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The Center for Social Justice and Health Equity at Massachusetts General Hospital is dedicated to the advancement of unbiased health care among underserved patient populations. We hope to achieve our mission of fostering more inclusive health care, social policy and practice through leadership in key areas such as:
Our vision is to promote a health care system that responds to the wide-ranging needs of the diverse communities that we serve.
The primary areas of ongoing effort for members of the center include:
Wendy Macias Konstantopoulos, MD, MPH, is an attending physician in the Mass General Department of Emergency Medicine. She is also assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.
Chief Resident in the Mass General Department of Emergency Medicine
Leslie Milne, MD is an attending physician in the Mass General Department of Emergency Medicine. She is also an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.
The Massachusetts General Hospital Human Trafficking Initiative (HTI) was launched in 2008 to raise awareness of human trafficking as a public health issue and advance anti-trafficking efforts in research, education, policy and clinical care within the health sector. From 2008-2010, HTI completed nine social-science research case studies on human trafficking in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil and the Philippines. Our research examined local public health responses to sex trafficking of women and girls in order to understand the health sector’s role in mitigating the health effects of trafficking.
HTI has built on its research by developing an evidence-based training on human trafficking for multidisciplinary health care audiences with the goal of heightening awareness, improving victim identification and developing trauma-informed responses that address the complex health and social needs of trafficked persons. In addition to this work, HTI has engaged in advocacy for the development and implementation of evidence-based policies to safely and effectively assist survivors of trafficking. The initiative's newest efforts have focused on providing comprehensive, trauma-informed and survivor-centered care for victims and survivors of human trafficking referred to the Mass General Freedom Clinic.
Human trafficking is a global issue of grave public health concern. According to a 2012 report from the International Labour Organization (ILO), an estimated 20.9 million persons worldwide are trapped in forced labor and sexual exploitation.
In the U.S., cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states and make reference to both citizens and foreign nationals. Trafficked persons experience numerous negative health outcomes including, but not limited to:
In a 2014 study conducted by Laura Lederer, founder and president of the non-profit Global Centurion, up to 87.8% of human trafficking survivors report undergoing an evaluation in a health care facility at least once while trafficked. Health care providers are uniquely positioned to prevent trafficking as well as identify and respond to trafficked persons in the health care setting.
Education and Training
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center Webinar on Recognizing and Responding to Human Trafficking in a Healthcare Context
Catholic Health Initiative in collaboration with Mass General HTI Addressing Human Trafficking in the Health Care Setting
Sex Trafficking of Women and GirlsLearn More About Our Research
Human Trafficking Guidebook co-published with the Massachusetts Medical Society
Click here to download
We would like to acknowledge our funder, Give Way to Freedom, for helping us make all of this possible!
MGH becomes 1st Mass. ER to offer addiction medication, maps seamless path to recoveryMarch 2018, WBURA feature on Mass General’s work to become the first emergency department in Massachusetts to offer buprenorphine, a drug used to treat heroine addiction, to patients with an opioid use disorder who want to start treatment on the spot.
Emergency rooms once offered little for drug users. That’s starting to change.December 2018, Boston GlobeA feature on Mass General’s work to become the first emergency department in Massachusetts to treat patients with an opioid use disorder who want to start treatment on the spot.
New England agency targets growing number of sex trafficking casesMay 2017, Boston 25 NewsA feature on when Mass General received a grant to treat human trafficking victims who suffer serious health concerns and opened the Mass General Freedom Clinic.
Identifying trafficking victims is just the start of health care's challengeMarch 2016, NPR MarketplacePart three in a three-part NPR Marketplace series about human trafficking and health care, featuring Ann Prestipino, MPH, discussing how the Mass General Freedom Clinic gives back to the community.
This is what happened when a trafficking victim finally got the chance to runMarch 2016, NPR MarketplacePart two in a three-part NPR Marketplace series about human trafficking and health care, featuring a Mass General Freedom Clinic patient.
Health care takes on the fight against traffickingMarch 2016, NPR MarketplacePart one in a three-part NPR Marketplace series about human trafficking and health care, quoting Mass General physician Wendy Macias Konstantopoulos, MD, MPH.
Clinic aids victims of human traffickingMarch 2016, Mass General HospitalA feature on a Massachusetts teenager, forced into the sex trade by a human trafficker, and how she's built a new life with the help of the Mass General Freedom Clinic.
Mass General receives grant to open human trafficking survivor clinicMay 2014, Boston.comBoston.com quotes Mass General physician Wendy Macias Konstantopoulos, MD, MPH.
Center for Social Justice & Health Equity
Wendy Macias-Konstantopoulos, MD, MPHDirector, Center for Social Justice and Health Equity
Department of Emergency Medicine55 Fruit StreetZero Emerson, Suite 3BBoston, MA 02114
Human Trafficking Initiative/Freedom Clinic
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgOr fill out this online form.
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