Senator Van de Putte to Host Human Trafficking Health Summit
(San Antonio) — State Senator Leticia Van de Putte (Dist. 26) will co-host a summit on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 to help health care workers become more aware of the crime of human trafficking. The summit will take place 8am-11:30am at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Academic Administration Bldg., 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, in rooms 108, 110, and 112.
Human trafficking — modern-day slavery — is a grave problem in Texas, with much of the victims being moved through San Antonio. The goal of this summit is to increase awareness of what health professionals can do to be more active in combating human trafficking. Health care professionals are in a position where they may encounter a victim who is still in captivity and if they are aware of potential warning signs they may be able to provide help.
A series of four panels will be held, including one with Dr. Patricia Crane of the University of Texas Medical Branch presenting information from her article titled "Human Trafficking: What is the Role of the Health Care Provider?" in the Journal of Applied Research on Children.
The major goals of the conference include:
- Increase awareness of human trafficking in the Bexar County region medical field
- Educate health care professionals on steps they can take if they believe they have encountered a victim
- Learn about the different mental and physical health service needs for victims
- Hear from experts about the mindset of a victim and how to provide effective treatment
- Discover where the health services are provided in the Bexar County region and where service gaps exist
This conference follows a highly successful one hosted by Sen. Van de Putte in October 2010, which identified state deficiencies in identifying and aiding trafficking victims, and led to the passage of major legislation (Senate Bill 24) by the senator in the 2011 82nd Legislature to help law enforcement officials combat the crime.