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Calendar of Events

Last Updated: February 20, 2018
 The following articles - and more - can be found in our print edition: 

Stop Human Trafficking Initiative at Huntington Hospital

Dr. Santhosh Paulus and Dr. Ram Raju

What began as one physician’s personal crusade to raise awareness about human trafficking has grown into a health system-wide initiative to combat modern-day slavery. Santhosh Paulus, MD, site director of Huntington Hospital’s family medicine residency program, recently spearheaded Northwell Health’s first symposium regarding the victims of human trafficking and how hospital staff can recognize signs of human trafficking.

Human trafficking is an issue close to the heart of Dr. Paulus. In 2015, he and a team bicycled across the country to raise funds and awareness about human trafficking. Two years later, Dr. Paulus created a human trafficking response program taskforce at Huntington Hospital, which currently includes more than a dozen staff members who have been trained by Restore NYC, an anti-trafficking organization based out of Manhattan, to identify and assist human trafficking victims and provide longitudinal care to survivors.

In the next phase, that taskforce will train Huntington Hospital emergency department and Dolan Family Health Center staff to recognize a potential human trafficking victim and how to help them. Northwell Health Community Health Investment Officer Ram Raju, MD, anticipates that this training will be rolled out through the Northwell Health system.
“Human trafficking is a pervasive issue and as a leader in health care, I am proud that Northwell Health is developing this training program and working to help this vulnerable population,” Dr. Raju said.

The training, led by Dr. Paulus and the Huntington Hospital taskforce, will involve six sessions done in person and also is available online through Northwell Health’s iLearn system. The first level of training involves making both clinical and non-clinical staff more aware of human trafficking. The second phase will show clinical and non-clinical employees separately how to recognize potential signs of human trafficking victims. The final level of training is for the taskforce and nurse managers who will be available 24/7, to assist when a potential victim has been identified.

Huntington Hospital’s symposium, held on January 12th, featured Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office Assistant District Attorney Stacy Skorupa, Suffolk County Police Department’s Sargeant Frank Messana, Gallerani Consulting Group’s Tabitha Gallerani and Mentari’s Shandra Woworuntu, who is a human trafficking survivor.
“I appreciate all of the support that I have gotten from Huntington Hospital’s administration and am looking forward to seeing this program rolled out to all Northwell Health hospitals,” said Dr. Paulus. “As a father of four girls, I will do everything that I can to make an impact on this important issue.”

Local Districts Respond to
Florida School Shooting

In the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that took place in Florida last week, Long Island police and local school officials are speaking out, highlighting safety procedures that have been put in place.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Acting Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder were on hand at a Thursday, February 15th news conference at Carle Place High School where protocols were explained.
In Nassau, Ryder said officials at 40 of the county’s 56 school districts have access to the Rave Panic Button, a cellphone alert system that allows teachers or administrators to notify authorities about an active-shooter situation with the push of a button.

Ryder noted that with a Rave Panic Call police are immediately dispatched to the call location. There is no wait for a 911 call. The system also allows police to immediately access school security cameras so they can develop their response to a shooting as it unfolds.

Suffolk Police Chief of Department Stuart Cameron said his department also works with educators to determine who might be a threat to school safety. Suffolk police have installed direct phone lines in 263 county schools so intelligence unit officers can speak directly to administrators during an emergency. Officers in each Suffolk precinct are also equipped with tactical gear, including high-powered rifles and reinforced body armor in case they have to storm a school.

In the Oyster Bay East Norwich School District, work is set to be done on the security vestibules this month, which were approved by voter referendum in December 2015. The vestibules were part of the district’s response to a “Terroristic Threat” made by custodian, Brian Hulsen, who worked at James H. Vernon school at the time. The school district held several public meetings after the September 2015 incident, and Hulsen resigned. The proposition approved by voters included additional safety and security measures including the vestibules, security card readers, additional security cameras and a new visitor management system.

This Week's Editorial and Letters