Katie Papke

Department of Veteran Affairs

Life Support Counseling &
Coaching, LLC

Grand Valley State University

Katie Papke

"Be the change you want to see."

~ Mahatma Ghandi

Katie Papke is a leader in the Social Work professional community. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker, Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor and a Clinically Certified Human Trafficking Victims Services Provider at the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Katie initiated a VA enterprise-wide human trafficking initiative to develop and disseminate resources to support communication about the impact of human trafficking on the Veteran community. Human trafficking is a public health concern that can impact anyone. By recognizing social determinants of health and other health disparities, Katie’s team hopes to reduce the vulnerabilities of Veterans that may lead to being trafficked. The innovative and ground-breaking work of her VA team’s findings has been published in the HPHR Journal 58th Edition, “The Impact of Human Trafficking Among Veterans: Increasing Awareness among Veterans and Employees through Education.” 

In addition, Katie has achieved years of experience in community education and consultation. She is a School of Social Work Program Adjunct Professor at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan teaching classes on human trafficking and homelessness. She is a national Health, Education, Advocacy, and Linkage (HEAL) Trafficking speaker and trainer. Katie has her own therapy private practice and has a passion working with victims and survivors of human trafficking, intimate partner violence and other forms of abuse. 

Her specialty is working with teens and adults who have a history of trauma, substance abuse, sexual exploitation, and human trafficking. Katie serves as the Vice President of the board of a non-profit agency, Sacred Beginnings in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Sacred Beginnings is a safe haven for victims of human trafficking and domestic violence. Katie is highly involved with the Solutions to End Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force in Kent County, Michigan. Katie graduated from Florida State University with her Bachelor’s and Masters of Social Work in 2006. She celebrates a 17 year career with the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Read more about Katie Papke on the NYC Daily Post.

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