Kimberly S.G. Chang, MD, MPH


Family Physician and Human Trafficking and Healthcare Policy Fellow, Asian Health Services (AHS), Oakland, California; Vice Speaker of the House, Executive Board, National Association of Community Health Centers; Cofounder, HEAL Trafficking; Commissioner, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, & Pacific Islanders

Kimberly S.G. Chang, MD is a family physician and Human Trafficking and Healthcare Policy Fellow at Asian Health Services, in Oakland, CA. In 2021, she was appointed by President Biden to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She was previously Site Director at the Frank Kiang Medical Center, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA.  Dr. Chang assisted in designing, and directed the clinical start-up of this family practice clinic.  In addition, she provides care for many commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC) and is a Co-founder and Steering Committee Member of HEAL Trafficking.  She was a trainer on CSEC issues for the National District Attorneys Association, and serves on a Technical Working Group for the Administration for Children and Families, to provide a pilot training for health care professionals on human trafficking.  Her presentations and publications have focused on cultural competency, human trafficking issues, underserved populations, and global health issues.  Dr. Chang received her medical degree from the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, Honolulu, HI in 1999 and completed her family medicine residency at San Francisco General Hospital, the University of California, San Francisco, CA in 2002.

Addressing the Role of FQHCs in Caring for Victims of Human Trafficking: Recommendations for Moving Forward


The primary goal of this project was to create policy recommendations from the Association of Asian Pacific Health Organizations (AAPCHO) to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to enable Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to provide health care for people who have been victims of human trafficking.  The secondary goal was to build awareness amongst federal and FQHC stakeholders that human trafficking is a health issue.


Since the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in 2000, there has been growing recognition that human trafficking is a health issue.  In 2013, the US released a five year federal strategic action plan to address human trafficking from a multi-sector perspective, including healthcare; and a 2013 Institute of Medicine report on child sex trafficking further highlighted this as a health issue.  In 2015, there have been several bills and debates in Congress over health components in proposed trafficking legislation.  An estimated 21 million people worldwide are trafficked, and 100,000 to 300,000 children annually are at risk of being sex trafficked in the US.  Severe health effects of trafficking include physical and sexual trauma, psychological and mental health consequences, and social harms.  As a part of the healthcare safety net, FQHCs are positioned to prevent, to identify and to intervene early for this vulnerable population: studies suggest that 28-50% of victims in the US encounter health care professionals while being trafficked.  


A review of the medical literature was performed to address the policy implications of the intersection of human trafficking and health.  Direct interviews with key stakeholders were conducted with: individual health care providers, FQHC executive leadership, national FQHC organizations, federal agencies, and foundations.  


There are several results based on themes arising from these interviews: 1) policy recommendations to HRSA were drafted, 2) a health and human trafficking in-service to HRSA is planned for May 18, 2015) a coalition of national organizations representing FQHCs was built to raise awareness on the issue.


It is our goal that these policy recommendations, issue awareness and coalition building will move the issue of caring for victims of human trafficking into the health sector from the criminal justice realm.  We hope to create and embed robust systems of care for victims of human trafficking in the healthcare delivery system.


Jeffrey Caballero, MPH
Executive Director
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations

Isha Weerasinghe, MSc
Senior Policy Analyst
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations