“The facts are that approximately two million adults and children in the United States are victims of human trafficking. And hospital staff are among the most likely people to encounter this hidden population. We’ve learned from survivors that approximately 87% of them were seen by health care providers while they were under the control of their traffickers, and 63% had been to the emergency department. These statistics show that, with training and supporting intervention programs, hospitals and their staff have a unique opportunity to identify victims and give them not only the care they need, but also the resources to break away from their captors.” Sherri Mason, MSN, FNP-C, Senior Consultant, Clinical Advisory Solutions

After receiving feedback from several nurses working in ER, OB, NICU, and PICU of their concerns that human trafficking victims were presenting in their departments, but quite possibly falling through the cracks, a team spearheaded by Christy Ivie, Founder & President of Christy’s Cause began working on developing a training called “We Care” to identify, treat, and report crimes against victims of human trafficking. Based on the nurses’ feedback, it was important that this training be developed “by nurses for nurses” to effectively be able to identify and treat these victims presenting in the health care setting, while reporting to the proper law enforcement agencies and organizations. It was also important for the training to be streamline, strategic, and focused in order to maximize their time effectively.

The team made up of representatives from Lee Health, FGCU, the State Attorney’s Office, and Christy’s Cause spent a year researching and developing the most effective training tailor made for nurses in the health care setting, that will not only care for the victim, but give them the resources to break away from their traffickers.

We are excited to launch WeCare at the Human Trafficking Symposium at FGCU on May 3rd, 2018 as well as offer the training as a free resource to our community.