Cindy McCain to Speak on Combatting Human Trafficking at 2019 MHPA Annual Conference

McCain helped Arizona build national model of care for victims of human trafficking

Washington, DC (August 6, 2019) – The Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA) and its member health plans welcome Cindy McCain as the keynote speaker for the MHPA annual conference to be held in Washington, DC September 18-20.

This year’s conference theme, Medicaid: Innovation at Work, will highlight the strides Medicaid health plans are making in addressing today’s increasingly complex healthcare needs for Medicaid beneficiaries, including specialized populations such as victims of human trafficking.

Mrs. McCain, the wife of the late U.S. Senator John McCain, is a philanthropist and businesswoman. Her leadership in combatting human trafficking and her extensive network of partnerships will add valuable insight to conversations surrounding innovation in the Medicaid industry.

"I’m honored to speak at the MHPA annual conference. Identifying and combatting human trafficking in all health care settings is critically important,” said Mrs. McCain. “Arizona has developed a collaborative system that is improving identification and comprehensive victim care and I’m pleased to be able to share our state’s successful model of care with nationwide Medicaid health plans."

As a longtime advocate for human trafficking victims, Mrs. McCain co-chairs the Arizona Human Trafficking Council (Council) and influenced the development of a statewide stakeholder collaborative to fight these crimes.

Mrs. McCain will discuss the Maricopa County Child Sex Trafficking Collaborative (Collaborative), a public-private effort between Mercy Care, an Arizona Medicaid health plan administered by Aetna; the Phoenix Police Department, and multiple human services, behavioral health and medical providers to help victims overcome the trauma they’ve experienced as a result of being trafficked.

Over the past 20 months, the Collaborative identified 126 confirmed child sex trafficking victims through law enforcement identification and social service referrals; 96 percent of those children and youth have completed or remain in treatment to support their complex physical and mental health needs.

The Collaborative was highlighted by the Council in its 2019 report, "Human Trafficking: Prevention and Intervention in Arizona," for combating human trafficking and providing necessary support to trafficked victims. This report was given to the National Advisory Committee on the Sex Trafficking of Children and Youth in the U.S. at their field meeting in Arizona in May.

Mercy Care’s human trafficking treatment program — the first of its kind in the country — has also been recognized by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey for its efficacy in treating victims and supporting them through recovery.

“We are honored that Mrs. McCain will be speaking at the 2019 MHPA annual conference,” said Randy Hyun, CEO, Aetna Medicaid Administrators, LLC. “Mercy Care designed a treatment program for victims of human trafficking that is both person-centered and trauma-informed. This approach is respectful of the victim’s experience while being responsive to often complex health needs, and we believe it’s an approach that can be replicated across the country. We appreciate Mrs. McCain’s continued leadership on this issue.”

“Medicaid managed care plans work tirelessly to provide high-quality, individualized care for their members,” said Shannon Attanasio, MHPA’s Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy. “We’re so proud to highlight Mercy Care’s efforts to help connect survivors of human trafficking to the healthcare and social services they need to heal.”

MHPA’s annual conference will take place September 18-20, 2019 at the Grand Hyatt Washington, DC Downtown Hotel.  Register today before it’s too late!

Media inquiries about the Collaborative can be made to Laurie Munn, Director of Marketing and Communications, Mercy Care, at 480-529-3675 or



Founded in 1995, the Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA) represents the interests of the Medicaid managed care industry through advocacy and research to support innovative policy solutions that enhance the delivery of comprehensive, cost-effective, and quality healthcare for Medicaid enrollees. MHPA works on behalf of its 94-member health plans, known as managed care organizations (MCOs), which serve approximately 23 million Medicaid enrollees in 37 states and the District of Columbia, or about one-third of all Medicaid beneficiaries in states with managed care delivery systems. MHPA’s members include both for-profit and non-profit, national and regional, as well as single-state health plans that compete in the Medicaid market.  MHPA’s annual conference attracts more than 450 senior industry executives, federal and state officials, and other stakeholders thanks to its unparalleled educational content and relationship-building opportunities.



Mercy Care is a not-for-profit Medicaid health plan, administered by Aetna, serving AHCCCS members throughout Arizona. Sponsored by Dignity Health and Ascension Health, Mercy Care has served Medicaid members since 1985. Mercy Care provides access to health care services for families, children, seniors, and people with physical and developmental/cognitive disabilities.  Mercy Care also operates as the Regional Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) in Maricopa County, which was the first RBHA in Arizona to offer integrated physical and behavioral health services to persons determined to have a serious mental illness. Mercy Care manages the public behavioral health system in Maricopa County and parts of Pinal County. Learn more at