AMWA Initiatives

The American Medical Women’s Association advocates to bring under-addressed issues to the forefront of the national agenda.
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Physicians Against the Trafficking of Humans (PATH)

About

Physicians Against the Trafficking of Humans (PATH) was founded by AMWA in 2014 in order to educate physicians, residents, and medical students about issues surrounding human trafficking. Celebrating a Decade of Awareness raising and training

Mission Statement

To help medical professionals better care for victims of human trafficking by:

  • Enhancing awareness of the scope of the problem
  • Identifying at-risk patients by utilizing victim-centered interviewing techniques
  • Providing and promoting trauma-informed care
  • Equipping health professionals to intervene safely on behalf of patients
  • Connecting patients, providers, clinics, and hospitals to resources.

AMWA-PATH Statement for Human Trafficking Awareness Month

AMWA-PATH (Physicians Against the Trafficking of Humans) wants to commend the 117th Congress for passing the Counter Human Trafficking Act of 2021 which among other things establishes a Department of Homeland Security Center for Countering Human Trafficking. We also want to recognize the Justice Department for providing over $90 million in grant funds, with over 500 awards given to organizations that provide services to survivors, support research and evaluate responses to human trafficking. To learn more about the federal efforts to combat human trafficking, read our full statement here.

We urge additional federal focus and efforts on providing funding, resources and training for all health care professionals who are in a unique position to interact with potential victims prior to and during their exploitation and can better recognize and intervene early when trained on risk factors and indicators for human trafficking. Health care professionals, working through a preventative public health lens, can become a real force in anti-trafficking efforts by identifying vulnerability factors in our patients before exploitation and providing access to stabilizing interventions to those most at risk. PATH provides this education through our LIFT (Learn to Identify and Fight Trafficking) training, a free 3-hr CME course that is taught by our volunteer physicians and survivors thanks to generous donations to PATH.

If you would like to learn more about our work, join our leadership team of medical students and physicians, arrange a training or donate to help fund our anti-trafficking efforts in education, advocacy, education and research, please visit www.amwa-doc.org/our-work/initiatives/human-trafficking .

Thanks!

Traci A Kurtzer, MD
President AMWA-PATH

Evidence Basis

Read an Evidence-Based Article on the Positive Impact Achieved with Clinical Training

Read the Full Article

History

In 2012, AMWA President, Dr. Gayatri Devi, identified sex trafficking as an important issue for AMWA to address. This led to the development of the Human Trafficking Committee by co-chairs Dr. Suzanne Harrison and Dr. Holly Atkinson, which authored AMWA’s position statement on human trafficking. Dr. Kanani Titchen, then AMWA Resident Division President, conducted a survey to identify healthcare providers’ knowledge in this area and found that knowledge to be significantly lacking. These findings led to the creation of a series of educational videos and an interactive website to educate medical professionals about sex trafficking victims; these videos are available for viewing online at www.doc-path.org/. AMWA-PATH has also conducted webinars and supported local conferences on the issue of human trafficking. For more about the history of AMWA-PATH, please click here.

Trainings

Upcoming and Past Events Watch the Online Training Request A LIFT Training

Learn to Identify and Fight Trafficking (LIFT) Series

The AMWA-PATH curriculum is a human trafficking training designed to educate healthcare providers at all levels of training on how to identify and assist patients that have been trafficked. The LIFT series is a virtual, 3-hour, interactive training that grants 3.0 Category 1 CEU credits to participants free of charge, covering essential information about labor trafficking, sex trafficking, and the commercial sexual exploitation of children. LIFT is a CME-accredited training through the American Medical Women’s Association, Physicians Against the Trafficking of Humans (AMWA-PATH).

The Learn to Identify and Fight Trafficking (LIFT) series covers the following:

  • What Is Human Trafficking?
  • Where Is Human Trafficking?
  • Who Is At-Risk?
  • How Are Humans Trafficked?
  • Trafficking & Health Care
  • The Impact: Why Should We Care?
  • Barriers to Care
  • What Can We Do?
  • The Dilemma
  • Resilience & the PATH to Recovery

Learning objectives are as follows:

  1. Describe the scope and prevalence of the problem of labor trafficking and sex trafficking in the United States.
  2. Recognize the warning signs that raise suspicion for trafficking victimization and identify trafficked persons who present to the health care setting.
  3. Commit to incorporate assessing suspected victims of trafficking into routine practice.
  4. Commit to clinically evaluate and treat any patient suspected of being trafficked, using trauma-informed reporting techniques and local and national resources.

AMWA-PATH partners with community resources engaged in the fight against human trafficking. These community partners comprise a panel of local experts whose knowledge around human trafficking is specific to the city/location of the training. The role of community partners is to educate participants on the available resources in the area, and to provide pamphlets, business cards, and any other handouts that may be useful to medical professionals. The community partners are also able to provide detailed accounts of a patient’s path to recovery, which frequently involves legal advocacy, medical care, housing, psychological care, job training/placement, and other resources.

