Sen. Gary Peters (D-Michigan) urged for legislation “to help health care professionals identify patients who are victims of human trafficking” in a press conference at Wayne State’s School of Medicine on March 30. Peters said the Trafficking Awareness Training for Health Care Act will provide funding to medical schools “to develop the best practices and research,” and hopes WSU will apply for the grant once the bill is passed. “I think we would have an outstanding shot here at this university to be that leader, given the fact that we have too many folks in our area that are victims, and we have an outstanding school that has the unique capabilities of making that a reality,” Peters said.
School of Medicine Interim Dean Jack Sobel said Gov. Rick Snyder’s selection of WSU faculty members Herbert Smitherman Jr. and Dena Nazer to serve on the state’s Human Trafficking Commission indicates the university’s commitment and involvement to the issue.
“We are in a unique position and have a responsibility to participate in identifying and treating (victims of human trafficking),” Sobel said.
Angela Aufdemberge, president and CEO of Vista Maria organization, and Patrick Lindsey, WSU vice president of government and community affairs, also spoke at the press conference.