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AFN President-Elect Accepts Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking

At the White House last month, two organizations received recognition for their work to end human trafficking. Academy of Forensic Nursing President-Elect Debra Holbrook was on hand to accept one of the awards. The 2022 Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons was presented by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken as part of the 2023 meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF).

“These organizations inspire us all to take action to end trafficking in persons once and for all,” stated Blinken in a press release.

AFN President-Elect Debra Holbrook with award in front of American Flag at the White House
AFN President-Elect Debra Holbrook at the White House with the Presidential Award to Mercy Medical Center.

Holbrook accepted the Presidential Award for Mercy Medical Center’s Blue Dot Human Trafficking Initiative. Presented on behalf of President Biden, the award recognized the organization “for its innovative and holistic approach for the care and wellbeing of victims of human trafficking and the collaboration with first responders for a timely and effective response, in an effort to initiate and further criminal investigations against those engaged in trafficking in persons.”

The initiative at Mercy Medical Center, where Holbrook serves as director of forensic nursing, helps healthcare professionals recognize victims of trafficking, and teaches them how to intervene.

The second organization receiving the Presidential Award, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc., provides advocacy and legal representation for Mexico-based migrant workers.

To learn more about the efforts at Mercy Medical Center to combat human trafficking, visit:

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