Does anyone have any tips on how a 63-year-old human trafficking (HT) survivor and former drug addict can find an ACE and HT informed/aware doctor? I apt to think I'm asking for a lot because there aren't many doctors out there who are informed or aware of both HT and ACEs. I am blacklisted at my healthcare facility and I fear for my future health. I'm not getting any younger.  I wrote them a letter in 2013, but it fell on deaf ears. All my healthcare providers are short with me and unsupportive. They are direct and to the point, and many times I don't even get my questions answered.  I attached the letter if you'd like to read it. I erased identifiers. Feedback is greatly appreciated. 

Thank you.

Ruth Rondon

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I share some similar concerns, Ruth. I'm not 'getting any younger either. I'd 'visited' the Woodhaven, MI truckstop some years before "Truckers Against Trafficking" really got going. Fortunately, we've got at least one Michigan [pediatric] physician among our acesconnection.com membership, and hopefully you'll get more responses, with some [workable health care] options, soon. I just switched healthcare providers to one affiliated with a 'national chain' known as 'IORA', and found a bit more positive response re: 'ACEs'. IORA doesn't have clinics in every state, but there are some between New Hampshire and Colorado, I just haven't been back to the IORA website to check out Michigan, yet. I hope you find a suitable health care provider soon.

Robert Olcott posted:

I share some similar concerns, Ruth. I'm not 'getting any younger either. I'd 'visited' the Woodhaven, MI truckstop some years before "Truckers Against Trafficking" really got going. Fortunately, we've got at least one Michigan [pediatric] physician among our acesconnection.com membership, and hopefully you'll get more responses, with some [workable health care] options, soon. I just switched healthcare providers to one affiliated with a 'national chain' known as 'IORA', and found a bit more positive response re: 'ACEs'. IORA doesn't have clinics in every state, but there are some between New Hampshire and Colorado, I just haven't been back to the IORA website to check out Michigan, yet. I hope you find a suitable health care provider soon.

Hello again.can I ask ," what is Woodhaven?

 

Ruth:

I read your letter and I think it is a very good one.  It breaks my heart to see your struggle to simply get decent healthcare.  I don't think it's asking too much to expect common courtesy from healthcare professionals.  No one should need special "ACEs" training to treat you with the respect you deserve.  I, too, have become disheartened with the way healthcare professionals treat me and my family, and have sent similar letters (that fell upon deaf ears).  I find myself suffering in silence, taking the treatment, just to get through it.  But that's not right;  something has to change.  A medical center should not be an assembly line;  these are human beings who need help and caring for them with dignity helps our community stay healthy.  God luck in your search!

Ruth - you are a brave trailblazer!  Thank you for all you've done to open my eyes to the world of human trafficking.  Your advocacy (videos etc) have educated and deeply moved me.  I am grateful that your advocacy has rippled all the way across the nation!

Previously, I think there was a physician on AC who developed documents that patients could give to providers as a way of educating them on ACEs and all the impacts?  

Additionally, I am always surprised at how much good info is in (this hyperlink) ACEs Connection ACEs 101 which is updated regularly (so disregard the date stamp).  

Another resource (see attached) although not necessarily developed for your situation, however, it may provide a space for difficult conversations with healthcare providers. NEAR:  NEUROSCIENCE  EPIGENETICS  ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES RESILIENCE - Addressing ACEs in Home Visiting by Asking, Listening and Accepting

In my experience working with healthcare providers - they are often seeking resources that provide information (they are learning about their own ACEs too) and that they can use when speaking with patients as they gain a deeper understanding of the scientific underpinnings of ACEs.  For some they may not have had much exposure to ACEs science the WHY / HOW etc.  Now we have brain scans, endocrine science, fMRI studies - etc - these are relatively recent tools that address knowledge and educational gaps.  This is the long way around to say the attached ACEs Handout was the most requested resource by local physicians - it helped guide conversations with patients - and was well understood by patients.  Maybe bringing a document such as this and maybe a journal article or this written by Dr. Felitti (click blue hyperlink to open) ACEs Connection re Felitti and Human Trafficking could help move a conversation forward?  I hope this is useful and wish you the best on your journey! 

