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Trusted Medical: Combating Human Sex-Trafficking

At Trusted Medical, community is at the heart of what we do. We believe our role in providing exceptional care extends beyond the traditional healthcare setting, outside of the doctor’s office, right in the heart of the community. That’s why we have partnered with Restored Hope Ministries, an organization dedicated to rescuing, restoring, and healing women and their children to normal lives who have been affected by the adverse conditions of life that include sexual exploitation and trafficking, human slavery, sexual abuse, poverty, domestic violence, and interaction with the criminal justice system.

The U.S. Department of Justice says, “of the 600,000 to 800,000 people trafficked across international borders each year, 70 percent are female and 50 percent are children. The majority of these victims are forced into the commercial sex trade. The state of Texas ranks second in the country for trafficking, with more than 300,000 annual victims statewide according to research by the University of Texas. The city of Dallas ranks second in the state for trafficking, with an estimated 400 teenagers sold for sex every night on the streets of Dallas according to the Texas Human Trafficking Resource Center.

In efforts to combat this, Trusted Medical engages in anti-trafficking advocacy through the education and training of our frontline healthcare providers to increase awareness and recognize, treat, and report these cases.

Through our partnership with Restored Hope Ministries, we can continue our mission of providing exceptional healthcare and ensuring that nothing interferes with our ability to heal patients in our communities who are sick, injured, or in need of assistance.

As an innovator in healthcare, we are constantly working to improve the patient experience and make healthcare better. Our CNO, Joe Alvarado, identified a knowledge gap in healthcare: the ability to safely recognize, treat, and provide interventions to victims of human trafficking who are present in the healthcare setting.

Our work with Restored Hope has already led to the rescue and treatment of human trafficking survivors. This has a profound impact on our healthcare providers, and we will continue to seek ways in which mission of creating a better environment with more personalized care.

We asked Restored Hope what our program means for the women they save. We are all so moved by the amazing answer:

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Community

Training Healthcare Providers in the ER to Recognize and Prevent Human Trafficking

Our organization’s co-founders, Dr. Harvey Castro, MBA, and Lori Guerrero, MBA, MHA, RN sought out to create a better healthcare environment. A healthcare environment where healthcare team members like myself, could do what I’ve always sought out to do: provide exceptional healthcare and ensure that nothing interferes with our ability to heal patients who are sick, injured, or in need of help. Our slogan at Trusted Medical is: Doing the right thing, for every patient, every time. This includes those patients who are victims of modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

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Human trafficking yields many victims with an overwhelming 600,000 to 800,000 victims per year. The state of Texas ranks second in the country for trafficking, with more than 300,000 annual victims statewide. The city of Dallas ranks second for trafficking, with an estimated 400 teenagers sold for sex every night on the streets of Dallas. Human trafficking is a yearly 99 million dollar illegal industry.

In efforts to combat this, Trusted Medical engages in anti-trafficking advocacy through the education and training of our frontline healthcare providers to increase awareness and recognize, treat, and report these cases. Studies show that 88% of trafficking victims seek healthcare while being trafficked. Of those, 63% seek care in the emergency room setting. With that being said, the training and protocol that we have developed is a resource to inform and support planning for critical response and make a life-saving difference at that moment.

Another important aspect of combating trafficking includes networking. We have been able to sponsor Restored Hope Ministries, a local organization that rescues, restores, and heals women to normal lives who have been affected by the adverse conditions of sexual exploitation and trafficking.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated trafficking due to increased online sexual exploitation of women and the socio-economic stress placed upon families. Thus, a surge in the number of individuals who will become newly at-risk to exploitation and trafficking is expected, placing those vulnerable individuals at an even higher risk.  

How can you help support the fight to end human trafficking? Start with education, become well informed. Volunteer and support anti-trafficking efforts in your community. If you believe you may have information about a trafficking situation: Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free number at 1-888-373-7888: Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates are available 24/7 to take reports of potential human trafficking. You can also text the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 233733. Message and data rates may apply.

Joe Alvarado Trusted Medical preventing human trafficking

Joe Alvarado, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, is the Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Trusted ER with a passion for human rights and a concentration in human trafficking prevention.