Hospital to host program on human trafficking

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Local health and public safety experts this month will lead a community presentation at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital about human trafficking. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 22 in the Assisi Conference Rooms at the hospital, 855 S. Main St., Oconto Falls.

Human trafficking is a widespread and evolving crime in the United States and abroad that affects both urban and rural communities.

“It is important for rural communities to get informed because we often assume our children and families are isolated from major crimes,” said Dr. Amy Romandine Kratz, a family medicine physician at the HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Prevea Oconto Falls Health Center. “Traffickers don’t discriminate geographically, and some specifically target rural areas because they can often go undetected.”

Scheduled speakers include Romandine Kratz along with Jamie Kuhn, detective at the Oconto Falls Police Department and Oconto Falls school resource officer, and Shelby Mitchell, a sex trafficking victim advocate at Family Services Sexual Assault Center Northeast Wisconsin.

Topics during the educational presentation include human trafficking definitions and trends; facts and statistics about human trafficking; how the human trafficking pandemic is affecting the local community; human trafficking warning signs and risk factors; the importance of screening during doctor visits; and common misconceptions about human trafficking.

The free event is open to adults, as well as teenagers and pre-teens age 12 and up with a parent or guardian present. Food and beverages will be provided. Registration is required online by April 15 at www.stclarememorial.org under “Classes, Groups & Events.” For information, call 920-848-6329.