Expanding Hospital Leadership in the Fight Against Human Trafficking

On March 30th, Jones Day co-sponsored with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and HEAL Trafficking "Expanding Hospital Leadership in the Fight Against Human Trafficking," a virtual convening to expand the role of hospitals and other health care leaders in combating human trafficking. The event brought together C-suite level leaders who are currently implementing, or planning to adopt, human trafficking response programs, and provided resources and information to assist institutions at all stages of program implementation. Prominent health care leaders, such as Lloyd Dean, CEO of CommonSpirit Health; Brian Gragnolati, CEO of Atlantic Health System; and Claire Zangerle, CNE of Allegheny Health Network, all shared their inspiration to champion the fight against human trafficking in their respective health systems.

The virtual convening, attended by more than 160 hospital leaders, was an outgrowth of an anti- trafficking convening in March 2018, hosted by Jones Day at the Firm's Washington, D.C. Office. At that gathering, Jones Day, the AHA, and HEAL Trafficking raised awareness to advance the role of hospitals and other health care providers in recognizing and fighting human trafficking as a public health issue. As trafficked persons often interact with the health care system while being trafficked, health care providers have a unique opportunity to identify those at risk of human trafficking and to provide essential health care support and other resource referrals.

The panels addressed how hospital leadership can take a prominent role in building institutional programs to address human trafficking. Speakers outlined strategic approaches to hospital-based programs and how state, governmental, and other resources are available as health care leaders initiate or expand anti-trafficking programs. The convening similarly provided recommendations for the health care field regarding survivor-and trauma-informed, patient-centered care to improve response and coordination with social services, primary care, and mental health providers. Evelyn Chumbow, survivor-activist and advisory board member of the Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center; Hanni Stoklosa, the executive director at HEAL Trafficking; and Martina Vandenberg, founder and president of the Human Trafficking Legal Center, also provided a status update on anti-trafficking efforts in health care.

Curt Kirschner, a partner in Jones Day's San Francisco Office, moderated a panel on how the federal government can support hospitals in addressing human trafficking. Katherine Chon, the Director of the Office on Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Sean Tepfer the National Program Manager of the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit within the Department of Justice (DOJ) discussed government support for hospitals addressing this issue. Fighting human trafficking remains a top priority for the DOJ, and HHS has developed tools to help health care providers identify and treat victims of human trafficking.

The AHA, Jones Day, and HEAL Trafficking have continued to come together to provide resources to health care providers across the nation who are fighting human trafficking. Jones Day has previously prepared a comprehensive tool to help providers navigate the complex roadmap of their human trafficking reporting and education obligations. With the increased role of telehealth and multistate practitioners, the need for this type of resource is growing. A JONES DAY TALKS® podcast—"Helping Health Care Providers Fight Human Trafficking"—provides background on the tool and the Firm's work in the trafficking area.

Human trafficking—both labor trafficking and sex trafficking—is a global issue, and Jones Day has formed a dedicated Task Force to combat it on a domestic and international level. Watch our video, "Human Trafficking: A Global Crisis," in which Jones Day partner Bethany Biesenthal, a former assistant United States Attorney, and Laura Ellsworth, Partner-in-Charge of the Firm's Global Community Service Initiative, explain our work with clients around the world to help identify, prevent, and prosecute human trafficking crimes. Read more about the work Jones Day has done to combat human trafficking.