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Delaware Hospitals Respond to Human Trafficking Crisis


05/17/2019

Fox News reports on Delaware hospitals' coordinated approach to human trafficking. An excerpt from the article can be found below:


Hospital staff find themselves on the front lines of war on human trafficking

By Talia Kirkland

Published May 16, 2019

Fox News

WILMINGTON, Del.-- Dawn Culp has been an emergency room nurse at Bayhealth for more than 25 years but says she never had enough resources to focus on human trafficking -- until now.

Throughout the hospital’s hallways are small stickers and flyers with the national hotline number for human trafficking.

“I post them everywhere,” Culp said.

Nurses and hospital are also asking questions to figure out if patients are smuggling victims.

As it becomes a growing issue, both in the U.S. and worldwide, hospital workers here are now in the front lines of the war on human trafficking.

Hospitals across Delaware are joining forces in a unique, new initiative to combat human trafficking. Medical professionals in the First State have adopted a set of guidelines to help better identify victims and provide a safe space for those seeking help.

A move Culp and her coworker, Annamarie McDermott, hope will make a difference.

“The first step, I think, for any healthcare provider, is to make and establish a relationship with someone, and begin to develop trust,” said McDermott.

The Human Trafficking Medical Committee, which both Culp and McDermott sit on, was formed in February 2018 at the direction of the Delaware Health Association Board of Directors to address human trafficking in the health care setting in Delaware. The group works with the state’s Human Trafficking Interagency Coordinating Council (the “HTICC”).

“Studies have shown that 88 percent of human trafficking victims were seen by a health care provider while they are being trafficked. Hospitals have a unique and important opportunity to identify and help victims,” DHA President & CEP Wayne A. Smith said in a press release.

Authorities say Delaware is one of many states along the I-95 corridor that have become a hotbed for traffickers, who can quickly ship victims to new zip codes up to and down the East Coast in as little as an hour. Advocates say the problem has not gotten the attention it deserves.

To read the full article and watch the video, please visit the Fox News website at the following link: https://www.foxnews.com/health/delaware-hospitals-tackle-human-trafficking