The Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) in collaboration with St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County Medical Society (WCMS) hosted a Human Trafficking training earlier this week. 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, 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.
"It's important to recognize that the issue is widespread and growing at an alarming rate. Physicians need to be trained on how to recognize signs of human trafficking in their patients as well as what to do to help the patient after they have been identified as a victim," said David M. Krhovsky, MD, president of MSMS.
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.
The Michigan State Medical Society is a professional association of more than 15,000 Michigan physicians. We serve as a resource for physician education to meet ever changing CME requirements. For more information regarding upcoming human trafficking educational opportunities and other courses, please visit www.msms.org/eo.
RETRACTION: The original article indicated that Ms. Meshinski is a thirteen-year survivor of sexual human trafficking. She is not a survivor of sexual human trafficking. MSMS apologizes for the error.