South Dakota nonprofit recognized for providing immediate safety, stable housing and healthcare to human trafficking victims.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Call to Freedom, a nonprofit organization focused on navigating a healthy path for victims of human trafficking, has received the 28th annual Monroe E. Trout Premier Cares Award and a $100,000 cash prize from Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC), a leading healthcare improvement company.
Sponsored by Premier and its alliance of more than 4,100 hospitals and health systems and approximately 200,000 other providers and organizations, the Premier Cares Award recognizes exemplary efforts by nonprofit community organizations to improve the health of populations in need.
Call to Freedom (CTF), based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, provides supportive services for victims of human trafficking including safe housing, mental health counseling, medical assistance, transportation and more. Since CTF’s inception in 2016, the organization has served more than 300 survivors and has secured stable employment for 90 percent of individuals residing in Marissa’s Project, CTF’s supportive housing program, within six months. The nonprofit also works with the community to educate and provide resources on combatting human trafficking.
“When an individual comes out of a human trafficking scenario, we aim to provide protection, healing and restoration of the body, mind and soul,” said Becky Rasmussen, Executive Director of Call to Freedom. “At Call to Freedom, we work as a community bridge to connect these victims and survivors with the resources and services they need, including having a safe space to go and a friendly face to talk to. We are so grateful to Premier for recognizing the incredible work of our frontline providers and honoring our efforts with the Premier Cares Award. These funds will ensure every client has the resources and support they need, while allowing us to educate, train and advocate to reduce human trafficking in South Dakota and the region.”
Medical care is one of the top concerns for survivors of human trafficking. Call to Freedom has collaborated with Avera Health, an integrated health system and Premier member based in Sioux Falls, to establish best practices and protocols for the needs of this population. Working with case managers from both organizations, clinicians in Avera’s emergency departments are able to treat the victims without any questions, guaranteeing confidentiality and an atmosphere of safety during their visits.
“I am incredibly proud of the outstanding organizations across the country that are extending a lifeline to the medically underserved in our communities,” said Susan DeVore, CEO of Premier. “Human trafficking victims often have significant medical concerns, including substance abuse and mental health issues. The partnership Call to Freedom has created with Avera comes from a place of compassion and demonstrates how both organizations are community leaders in providing a safe avenue for this vulnerable population. Call to Freedom and all of its frontline providers are truly making an impact on the members of its Sioux Falls community, and we are thrilled to recognize their efforts.”
A panel of national healthcare leaders selects the Premier Cares Award winner each year. The program spotlights community-based healthcare initiatives and helps other organizations learn to replicate the programs, as well as provides funding support to help winners advance their programs. To date, the program has provided more than $3 million to more than 100 organizations nationwide.
Premier has presented the Cares Award annually since 1991, when it was created by Dr. Monroe E. Trout, former CEO of American Healthcare Systems, one of Premier’s heritage organizations. The competition is open to nonprofit organizations that have been in existence for more than two years, are providing creative solutions to health status improvement, can provide documentation of outcomes and impact on a specific population, and have programs that can be replicated in other communities.
About Call to Freedom
Navigating a healthy path for victims of human trafficking. Call to Freedom provides victim-centered responsive services to those who have experienced sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Our Vision is to create a cohesive community model of care and support for victims, bringing communities together while educating and advocating to stop human trafficking. The focus of Call to Freedom’s work involves responding to victims by creating a strong network of frontline providers who can offer emergency housing, physical and mental health care, medical assistance, chemical dependency treatment, trauma counseling, job skill training, transportation, occupational therapy, and other services as needed. Due to very limited safe housing options, Call to Freedom opened a small supportive housing project named “Marissa’s Project” in October of 2016. Please visit Call to Freedom sites on www.calltofreedom.org, as well as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and You Tube.