Thank you for all you are doing .... you ARE making a big difference for so many!
Karen 

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Last edited by Karen Clemmer (ACEs Connection Staff)

Greetings all,

As a retired family physician, who is about your, Ruth's, age, I wanted to weigh in, particularly because I have trained roughly 100 family doctors.  Firstly, I believe most family docs including me would not understand much about the human trafficking issues, but if it is appropriate and makes sense, you and they may just accept that and get that care elsewhere--maybe psychiatry or psychology (will leave that to you and others).  Regarding being a former drug addict--that we should be able to work with.  If you are in a recovery program it might be nice to comment on that--although the level of understanding of recovery programs varies from doc to doc.  (If you can find someone who is known in the recovery community to be friendly, consider them.  The communities know the docs who are more likely to treat them with respect.)

Something I have learned from a dear friend is to take someone to every visit with you, again, only if that makes sense for you.  I find that it gives the patient some emotional comfort and helps you to be less "intense"--I don't really know how to say it beyond the fact that the person "holds space" with you and for you.  You get to dictate if the person says something or nothing or only if you ask. You could use them as a scribe to keep notes on what is said and/or keep track of the questions you want to ask. I have been honored to go on several doctor visits with this friend--and it is an honor and we usually go out for lunch afterwards. 

Another idea might be to talk to the office manager ahead of time to ask them to help you navigate your care. Some hospitals have care navigators, usually for special populations such as those who are high utilizers--might not hurt to call them even if you don't fall in the population.  Also, some systems have social workers (or similar) assigned to the primary care practices and that might be helpful.  

I suspect you know that there is a ton of pressure on physicians to pump out numbers-it is disheartening for doctors and patients.  It is not good medicine in most cases. Some practices worry about this less than others--or just make less money in order to spend more time. Not sure you could afford it but concierge practices and occasionally direct primary care practices work in this way.  You could also call your county medical society and/or county or state family practice/internal medicine associations to see if they have ideas I have not considered.

Also, regarding ACEs and primary care docs.  We are way behind the 8 ball here. Pediatricians are doing much better.  I learned about it after I retired--and I taught for 20 years!  Nothing I can do about the past, but now I do share the news with family doctors. Get the docs the link for Nadine Burke-Harris' TED TALK--it talks to the medical aspects (pun intended).  Also the original ACE study by Felitti and Anda are unbeatable! (https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(98)00017-8/pdf)--print it out for them--don't just give them the link--we are more likely to read it if it is easy! Highlight that 6 + ACEs decrease life expectancy by 20 years. Highlight the adversity that is occurring in your town/state--e.g. opioid epidemic.  Also, give them the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/violencepr.../acestudy/index.html so they can see more.  

I wish you the best on this journey.  Being on ACEs Connections and being your own advocate sure does seem a great place to start. Happy to talk more if you would like-private message me even if all you are saying is to read this blog again. My viewpoint is but one, but I have worked with a fair number of docs over the years. After retiring I am doing a lot of work on ACEs, Resiliency and helping places become trauma informed including teaching family physicians.  It is hard work, but worth it--so I wanted to offer you support and personal experience. 

 

Dr. Stephanie Thurston-Simmons created training for therapists called Sex Trafficking & Sex Industry Exploitation: Understanding and Treating the Multidimensional Needs of Victims

In addition to working domestically, Dr. Thurston-Simmons is involved in the fight against global sex trafficking. Traveling the Mideast assisting refugees and the rescue networks designing, implementing, and overseeing a trauma treatment program for men, women, and children that have been trafficked, tortured, or recruited as soldiers.

https://www.psychologytoday.co...-southlake-tx/160891

 

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