Online Program

Human Trafficking Module 2: Identification Strategies, Trauma Informed Interviewing


This module contains 4 sessions from the Human Trafficking Conference held at Northeastern University on April 27, 2019.  State and National experts present investigative techniques used by law enforcement, providing trauma informed care for healthcare providers, trauma informed interviewing and outreach to survivors. 

1: Investigative Techniques and Protecting Victims, and Human Trafficking and the Courts Carrie Spiros, Assistant District Attorney, Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office (MDAO) and Meghann Benesh, MA State Trooper with the High Risk Victims Unit

2: Trauma-Informed Care and Resiliency, Annie Lewis-O’Connor, PhD, NP-BC, MPH, FAAN, DF-IAFN, DF-AFN

3: Trauma Informed Interviewing, Melanie Puorto, HEAL Trafficking (Health, Education, Advocacy, Linkage)

4: On the Street: Outreach for Human Trafficking Lydia Lawson, Emergency Room perspective


Cost: Free

Contact Hours 0.0


Participants will be able to:

1. Describe investigative techniques used by law enforcement to protect victims.
2. Describe issues with human trafficking and the courts.
3. Describe the process of providing trauma-informed care. 

4. Describe trauma-informed approaches to interviewing individuals suspected/confirmed to be involved with human trafficking.
5. Describe best practices for outreach to those at-risk or involved with human trafficking. 


Carrie Spiros, Assistant District Attorney, Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office (MDAO) 
Carrie Spiros is an Assistant District Attorney with the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office. In her role, she handles serious criminal cases which she investigates, charges, and takes to trial. Spiros specializes in human trafficking, sexual assault cases and high risk domestic violence. Since 2012 when the human trafficking law took effect in Massachusetts, she has investigated and indicted (12) human trafficking cases. She has successful taken four (4) human trafficking cases to trial in Superior Court.

She became a prosecutor ten years ago after receiving her law degree from New England Law. Spiros graduated from Providence College with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Prior to law, Spiros worked as a television news producer.

Meghann Benesh, MA State Trooper with the High Risk Victims Unit

Meghann Benesh has been a Trooper with the Massachusetts State Police since May 2014.  She is presently assigned to the High Risk Victim Unit (H.R.V.U.), located at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Fusion Center. The High Risk Victim Unit investigates adult and child human trafficking cases with a victim-centered focus.  Prior to being in the High Risk Victim Unit, Meghann was a member of the Division of Field Services with the State Police, having been assigned to the Troop C Community Action Team (C.A.T), and to the Millbury Barracks. She has participated in numerous investigations that have resulted in the arrest of individuals for various forms of criminal activity to include Crimes of Violence: Human Trafficking, Assault, Sexual Assault, Narcotics Violations, Domestic Violence Incidents and Firearm Violations. She has worked cases in an undercover capacity leading to the arrest of suspects including pimps and “johns”. She has received numerous trainings in the investigations of Human Trafficking and is a certified Sexual Assault Investigator.

Meghann has a BS in Sociology and Criminology and Law from Suffolk University and an MS in Human Services from UMASS Boston.

Annie Lewis-O’Connor, PhD, NP-BC, MPH, FAAN, DF-IAFN, DF-AFN
Founder & Director of the C.A.R.E Clinic @ Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Associate Scientist- Department of Women’s Health
Co-Chair-  Partners Trauma-Informed Steering Committee
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-  Clinical Scholar 2018-2021
Instructor- Harvard Medical School

Dr. Annie Lewis-O’Connor is a dually Board Certified Pediatric and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.  She is the Founder and Director of the C.A.R.E Clinic (Caring Approach to Resiliency & Empowerment) and Co-Director of the C.A.R.E Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. This clinic and Center is committed to providing patient centered and trauma-informed health care to people who have experienced individual, interpersonal and collective trauma.  Dr. Lewis-O’Connor addresses violence from four pillars: Research, Policy, Education, and Clinical practice. Dr. Lewis-O’Connor is published in peer-reviewed journals and academic books on the topic of violence against women and children, trauma-informed care, and the effects of trauma, violence and abuse on health. Her current research is focused on measuring Trauma-Informed Care models of care in adult health care settings and exploration of best ‘screening’ (inquiry) methods for trauma, violence and abuse. Currently, Annie is a Clinical Scholar with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2018-2021) focusing on health care leadership using a health equity lens.  Since 2012 Annie has served as Co-Chair of the Partners Steering Committee on Trauma- Informed Care. She served as Chair of the National Health Collaborative on Violence and Abuse advancing policy and clinical practice for survivors of violence and abuse. Since 2010 she has served on the Executive Board of Casa Myrna Vasquez, the oldest and longest standing shelter in Mass for women and children. She received her Master’s in Nursing from Simmons College in Boston, a Masters in Public Health from Boston University and a PhD from Boston College.

Melanie Puorto, HEAL Trafficking (Health, Education, Advocacy, Linkage)

Melanie Puorto Conte, MS is a professor at the Sage College’s Graduate School of Health Sciences. She teaches in the Forensic Mental health Masters program and designed and teaches the curriculum for the Human Trafficking masters level classes. She has done many presentations nationally, regionally and locally on working with and identifying, screening and serving survivors of human trafficking. In the New York State she has presented to Westchester Medical Center Health Alliance Hospitals,  Albany Medical College on working with survivors of human trafficking, St. Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam. She is currently consulting with Ellis Medicine to provide onsite screening, training and policy development. She recently presented at the Tucker Redfern Trauma Conference at Mercy Hospital System in Springfield, Missouri on Trauma Informed Approaches to Screening and Serving Trafficking Survivors as well as presenting on the same topic for State University New York Schenectady as well as for St. Peters Health Partners Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners Annual Meeting.

On the Street: Outreach for Human Trafficking Lydia Lawson, Emergency Room Technician

Lydia Lawson has over 7 years of experience in the Emergency Department at Winchester Hospital. She has been assisting trafficked women and men locally and internationally since 2015. Lydia has traveled to the Philippines twice with Wipe Every Tear, a non-profit organization assisting with women in the sex trade. She lives in Lynn with her husband Alex, and her two children, Paxton and Piper.   




Presenter Disclosure Statement:

Planners and presenters of this program have no conflict of interest to disclose and no commercial support has been provided for this program Participants successfully completing this program will receive a statement of credit for contact hours. Statements of Credit may be printed on-line after successful completion of the learning assessment.

Continuing Education Information:

The School Health Academy provides these continuing education hours through Northeastern University School of Nursing. Northeastern University School of Nursing is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC’s) commission on accreditation. 

MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Provider Number      2019U0003    

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