Upcoming Events & Registration

The LIFT curriculum is now available as a virtual option or in person depending on facilitator availability. We offer an intensive/interactive 3 hour training (2 hour didactic and 1 hour panel Q&A), comprehensive/interactive 2 hour training (1.5 hour didactic with 0.5 hr Q&A) and basic 1 hour training (0.75 hr didactic with 0.25 hr Q&A). Check our list of upcoming events that you might be able to attend. Please contact path_admin@amwa-doc.org if you are interested in hosting an event.

Online LIFT Training (on demand)

Please note that the online LIFT recording does not offer CME credits; only the live or virtual LIFT trainings grant continuing education credit for members of AMWA.

Accreditation

You may earn continuing education credit by participating in this activity. Powered by CMEfy – a seamless way to earn continuing education credit for Point-of-Care co-learning for reflections rather than just for viewing content. Learn more at about.cmefy.com/cme-info.

To obtain credit, one must be an active member of AMWA. You will be awarded 1 credit per hour of content participation when you respond the reflective prompts earned though links produced for each course; provided at to registered participants at the end of the course.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Indiana University School of Medicine and American Medical Women’s Association, Physicians Against the Trafficking of Humans. The Indiana University School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Indiana University School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Indiana University School of Medicine has been approved by the Indiana Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist and Mental Health Counselor Board to provide Category I Continuing Education program. This activity qualifies for 3.0 Category I CEU as outlined by the Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board.

All trainings are FREE thanks to our generous donors.

To schedule a training, please complete the LIFT Training Request or email path@amwa-doc.org

Resources

Jain, Juhi; Bennett, Mackenzie; Bailey, Mark; Liaou, Daniel; Kaltiso, Sheri-Ann; Greenbaum, Jordan; Williams, Kimberly; Gordon, Mollie; Torres, Melissa; Nguyen, Phuong; Coverdale, John; Williams, Victor; Hari, Cayla; Rodriguez, Samantha; Salami, Temilola; Potter, Jonell. “Human Trafficking and the Role of the Medical Professional: Creating a Collaborative Trauma-Informed Interdisciplinary City-Wide Victim Services Model Focused on Healthcare for Survivors of Human Trafficking,” Public Health Reports, the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service. Volume 137 Issue 1_suppl, July/August 2022

State by State Policy Guidelines on Mandated Reporting Requirements

Get Involved

Subscribe to PATH Newsletter

Student Interest Group

AMWA-PATH is an organization committed to the education of healthcare professionals on human trafficking: how to recognize and care for this patient population. We are a team made up of practicing physicians, dentists, and nurses, as well as professional and undergraduate level students. Please visit the other tabs to learn more.

As Student Co-Chairs, we have felt a desire to connect with other students while at various national trainings and within our own communities. Many of you have your own initiatives at your institutions and come from a wide array of backgrounds, professions, and goals. We feel that engaging with you is the best next step for the student section of AMWA-PATH. As a result, we have created the Student Interest Group.

We want to expand the level of student involvement to include collaboration across student pre-medical and medical school chapters, increasing advocacy activities, fundraising efforts, and more. We want to uplift each other and stay true to what makes AMWA so special – deliberate mentorship and guidance throughout all levels of training, from high school to attending level.

As we progress through our training, we have so many experiences and perspectives to offer one another and we believe that AMWA-PATH can partake in this model too. In doing so, we hope to increase our visibility and engagement at the local, state, and national levels as student members of AMWA-PATH.

To get started, please complete the Student Interest Form so that we can learn a little more about you.

Once we gain some interest and find opportunities to engage with the Student Interest Group, we will be in touch! Thank you for your patience as we start this next exciting part of AMWA-PATH’s journey.

Warmly,

Student and Resident Co-Chairs

Monthly Newsletter

This is an initiative from the PATH Student group — a quarterly series in research and advocacy news summaries created by the PATH residents and medical students. Newsletters will feature brief breakdowns on some of the most recent scholarly publications, policy changes related to human trafficking, and recent and upcoming PATH events.

Contact Us

AMWA-PATH Leadership:

  • President: Traci Kurtzer
  • Vice President: Aarti Vala
  • Treasurer: Liz Berdan-Interim
  • Past President: Liz Berdan
  • Admin & Operations Mgr: Zayn Gerakitis
  • Past Admin: Sarah Melin
  • Co-Chairs: Aarti Vala, Trudy Reese, Liz Berdan, and Juhi Jain
  • Survivor/Lived Experience Experts (content, curriculum, speaking): Ellora Nyhan, Jennifer Hammer, and Suleman Masood

AMWA-PATH Student Interest Group Leadership/Chairs:

  • President: Zara Siddiqui
  • Vice President: Madeline Monken
  • Advocacy:
    • Student Chair/Asst Chair: Victoria Addis /Gabriella Tangkilisan
    • Physician Chairs: Preeti Panda, Juhi Jain
  • Education & Research:
    • Student Co-Chair: Mikayla Mefford and Elizabeth Adams
    • Physician Chairs: Elizabeth Berdan and Puneet Anand
  • Public Relations:
    • Student Co-Chair: Emily Nguyen
    • Physician Chair: Aarti Vala
  • Fundraising:
    • Student Co-Chair: Xori Green, Sarah Peterson, and Abigail Martinez
    • Physician Chair: Traci Kurtzer (interim)
  • Specialty:
    • Chair Dentistry: Trudy Reese
    • Chair PA/APRN/RN:
    • Chair EMT:

AMWA-PATH Interns / Newsletter:

  • Becca Song (on leave), Dana Shubai

AMWA-PATH Educational Series

Human trafficking is the second largest and the fastest growing criminal industry globally. Labor trafficking is a crime that robs victims of basic human rights and has lifelong health consequences. While there is increasing education about sex trafficking, there is little around labor trafficking despite how common it is and the large impact it has on a person’s health. Importantly, we encounter these victims and survivors in our clinical settings, giving us an opportunity to provide trauma-informed care and resources for a vulnerable population. These short videos are designed to educate medical professionals and others in the healthcare industry about labor trafficking and its intersection with healthcare and how we can best take care of these patients.


view the full playlist

view the full playlist

Leadership Opportunities

Administrative Operations Manager

The AMWA-PATH Admin & Operations Mgr. position aims to maximize the efforts of the AMWA-PATH organization; manage programming for year-long and summer interns; facilitate communication between students, physician co-chairs, community partners, and the general public; coordinate the group’s monthly conference calls – including agendas and minutes; update the website; and plan 6 to 10 LIFT trainings each year. Event planning may include but is not limited to date selection, time, and location. Recruiting, outreach, and mentoring. Interested applicants can apply here.

Education and Research Subcommittee Physician Chair

The Physician Chair of the AMWA PATH’s Education and Research Subcommittee reviews and updates the national LIFT training as well as guides educational content for social media platforms including our website, Instagram, Twitter, and Linked In. The physician lead oversees materials created by students in the Education Student Interest Group (SIG) to make sure they are accurate, relevant, and applicable to the needs of current medical professionals in training or practice. Ability to facilitate 1-2 LIFT trainings (3 hours with honorarium) per year is desirable. This is a great opportunity for leaders to expand their impact on anti-human trafficking education for fellow healthcare professionals. Expect around 2-3 hours of work/month including attendance at monthly board meetings as a voting member of PATH.

Fundraising Subcommittee Physician Chair

The Physician Chair of the AMWA PATH’s Fundraising committee guides fundraising efforts for the programming and supports content for social media platforms including our website, Instagram, Twitter, and Linked In. The physician lead oversees efforts by students in the Fundraising Student Interest Group (SIG) which can include supervising and reviewing content for grant applications. Ability to facilitate 1-2 LIFT trainings (3 hours with honorarium) per year is desirable. This is a great opportunity for leaders to support PATH’s ongoing efforts to provide anti-human trafficking education for fellow healthcare professionals. Expect around 2-3 hours of work/month including attendance at monthly board meetings as a voting member of PATH.

Public Relations Subcommittee Physician Chair

Lead AMWA PATH’s Public Relations committee in creating content for our social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter, and Linked In. The physician lead edits content created by students to make sure they are accurate, relevant, and trauma-informed. This includes educational content as well as highlighting AMWA PATH projects, community partner work, and upcoming AMWA PATH events. Plenty of opportunity for creative freedom and further projects to promote AMWA PATH and our anti-human trafficking work. Facilitating 1-2 LIFT trainings (3 hours with honorarium) per year is ideal. Expect around 2-3 hours of work/month including attendance at monthly board meeting.

Treasurer-PATH

The treasurer works closely with the president of AMWA-PATH and the AMWA-PATH Operations Manager and is a member of the board.

  • Assist in planning the year’s events with respects to financial means, and assist with adherence to the predetermined financial budget for the year
  • Document financial transactions and creates budget for next year
  • Manage formal reports and review financial statements from AMWA to track the incoming donations and outgoing payments.
  • Work with the Operations Manager to ensure speakers are being issued their honorarium
  • This is a great opportunity for leaders to expand their impact on anti-human trafficking education for fellow healthcare professionals. Expect around 2-3 hours of work/month including attendance at monthly board meetings as a voting member of PATH.
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Donate

AMWA-PATH is lead by physician co-chairs who work full time caring for patients and yet graciously donate their time to this important issue. Student and resident leaders make time within their busy schedules to support AMWA-PATH’s efforts by managing social media accounts, research projects, education efforts, and more, all on a volunteer basis.

The work that we do would not be possible without the help of a small grant that goes toward facilitating educational events, but unfortunately this does not entirely cover the entire cost of the work that AMWA-PATH does. We are extremely grateful for our generous donors, who continue to provide funding for travel, administrative support, and other necessary costs.

Donate to AMWA-PATH