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NC Farmworker Health Program Celebrates 25 Years of Partnerships

The staff of the Office of Rural Health’s North Carolina Farmworker Health Program, from left to right: Allison Lipscomb, Zoë Cummings, Dr. Gayle Thomas, Ann Watson, Elizabeth Freeman Lambar and Sara Gomez.

The staff of the Office of Rural Health’s North Carolina Farmworker Health Program, from left to right: Allison Lipscomb, Zoë Cummings, Dr. Gayle Thomas, Ann Watson, Elizabeth Freeman Lambar and Sara Gomez.

Oct. 3, 2019 – The Office of Rural Health’s North Carolina Farmworker Health Program (NCFHP) recently celebrated over 25 years of collaboration.

NCFHP is a federally-funded migrant health center that takes a unique approach to provide access to quality healthcare for migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their family members.

The Sept. 19 event in Chapel Hill highlighted outreach and enabling services as essential components of care. The over 100 attendees included outreach workers, providers, clinic administrators, current and past board and staff members and representatives from partner agencies such as non-profits, state agencies and universities from across the state.

At the event, NCFHP debuted a new documentary short film that highlights the strong collaboration between the NC Farmworkers Project (a NCFHP-funded site) and the Benson Area Medical Center as an example of the work that NCFHP supports throughout the state.

According to NCFHP, there are an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 migrant and seasonal farmworkers in North Carolina who work to tend and harvest North Carolina’s crops. Workers are often at risk for exposure to pesticides, heat illness and musculoskeletal injury and often live in poverty in isolated rural areas.

“Farmworkers are valuable members of our communities in North Carolina” Lambar said. “Their work is critical to our state but can also be dangerous. It is important that we make services accessible for farmworkers and reduce feelings of isolation. Our work with partners across the state has allowed us to do that.”

NCFHP specializes in responding to the risks and barriers workers face. The program takes a non-traditional approach to increase access to health care services for farmworkers and their family members by resolving barriers to care. Their work includes:

  • Funding key partners in underserved areas to provide enabling, primary care, behavioral health, and dental services.
  • Building capacity through training, technical assistance and other learning opportunities to support high quality, integrated, and culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
  • Fostering collaboration to connect and leverage resources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staff from NCFHP and the NC Farmworkers Project and clinicians from their mobile unit.