Dignity Health hosts UN Special Rapporteaur on trafficking in persons

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (Dec. 13, 2016) — Dignity Health was recently honored to host 12 anti-trafficking organizations and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons Maria Grazia Giammarinaro to discuss challenges and possible solutions related to this important issue.

Participants were grateful for the opportunity to share the Human Trafficking Response Program with the special rapporteur. A 2014 study published by the Annals of Health Law found that nearly 88 percent of human trafficking survivors had some kind of contact with health care while being exploited and exposed how medical providers are often “woefully unprepared” to identify and appropriately respond to human trafficking. At Dignity Health, we have implemented education and protocols across our hospital system, as well as strategies to strengthen our communities.

Giammarinaro plans to share best practices with the international community and formulate recommendations to support anti-trafficking efforts in a report which will be presented at the Human Rights Council in June 2017. It is the hope of Dignity Health leaders that out program will inspire other health care systems to join the anti-trafficking movement.

Dignity Health Foundation is thankful to the executive sponsors of this program: Page West, senior vice president of patient care services and system chief nursing executive, and Elizabeth Keith, executive vice president for sponsorship and mission integration.

Pictured here (from left to right): Holly Austin Gibbs, Dignity Health’s human trafficking response program director; Heidi Markus, emergency services nurse manager and human trafficking task force co-lead for St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco; United Nations Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons Maria Grazia Giammarinaro; and Marie McKigney, stroke coordinator and human trafficking task force co-lead for St. Francis Memorial Hospital.