On March 15, GNYHA and the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) will co-host a webinar on establishing hospital human trafficking policies and procedures. Hospitals across the country are increasingly expected to address human trafficking, and in New York State, a newly enacted provision of the New York State Public Health Law, section 2805-y, requires hospitals and diagnostic and treatment centers (DT&Cs) to establish and implement human trafficking policies and procedures, and to provide staff training on the facility’s policies and procedures. New Jersey has similar requirements in place. This webinar is part of a series of briefings designed to provide resources to help with implementation.

The webinar will feature a presentation by Holly Gibbs, a board member of HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Linkage) Trafficking, a nationally recognized not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advocacy, education and training, and direct services that address human trafficking from the public health perspective. Ms. Gibbs is also the Patient Care Services Director of the Human Trafficking Response Program at Dignity Health—headquartered in California—where she helped establish the system’s original human trafficking protocols and is helping to update them. Ms. Gibbs, a nationally recognized expert on human trafficking and a survivor of child sex trafficking, is a frequent speaker on the topic. She has testified before Congress and has made presentations to national health care provider organizations, including the American Hospital Association. Ms. Gibbs has also consulted for national crime victims organizations, including the US Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime and the not-for-profit National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

The new New York State law—which originated from legislation sponsored by New York State Senator Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) and New York State Assembly Member Amy Paulin (D-Westchester)—requires hospitals and DT&Cs to train medical staff, nursing, other clinical care personnel, social workers, and security staff from various hospital units, including emergency services, pediatrics, family and internal medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology. A New York State Department of Health (DOH) March 26, 2018, “Dear Chief Executive Officer” letter reviews DOH’s expectations of providers. DOH has also issued proposed regulations that track the statute’s language, which the Public Health and Health Planning Council should approve later this month. A presentation by DOH staff on the new law is available.