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Prevent. Educate. Collaborate.

Published on Wednesday April 3, 2024
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As April Rasmussen and her team began to observe cases of human trafficking as part of their role as forensic nurses at Lynchburg General Hospital, they realized that Centra didn’t have a policy related to what steps should be taken when a patient who is a victim of human trafficking is given care at one of our facilities.

Soon after having this realization, April met a few nurses from Carillion Clinic who had begun to create a template that could be used as a tool for healthcare workers to understand next steps after the identification of a victim occurs. This led April to partner with the team at the Lynchburg-based non-profit, Freedom 4/24 to work to create a policy and education that would meet the need.

Texas is currently one of the only states that requires all healthcare providers to participate in approved human trafficking prevention training in order to be a licensed medical professional in the state. The education that Centra’s Forensic Nursing Team collaborated on with Freedom 4/24 was written to these standards, so that if the Virginia Legislature ever passes a similar law, Centra’s training will already be in line with the established requirements. 

Currently, the education is being reviewed by Centra’s Professional Development Team and once approved it will allow providers to obtain two hours of CME credit from the live training along with pre- and post-testing. There will also be a course provided for nurses that will allow them to obtain one hour of CME credit with the opportunity to do further training too.

April also shared that she is a part of the Southern Virginia Human Trafficking Collaborative which involves multiple community agencies along with law enforcement, Carilion Clinic and Centra. This collaborative works together to support one another and the cases that they’re handling through idea sharing and relationship building.

Ultimately, each aspect of this work is being done to strengthen the health of our communities through preventative action, innovative education and strong collaboration.

 

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