National Health Center Week: FJ & Migrant Health Centers

Throughout the week, Farmworker Justice highlighted the role of community and migrant health centers in the health and well-being of our nation’s farmworkers. Unfortunately, these health centers are under-utilized by farmworkers and their families. In fact, it is estimated that only 20% of farmworkers seek services at health centers. The barriers farmworkers face to access healthcare are numerous: poverty, insurance coverage, immigration status, transportation, fear of employer retaliation, limited English proficiency, lack of information…and the list goes on. Farmworker Justice works with migrant health centers to help break down these barriers and encourage greater farmworker utilization of and participation in their local health center.

To ensure greater access for farmworkers, migrant health centers need tools to break down these barriers. These tools include an understanding of the national law and policy issues that impact the health of farmworkers and their families, such as immigration laws, healthcare reform, occupational health and safety standards, and workers’ compensation. Through fact sheets, webinars, issue briefs, and conference presentations, FJ helps migrant healthcare providers stay informed about such policy issues.  FJ also facilitates communication and collaboration between migrant health centers and local farmworker communities. Through partnerships with community-based farmworker organizations, labor unions, faith-based organizations, and legal services providers, FJ promotes greater access, utilization, and participation of farmworkers in health center programs and services.

Community and migrant health centers might be one of our country’s best kept secrets and it’s time to get the word out! To learn more about community and migrant health centers, or to find the health center closest to you, contact Alexis Guild or visit our web site. Farmworkers work hard every day to provide us with fresh fruits and vegetables. They deserve access to high quality, affordable and culturally competent primary healthcare.