A high percentage of sex trafficking victims go to a doctor or emergency room while they’re actively being trafficked. In the past doctors didn’t know what to look for, but now a pilot program through Dignity Health is training doctors and medical professionals to know the signs and act. Within the past year, Dr. Ron Chambers and others at Dignity Health have helped develop a specialized training that’s being rolled out throughout 39 hospitals, aimed at recognizing the tell-tale signs that have been missed in the past.
KOVR 13 anchor Shirin Rajee, interviewed Dr. Ron Chambers about this unique pilot program at the Mercy Family Health Center at Methodist Hospital that teaches residents to recognize signs of human trafficking and how to interact with survivors who are most often traumatized. Dr. Chambers says this training will help guide doctors and medical staff to ask the right questions “There’s not many people in the community who interact with a trafficking victim while they’re being trafficked, we have that rare opportunity so we need to know what to do with it,” he said.
Shirin Rajee also interviewed Sawan Vaden, a human trafficking survivor who receives health care at the clinic and works for Community Against Sexual Harm (CASH) as a case worker for survivors of human trafficking.
To watch the full news segment, please click here.
Addressing the critical needs of human trafficking victims is a top priority for the Sisters of Mercy, Dignity Health and Mercy Foundation. Mercy Foundation is currently raising philanthropic support to ensure Dr. Chambers and the Mercy Family Health Center are equipped with the resources needed to continue providing care for the increasing number of victims that come through their door each week. Funding raised for this effort will also be used to fund a new, Mobile Trauma Therapy Team – a partnership established with the Sacramento Family Justice Center and other local, community based organizations to provide comprehensive behavioral health care. The program will include an emergency response team, an art therapy program, and a language interpreter. Individual and group counseling will help victims overcome their trauma; rebuild their self-esteem; and develop hope for their future. To learn more about how you can support human trafficking efforts in the Sacramento region, please contact Kaci Baldi, Mercy Foundation’s manager of hospital and community relations at [email protected].