Assaults to human dignity affront the primary goals of the health professions

Founded by nursing professor Barbara Moynihan, PhD, APRN, AFN, FAAN in 2012, the STARfish Project comprises a group of national experts from various professional disciplines who are committed to taking action against human trafficking from a healthcare standpoint. The team has identified areas in healthcare policy that can be addressed by updating policy and educating clinicians regarding the assessment and comprehensive treatment of trafficking survivors.

The mission of the STARfish Project is to stop human trafficking through primary prevention and to advance the recovery of rescued survivors. We carry out this mission by addressing areas of healthcare policy that need improvement, and by creating training programs for healthcare workers on trafficking awareness, detection and intervention.

Our Objectives

- Increase communications between healthcare, law enforcement and related professionals
- Formulate policy for managing care and services for survivors
- Develop an action plan for effective interprofessional response to trafficking survivors


Barbara Moynihan, PhD, APRN-BC, AFN, FAAN. Answering Service: 888-616-8563

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A parable of caring, persistence, and "a huge difference"

A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked he could see a young boy in the distance, and as he drew nearer he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water. Time and again, he kept hurling things into the ocean.

As the man approached even closer, he was able to see that the boy was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water. The man asked the boy what he was doing. The boy replied, "I am throwing these washed-up starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die through lack of oxygen."

"But," said the man, "You can't possibly save them all. There are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can't possibly make a difference."

The boy looked down, frowning for a moment, then bent down to pick up another starfish, smiling as he threw it back into the sea. He replied, "I made a huge difference to that one!"       

~Author Unknown~


Recognize the signs of the trafficked person in the community and in health care settings.

Even a small amount can have a large effect

Preventing human trafficking requires that it not remain hidden. Increased awareness is key. The STARfish Project is dedicated to developing training for healthcare and other professionals who interact with victims and survivors of trafficking.

To advance the mission, we are seeking financial support from donors, both corporate and individual. The smallest donation can make the biggest difference! The efforts of each of us will provide a groundswell of support to stop trafficking and advance recovery.

The University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut has generously agreed to facilitate donations. Thank you in advance for your consideration in support of the STARfish Project.

Donate to the STARfish Project

We welcome your donation. Please make checks payable to "University of New Haven" and write "For STARfish Project" in the memo of the check. Mail with a cover letter designating support for The STARfish Project to:

Jacqueline Koral
Associate Vice President of Philanthropy
University of New Haven
300 Boston Post Road
West Haven, CT 06516