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Human Trafficking: How to Recognize and Respond

Tuesday, April 17th | Lunch Keynote  | 12:15-1: 30 pm 

Human Trafficking: How to Recognize and Respond (Panel) 

This education session is presented by the St. Louis Area Hotel Association’s Educational Committee.

To register to attend only this educational session click here. (SLAHA members free)

Click here to see the local organizations who are fighting Human Trafficking in St. Louis that will be at our expo!


Kathleen Thimsen, DPN, MSN, WOCN, FNS

Kathleen has her doctorate in nursing practice and is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes Jewish College in St. Louis, Missouri where she teaches Public and Community Health.

Working in Public Health for over 18 years, Kathleen is one of the founding members of the Human Trafficking Collaborative Network that is housed within the Washington University Institute of Public Health. Kathleen leads the Healthcare systems workgroup to advance evidence-based practice clinical identification, response, and care of victims of human trafficking. She completed a Forensic Certificate at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Her work in Forensics is related to forensics aspects in clinical practice.

Her clinical practice and research are focused on vulnerable populations, health care disparities and all forms of interpersonal violence.

Katie Rhoades, MSW

Katie is the founder and executive director of Healing Action, a St. Louis Based NPO that provides direct services to adult survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. She holds a Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis Brown School of Social Work. Katie’s professional experiences spans 14 years working in the mental health field with adults who experience severe and persistent mental health concerns and has spent the last 10 years within the anti-trafficking movement. Prior to her education and professional experience, she was a victim of sex trafficking and spent 3 years in the sex trade. Fortunately, she was about to leave “the life” in 2002 and begin her own journey of healing and restoration.



Sergeant Adam Kavanaugh  

Sgt Kavanaugh is an officer with the St. Louis County Police Department, Supervisor of the St. Louis County Multi-Jurisdictional Human Trafficking Task Force, and Deputy Commander of the Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.