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, MPH, is a Family Physician and Director of Human Trafficking and Healthcare Policy at Asian Health Services (AHS) in Oakland, California. In 2015, Dr. Chang completed the Commonwealth Fund Minority Health Policy Fellowship at Harvard, examining the role of federally qualified health centers in addressing human trafficking. Previously, Dr. Chang was the inaugural Clinic Director at AHS’ Frank Kiang Medical Center and provided care for many commercially sexually exploited children. She trained thousands of front-line multidisciplinary professionals on the human trafficking healthcare intersection, provided invited expert testimony to the US Helsinki Commission on "Best Practices in Rescuing Trafficking Victims", serves on the National Advisory Committee on the Sex Trafficking of Children and Youth in the United States, and co-founded HEAL Trafficking. She was elected as the Vice Speaker of the House on the Executive Board of Directors for the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) in 2018, and in 2021 was announced by the White House as a Commissioner for the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. She was nationally recognized with a Physician Advocacy Merit Award from the Institute on Medicine as a Profession, and featured in the New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, PBS Newshour, the Sacramento Bee, and several podcasts.

Dr. Chang received her BA from Columbia University, her MD from the University of Hawaii, specialized in family medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and earned her MPH from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she was recognized with the 2015 Dr. Fang-Ching Sun Memorial Award for commitment to promoting the health of vulnerable people. Her most recent awards include the Harvard School of Public Health 2020 Emerging Public Health Professional Award, and the 2021 UCSF Alumni Humanitarian Service Award.

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