Breaking News
May 3, 2019 - Vaping and Smoking May Signal Greater Motivation to Quit
May 3, 2019 - Dementia looks different in brains of Hispanics
May 3, 2019 - Short-Staffed Nursing Homes See Drop In Medicare Ratings
May 3, 2019 - Study of teens with eating disorders explores how substance users differ from non-substance users
May 3, 2019 - Scientists develop new video game that may help in the study of Alzheimer’s
May 3, 2019 - Arc Bio introduces Galileo Pathogen Solution product line at ASM Clinical Virology Symposium
May 3, 2019 - Cornell University study uncovers relationship between starch digestion gene and gut bacteria
May 3, 2019 - How to Safely Use Glucose Meters and Test Strips for Diabetes
May 3, 2019 - Anti-inflammatory drugs ineffective for prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
May 3, 2019 - Study tracks Pennsylvania’s oil and gas waste-disposal practices
May 3, 2019 - Creating a better radiation diagnostic test for astronauts
May 3, 2019 - Vegans are often deficient in these four nutrients
May 3, 2019 - PPDC announces seed grants to develop medical devices for children
May 3, 2019 - Study maps out the frequency and impact of water polo head injuries
May 3, 2019 - Research on Reddit identifies risks associated with unproven treatments for opioid addiction
May 3, 2019 - Good smells may help ease tobacco cravings
May 3, 2019 - Medical financial hardship found to be very common among people in the United States
May 3, 2019 - Researchers develop multimodal system for personalized post-stroke rehabilitation
May 3, 2019 - Study shows significant mortality benefit with CABG over percutaneous coronary intervention
May 3, 2019 - Will gene-editing of human embryos ever be justifiable?
May 3, 2019 - FDA Approves Dengvaxia (dengue vaccine) for the Prevention of Dengue Disease in Endemic Regions
May 3, 2019 - Why Tonsillitis Keeps Coming Back
May 3, 2019 - Fighting the opioid epidemic with data
May 3, 2019 - Maggot sausages may soon be a reality
May 3, 2019 - Deletion of ATDC gene prevents development of pancreatic cancer in mice
May 2, 2019 - Targeted Therapy Promising for Rare Hematologic Cancer
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease is a ‘double-prion disorder,’ study shows
May 2, 2019 - Reservoir bugs: How one bacterial menace makes its home in the human stomach
May 2, 2019 - Clinical, Admin Staff From Cardiology Get Sneak Peek at Epic
May 2, 2019 - Depression increases hospital use and mortality in children
May 2, 2019 - Vicon and NOC support CURE International to create first gait lab in Ethiopia
May 2, 2019 - Researchers use 3D printer to make paper organs
May 2, 2019 - Viral infection in utero associated with behavioral abnormalities in offspring
May 2, 2019 - U.S. Teen Opioid Deaths Soaring
May 2, 2019 - Opioid distribution data should be public
May 2, 2019 - In the Spotlight: “I’m learning every single day”
May 2, 2019 - 2019 Schaefer Scholars Announced
May 2, 2019 - Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Bye-Bye, ACA, And Hello ‘Medicare-For-All’?
May 2, 2019 - Study describes new viral molecular evasion mechanism used by cytomegalovirus
May 2, 2019 - SLU study suggests a more equitable way for Medicare reimbursement
May 2, 2019 - Scientists discover first gene involved in lower urinary tract obstruction
May 2, 2019 - Researchers identify 34 genes associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer
May 2, 2019 - Many low-income infants receive formula in the first few days of life, finds study
May 2, 2019 - Global study finds high success rate for hip and knee replacements
May 2, 2019 - Taking depression seriously: What is it?
May 2, 2019 - With Head Injuries Mounting, Will Cities Put Their Feet Down On E-Scooters?
May 2, 2019 - Scientists develop small fluorophores for tracking metabolites in living cells
May 2, 2019 - Study casts new light into how mothers’ and babies’ genes influence birth weight
May 2, 2019 - Researchers uncover new brain mechanisms regulating body weight
May 2, 2019 - Organ-on-chip systems offered to Asia-Pacific regions by Sydney’s AXT
May 2, 2019 - Adoption of new rules drops readmission penalties against safety net hospitals
May 2, 2019 - Kids and teens who consume zero-calorie sweetened beverages do not save calories
May 2, 2019 - Improved procedure for cancer-related erectile dysfunction
May 2, 2019 - Hormone may improve social behavior in autism
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by infectious proteins called prions
May 2, 2019 - Even Doctors Can’t Navigate Our ‘Broken Health Care System’
May 2, 2019 - Study looks at the impact on criminal persistence of head injuries
May 2, 2019 - Honey ‘as high in sugars as table sugar’
May 2, 2019 - Innovations to U.S. food system could help consumers in choosing healthy foods
May 2, 2019 - FDA Approves Mavyret (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir) as First Treatment for All Genotypes of Hepatitis C in Pediatric Patients
May 2, 2019 - Women underreport prevalence and intensity of their own snoring
May 2, 2019 - Concussion summit focuses on science behind brain injury
May 2, 2019 - Booker’s Argument For Environmental Justice Stays Within The Lines
May 2, 2019 - Cornell research explains increased metastatic cancer risk in diabetics
May 2, 2019 - Mount Sinai study provides fresh insights into cellular pathways that cause cancer
May 2, 2019 - Researchers to study link between prenatal pesticide exposures and childhood ADHD
May 2, 2019 - CoGEN Congress 2019: Speakers’ overviews
May 2, 2019 - A new strategy for managing diabetic macular edema in people with good vision
May 2, 2019 - Sagent Pharmaceuticals Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Ketorolac Tromethamine Injection, USP, 60mg/2mL (30mg per mL) Due to Lack of Sterility Assurance
May 2, 2019 - Screen time associated with behavioral problems in preschoolers
May 2, 2019 - Hormone reduces social impairment in kids with autism | News Center
May 2, 2019 - Researchers synthesize peroxidase-mimicking nanozyme with low cost and superior catalytic activity
May 2, 2019 - Study results of a potential drug to treat Type 2 diabetes in children announced
May 2, 2019 - Multigene test helps doctors to make effective treatment decisions for breast cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - UNC School of Medicine initiative providing unique care to dementia patients
May 2, 2019 - Nestlé Health Science and VHP join forces to launch innovative COPES program for cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - Study examines how our brain generates consciousness and loses it during anesthesia
May 2, 2019 - Transition Support Program May Aid Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes
May 2, 2019 - Study shows how neutrophils exacerbate atherosclerosis by inducing smooth muscle-cell death
May 2, 2019 - Research reveals complexity of how we make decisions
Class on human trafficking aims for change

Class on human trafficking aims for change

Around the world today, approximately 41 million people are victims of modern slavery — also known as human trafficking — according to the International Labour Organization.

A Stanford University class started in 2012 uses a multidisciplinary approach to increase awareness and understanding of human trafficking and to detect, treat and decrease it. Taught by three Stanford faculty — historian Katherine Jolluck, PhD; human rights and technology scholar Beth Van Schaack, JD; and emergency medicine physician Rebecca Walker, MD — the class has seen dramatic growth in enrollment this year.

I recently talked with Walker about the class and its objectives to educate and empower care providers.

What drew you to teaching about human trafficking? 

I initially became aware of how prevalent the problem was during medical school when I worked with migrant farm workers in North Carolina. As I learned more about it, I realized that a lot of health care providers did not know what to look for during potential opportunities to identify victims encountered as patients. Given that we are already trained in medical school to help in cases of child abuse and domestic violence, I wanted to be part of the effort in expanding those efforts to human trafficking as well.

Other universities have classes on human trafficking. How is Stanford’s class unique?

We use cases we’ve authored based on real-life human trafficking cases, such as labor trafficking for fishing in Thailand or sex trafficking of a teenager in the United States, which we use to stimulate debates, inquiries, questions and answers.

The students tackle one particular aspect of the case that they have deemed significant as a group. They use what they learn from each other to then design prevention and intervention points. We also highlight the work — through content as well as guest speakers — of people in various industries who are creating novel and innovative tools for working to stop human trafficking.

The course is coupled also with a community service course that offers placement with nonprofits in the area who have room for student involvement.

Who takes the class and do they include any medical professionals or students?

Among 73 students, there is one physician enrolled, one lawyer, and quite a few undergrads who are considering medical school.

Health care providers are, and historically have always been, in a unique position to recognize and address human rights abuses of their time. Perhaps most significantly, students gain a deeper understanding of how social determinants of health are the most influential cause of inequalities in health outcomes.

What else do students get out of the class?

Some students will choose to jump right in and work with (or start) organizations that are actively working to combat trafficking, and everyone leaves the course with more awareness of their own impact and responsibility as consumers.

I think they also gain a deeper understanding of the factors, such as poverty, lack of opportunity, and a history of abuse, that make certain individuals more vulnerable to being trafficked and the value of targeting prevention efforts. Additionally, they are more aware of cutting-edge efforts, like app-based communications and criminal justice technology, to combat perpetrators of trafficking.

Caregivers for trafficking victims can also be affected by this work. What are some of the approaches you teach that help care providers and researchers maintain their own health?

This is an important topic and one that we feel strongly about addressing for ourselves and for the students. At the very least, we want students to know that something as simple as diving into the material for a class like this can cause anxiety and stress and that is normal.

Additionally, being able to recognize when things are negatively affecting your emotional state, your behavior, or your thoughts, is a worthwhile skill for life. We hope to teach students how to recognize when it might be time to take some actions to minimize those potential negatives.

And, yes, we also discuss how such profoundly meaningful work can also often lead to their own growth and resilience as well.

Is the class having an influence on the way Stanford screens patients for human trafficking?

As homelessness increases in Silicon Valley and mental health patients find it more and more difficult to find care, we are seeing an escalating population of patients in vulnerable positions that put them in high-risk categories for being victimized. There are new efforts from our Emergency Department to work with these patients and we hope to broaden that priority as much as possible to the rest of Stanford Health Care.

Photo by Susan Coppa

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles