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JoNell Efantis Potter, Ph.D.

2021 Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards
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JoNell Efantis Potter, Ph.D. | Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Miami, Florida

JoNell E. Potter, Ph.D., FAAN, APRN is a trailblazer in the creation of a medical and mental health model of care for survivors of human trafficking. Dr. Potter is a Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences with joint appointments in the Department of Pediatrics and School of Nursing and Health Studies; and serves as Vice Chair of Research, Chief of Women’s HIV Service, and Founding Director of the THRIVE Program. 

Dr. Potter has contributed to several influential research studies over the past 40 years that have transformed health practices for women. One of her proudest accomplishments is founding the THRIVE (Trafficking Healthcare Resources and Intra-disciplinary Victim Services and Education) Clinic at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine in collaboration with the Jackson Health System, one of the first such clinics in the Nation devoted solely to the medical and mental health care of survivors of all forms of human trafficking. 

The THRIVE clinic provides ongoing, multidisciplinary, comprehensive medical and mental health services to help patients re-engineer their lives. To date, 196 patients have received services through the THRIVE Clinic, including 40 minors. Dr. Potter’s model of delivering healthcare to this population has been replicated in other parts of the country. 

Dr. Potter and her healthcare team have also trained healthcare professionals to identify and respond appropriately to the needs of human trafficking patients, particularly in Emergency Departments. Her work has helped erase the stigma and injustices that patients often encounter when they initially access healthcare services in the Emergency Department. 

Dr. Potter has fought to influence public policy to change Medicaid regulations by expanding coverage to human trafficking survivors. She was invited to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process. Dr. Potter was a panel member for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2018 Human Trafficking Symposium and the Police Executive Research Forum on Law Enforcement’s Role in Combating Human Trafficking. 

In 2017, she received the Advocate of the Year Award from the Miami Dade Women’s Fund and the Visionary Award from the Katherine Fernandez Rundle State Attorney’s Office in honor of her groundbreaking work with the THRIVE Clinic.

2021 National Crime Victims' Service Awards Tribute Video

Watch this video to learn more about JoNell Efantis Potter, 2021 recipient of the Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services.