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  • Introduced by: Vemuri S. Murthy, MD, Delegate, for Chicago Medical Society

    Subject: Supporting Trauma-Informed Care and Services for Victim-Survivors of Human Trafficking

    Referred to: Reference Committee C

    Whereas, ISMS has no policy regarding the provision of medical care services to victims of human trafficking, and survivors often lack access to affordable trauma-informed medical care; and

    Whereas, trauma-informed care takes into account past trauma and resulting coping mechanisms when attempting to understand behavior and treat patients; and

    Whereas, the key principles of trauma informed (or trauma sensitive) care are as follows: realizing the impact of all forms of trauma; recognizing the signs and symptoms of past trauma in patients; responding by incorporating patient choice and empowerment into policies and practices; and making active efforts to not re-traumatize the patient; and

    Whereas, a recent study has identified that access to prompt, affordable medical care is one of the top external barriers to effective service provision reported by case managers for victim- survivors of human trafficking; and

    Whereas, per a past resolution (Resolution 19, A-12) ISMS encouraged medical providers in Illinois to act as first responders to victim survivors of human trafficking; and

    Whereas, on March 2, 2018, the Chicago Medical Society approved a resolution that encourages physicians to improve access to affordable, trauma-informed medical care for victims of human trafficking by working with their hospitals and clinics to institute policies and procedures and by increasing awareness of available state medical benefits; therefore, be it

    RESOLVED, that Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) create a directive that physicians take the lead in their institutions to ensure hospitals and clinics have policies and procedures in place to provide affordable, trauma-informed medical care to victim-survivors of human trafficking; and be it further

    RESOLVED, that Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) educate clinics, hospitals and physicians about the new Illinois State Law PA 99-870: Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Medical Benefits for Non-citizen Victims of Trafficking, Torture or Other Serious Crimes, which became effective January 1, 2018, and which amends the Public Aid Code to cover healthcare services for eligible non-citizens.


    Deanna Davy (2015) Understanding the Support Needs of Human-Trafficking Victims: A Review of Three Human Trafficking Program Evaluations, Journal of Human Trafficking, 1:4, 318-337, DOI: 10.1080/23322705.2015. 1090865

    Public Act 099-0870 Illinois General Assembly, IL GA.gov

    Existing ISMS policy and action related to this issue:

    ISMS encourages physicians to act as first responders in addressing human trafficking. (HOD 2012; Last BOT Review 2014)

    House of Delegates adopted Resolution 19 (A-12) as amended, which directed that ISMS adopt policy consistent with the encouragement of physicians to act as first responders in addressing human trafficking, and that ISMS submit a resolution to the AMA directing it to adopt similar policy; encourage the creation of a curriculum to screen for and identify victims of human trafficking and increase awareness of the resources available to help restore basic human rights and dignity to victims currently in captivity; and develop guidelines on how to intervene, with the purpose of educating and empowering medical students, physicians, and all health care professionals as first-line responders against human trafficking. (HOD 2012)


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