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Human trafficking represents a problem that remains largely overlooked, including within the healthcare community. However, healthcare providers represent an important first point of contact for potential victims of trafficking. Therefore, it is critical that healthcare providers, particularly in primary care, receive formal training on the subject to improve rates of identification. New screening tools that reduce the burden of knowledge for providers are being developed to bridge the gap until sufficient levels of provider education are achieved, but these tools will never take the place of direct provider education. Beyond education, healthcare institutions must seek to develop comprehensive policies and protocols regarding trafficking to promote both improved identification of victims and appropriate response once victims are identified. This project demonstrated the need for further education of healthcare providers in Lewiston, promoted awareness of tools and resources available to healthcare providers when dealing with human trafficking, and facilitated future formal training of healthcare providers at the family medicine residency clinic. It also initiated a partnership between invested parties in Lewiston, Maine and Burlington, Vermont to promote collaboration on the creation of protocols for approaching trafficking victims.
Central Maine Medical Center
human trafficking, sexual violence, Maine
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Medical Education | Primary Care
Wheat, Stefan Kale, "Human Trafficking: Promoting Awareness and Facilitating Partnership" (2016). Family Medicine Clerkship Student Projects. 164.