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Human Trafficking Event Draws Over 400 Attendees

The Washtenaw County Medical Society (WCMS) in collaboration with St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) hosted a Human Trafficking training on February 9. The training focused on how to identify victims of human trafficking, applying appropriate protocols for human trafficking survivors, and discussed current legislation in Michigan affecting human trafficking.

The guest speaker, Shelia Meshinski RN, who is with the Henry Ford Health System, is a certified forensic and sexual assault nurse examiner and representative on the Human Trafficking Task Force for the State of Michigan. She also serves on the Health Advisory Board on Human Trafficking for the State of Michigan and the Human Trafficking Task Force for Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties.

Human trafficking affects people from all walks of life, and Michigan is one of the largest recruitment and destinations for trafficking in the country, made easier by its close proximity to Canada an it's access to waterways. More than 483 cases of human trafficking have been reported in Michigan since 2007.

The Michigan Board of Medicine finalized changes to administrative rules regarding human trafficking education on December 6, 2016. Rule R 338.2413 establishes the training standards required for newly licensed and renewing medical physicians to complete in recognizing the signs of human trafficking. The impetus for the proposed rule was Public Act 343 of 2014, which amended the Public Health Code to require the state to develop training standards for identifying victims of human trafficking. This requirement could be satisfied in many ways, including reading articles and online offerings. Michigan State Licensees renewing for 2017 must complete training by renewal in 2020; renewals for 2018 by 2021 and renewals for 2019 by 2022. Beginning in 2021, completion of the training is a requirement for initial licensure.

For more information regarding upcoming human trafficking educational opportunities and other courses, please visit www.msms.org/eo.

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