The victims of human trafficking face mental and physical scars, and a local woman has been recognized for doing her best to help them.
Cathy Miller, associate professor of nursing, has been recognized as a change agent by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation for her work with human trafficking victims and survivors.Miller received honorable mention for the 2019 Pearl Birnbaum Hurwitz Humanism in Healthcare Award.
The award highlights a woman who exemplifies humanism and has advanced – through scholarship, advocacy and leadership – the well-being of vulnerable or underserved populations in healthcare.
“We are extremely proud of Dr. Miller’s recognition. Her work to meet the needs of victims and survivors of sex trafficking has touched so many who might not otherwise have the care and support that she provides,” said Dr. Barbara Haas, UT Tyler School of Nursing executive director.
Miller is using a $450,000 grant from the United States Department of Justice to fund a project titled, “Specialized Services and Mentoring for Child and Youth Victims of Sex Trafficking.”
She has been working through the Texas Coastal Border Region Human Trafficking Task Force, which she co-founded and co-chairs.
“Human trafficking is an issue in Texas,” said Miller. “My role as a nurse is to help decrease the mental and physical health problems of victims and survivors. The task force uses a collaborative approach – law enforcement, healthcare and victim service providers – to prevent further victimization, support victims and bring awareness to human trafficking.”
Miller has worked with anti-human trafficking organizations for the past 15 years and has more than 25 years of experience caring for survivors in the emergency department.
She presents and offers training worldwide on human trafficking, complex trauma and child sex trafficking.
Miller serves as an expert witness for the United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas on the topic of child sexual exploitation and is a consultant and trainer for the U.S. Office of Trafficking in Persons.
She is director of research and scholarship for the Global Strategic Operatives for the Eradication of Human Trafficking.