Faith Moore Cruz, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, ENP-C, is a dual board-certified Family and Emergency Nurse Practitioner, currently providing healthcare services at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare’s Urgent Care Center.
After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Florida and her Master of Science in Nursing from the Florida State University, Faith’s dedication to education and the nursing profession were her driving force to pursue a doctoral degree in nursing. Faith is passionate about health and advocating for those in need. During her recent studies at The University of Missouri, she completed her DNP project, titled “A Quality Improvement Project to Improve Screening for Victims of Human Trafficking in the Emergency Department.”
She found that the implementation of an educational training program, along with the use of an evidence-based screening tool, increased nurses’ perceived knowledge and confidence to respond to human trafficking victims. Her work was recently accepted for presentation at the Florida Nurse Practitioner Network 2020 Conference.
Faith’s mission is to continue to educate others about human trafficking and how, as a community, we can all assist in the fight. Faith is also co-owner of The Tally Mac Shack, a four- time award-winning food truck, along with her spouse and founder, Justin Cruz. The Tally Mac Shack is dedicated to giving back to the greater Tallahassee area through charitable efforts and was recently honored to receive the CCYS Tally Awards “All in Honoree” award for service to our community. Read more about Faith and her service below:
Why are you passionate about STAC’s mission?
I am passionate about STAC’s mission for so many reasons, both professionally and personally. As a frontline healthcare worker, it is very likely that my colleagues and I have encountered, and will continue to encounter, survivors of human trafficking in our daily practice. STAC’s mission of promoting community awareness helps provide healthcare workers with the knowledge and confidence to detect and treat victims of human trafficking. They also provide emergency case management, making it known they are available to assist 24/7.
On a personal level, I am passionate about STAC’s mission because the opioid epidemic really ravaged my hometown in Florida, and my heart breaks for Florida communities and families struggling to help people suffering from addiction. People who are suffering from addiction are extremely vulnerable to becoming victims of human trafficking and STAC not only offers joint case management for survivors of human trafficking, but they also assist those who are at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking.
My passion for STAC’s mission is derived from the fact that it is not only directed toward treatment of victims of human trafficking, but it is also about awareness and prevention of human trafficking in our Big Bend community.
How has being on the STAC board changed your worldview?
Being on the STAC board has made me more conscious about my consumer practices and social inequality amidst a global economy. I now often find myself checking clothing and food labels to take into consideration the labor practices of the manufacturing company and/or how the raw materials were sourced before I purchase an item. I am ever grateful that my citizenship affords me to the right to employment in an environment with fair labor standards and am painfully aware that that right is not the same for all humans worldwide.
What’s one thing you wish everyone understood about human trafficking?
When I share with friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances about my role as a STAC board member and all the amazing work STAC is doing in our community to assist survivors of human trafficking, I am often met with the question, “is that really a significant problem here?” I wish everyone understood that human trafficking is a significant problem EVERYWHERE, and much more than we know. It’s not just happening in other countries, other states, or other cities, but right here in our Big Bend community. Even if there were just one known survivor of human trafficking in your community, the services provided to that one person lends to a life that significantly changed forever.
What would you like to see our community do to support survivors and the STAC mission?
Our public, private, and non-profit community has done an excellent job of recognizing how the resources and strengths of their organization can be utilized to assist survivors of human trafficking. I’d like to see individuals and businesses in our community continue this trajectory of collaborating together to in support of survivors of human trafficking and STAC’s mission.