healthcare providers are in a unique position to identify victims and provide them with physical and psychological care —while in captivity and after release—it’s critical that caregivers can identify the signs and find strategies to help their patients. At this conference, leading national and regional speakers from the healthcare profession, as well as a survivor of human trafficking, will provide an overview of the issue and discuss strategies and resources for providers to integrate into their organizations in order to better treat patients who have been victims of human trafficking.

Full agenda coming soon!

Featured Keynote Speaker: Hanni Stoklosa, MD, MPH, the executive director of HEAL Trafficking, and an emergency physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) with appointments at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. She is director of the Global Women's Health Fellowship at BWH, Connors Center. Dr. Stoklosa is an internationally-recognized expert, advocate, researcher, and speaker on the wellbeing of trafficking survivors in the U.S. and internationally through a public health lens. She has advised the United Nations, International Organization for Migration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of State, and the National Academy of Medicine on issues of human trafficking and testified as an expert witness multiple times before the U.S. Congress. Moreover, she has conducted research on trafficking and persons facing the most significant social, economic, and health challenges in a diversity of settings, including Australia, China, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Liberia, Nepal, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, South Sudan, Taiwan, and Thailand. Among other accolades, Dr. Stoklosa has been honored with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women's Health Emerging Leader award, the Harvard Medical School Dean's Faculty Community Service award, and has been named as an Aspen Health Innovator and National Academy of Medicine Emerging Leader. Her anti-trafficking work has been featured by the New York Times, National Public Radio, Glamour, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, STAT News, and Marketplace. Dr. Stoklosa published the first textbook addressing the public health response to trafficking: Human Trafficking Is a Public Health Issue, A Paradigm Expansion in the United States.

Additional sessions will include:

  • Presentation from human trafficking survivor, Jasmine Marino, on how healthcare providers can work with patients and identify victims;
  • Case studies from local hospitals on how they have integrated care modalities into their organizations; and
  • Community resources available to caregivers to help eradicate human trafficking and ensure the best care for victims.
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MHA Education Department
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Burlington, MA 01803-5096