For Immediate Release November 30, 2022

Media Contacts:

Áine McLaughlin – University of Maryland SAFE CENTER
E: P: 504-777-6383

Jania Matthews – University of Maryland Capital Region Health
E: P: 240-603-5007

The Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) awarded the University of Maryland Support, Advocacy, Freedom, and Empowerment (SAFE) Center for Human Trafficking Survivors,in partnership with the University of Maryland Capital Region Health (UM Capital), a $799,878 grant to establish a comprehensive human trafficking response and referral pathway in five units at UM Capital Region Medical Center in Prince George's County.

The SAFE Center will work with UM Capital to implement the Serve, Identify, Respond, and eValuate (SIRV) Model at the hospital, which the SAFE Center jointly developed with the Maryland Hospital Association and Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force in 2019. The model is aimed at improving identification of and response to victims of sex and labor trafficking within healthcare systems by providing best practices for screening, identification, and support of victims in a medical setting.

The OVC Services for Victims of Human Trafficking grant, awarded annually to victim service organizations focusing on the development and expansion of services for survivors, will fund the SAFE Center's implementation of this model across five service areas within UM Capital's Medical Center, including the Emergency Room; Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center; OB/GYN; Behavioral Health; and Outpatient Clinic.

"When hospitals partner with community-based organizations to address the needs of the County, we are accelerating our mission," said Nathaniel Richardson, Jr., President and CEO, University of Maryland Capital Region Health. "It is an honor to receive this grant and we look forward to working in collaboration with the SAFE Center to implement a response model that will address and reduce the instances of human trafficking in Prince George's County."

"We are so proud that the University of Maryland's SAFE Center and University of Maryland Capital Region Health are the recipients of a grant that will support human trafficking response and efforts within the hospital," said Prince George's County Executive Alsobrooks. "Victims of human trafficking are often identified by law enforcement, service providers, faith-based institutions, and medical settings, and this grant will support the appropriate training for medical professionals within the University of Maryland Capital Region to ensure that Prince George's County is doing its part to identify and provide high-quality services to trafficking victims. The UMD SAFE Center works very closely with the Prince George's County Human Trafficking Task Force and we will continue to support community and stakeholder awareness and comprehensive services to trafficking victims."

Implementation of this model at UM Capital, the second busiest trauma center in Maryland and largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Prince George's County, will empower healthcare workers to identify trafficking risk and offer evidence-based, trauma-informed, patient-centered support to individuals who have experienced trafficking or are at high risk. This project will serve as a pilot for the implementation of the SIRV model, with the intention of scaling the model to other hospitals in the system.

"We are excited to work with the hospital to improve outcomes for survivors of trafficking in Prince George's County," said Ambassador Susan Esserman, JD, founder and director of the SAFE Center. "Putting this model into action is just the first step towards ensuring that medical facilities across the state are well equipped to provide the best care possible to victims of trafficking."

"Implementing this model in hospitals gives healthcare workers a critical, uniform tool to help identify victims of human trafficking and get them on the path to supportive resources immediately," said Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). "We are proud that the SAFE Center played a role in developing the SIRV model."

An initiative of UMB and University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) through its formal partnership for innovation and impact, University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State, the SAFE Center provides free, survivor-centered and trauma-informed services to victims of trafficking that empower survivors to heal and reclaim their lives, while working to prevent trafficking and better serve survivors through research and policy advocacy.

About the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State

The University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State is a collaboration between the state of Maryland's two most powerful public research institutions: the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). It leverages the sizable strengths and complementary missions of both institutions to strengthen Maryland's innovation economy, advance interdisciplinary research, create opportunities for students, and solve important problems for the people of Maryland and the nation. Working together, UMB and UMCP achieve innovation and impact through collaboration.

About the University of Maryland Capital Region Health

Providing primary and specialty health care services to Prince George's County and the neighboring area, University of Maryland Capital Region Health was established in September 2017 upon formal affiliation with the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and is committed to improving health outcomes in the communities it serves. University of Maryland Capital Region Health operates the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center in Largo, University of Maryland Laurel Medical Center, University of Maryland Bowie Health Campus, and the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Group with practice locations in Cheverly, Suitland, Bowie, Laurel, and the National Harbor. Together, community physicians and University of Maryland School of Medicine (SOM) faculty provide clinical expertise across a range of specialties and programs including acute rehabilitation; anesthesiology; critical and chronic ventilation care; emergency medicine; neonatology; orthopedics; and vascular surgery. University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center is home to the State's second-busiest trauma center and a highly regarded cardiac surgery program, which is led by faculty from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a certified and designated primary stroke center.

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About the University of Maryland, Baltimore

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) was founded in 1807 as the Maryland College of Medicine, which now stands as the nation's oldest public medical school. In response to growing social and cultural needs, UMB's mission has evolved and grown tremendously. Widely recognized as a preeminent institution, UMB serves as the academic health, law, and social work university of the University System of Maryland, and is guided by a mission of excellence in education, research, clinical care, and public service.

UMB is a thriving academic health center combining cutting-edge biomedical research, exceptional patient care, and nationally ranked academic programs. With extramural funding totaling $682 million in Fiscal Year 2021, each tenured/tenure-track faculty member generates an average of $1.5 million in research grants each year. The 3,123 faculty members conduct leading-edge research and develop solutions and technologies that impact human health locally and around the world. World-class facilities and cores, as well as interprofessional centers and institutes, allow faculty to investigate pressing questions in a highly collaborative fashion. As a result, the more than 7,200 students, postdocs, and trainees directly benefit from working and learning alongside leading experts as they push the boundaries of their fields.

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About the University of Maryland, College Park

The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 38,000 students, 9,000 faculty and staff, and 250 academic programs. Its faculty includes two Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, 60 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The institution has a $1.9 billion operating budget and secures $560 million annually in external research funding.

For more information about the University of Maryland, College Park, visit