Meritus Health raises awareness for human trafficking

Press Releases

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Meritus Health on Tuesday participated in the ‘Red Sand Project,’ a national initiative to bring attention to human trafficking.

Participants poured red sand in between sidewalk bricks to represent those who fall through the cracks and are not recognized as victims of trafficking and exploitation.

“Trafficking can happen anywhere, and traffickers can be any age or gender. Some are strangers, and some are family members,” said Jennifer McNew, registered nurse and forensic nurse manager at Meritus Medical Center.

The forensic nurses at Meritus are specialty trained to provide care for patients who have been victims of violence, including human trafficking. They also collaborate with community agencies, including law enforcement, Citizens Assisting and Sheltering the Abused (CASA), Child Protective Services and the Child Advocacy Center.

“Although we take time today to raise awareness for those who are overlooked and most vulnerable for being at risk of spending their lives exploited by others, it’s not just today. Every day our forensic nursing team faces this reality. We are here to meet the medical, forensic and mental health needs of all victims of violence,” McNew said.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text: 233733.

Details on the forensic nursing program at Meritus Medical Center can be found at