Health & Occupational Safety

National Health Center Week: Community/Migrant Health Centers and the Affordable Care Act

President Obama’s healthcare reform legislation, formally known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is moving towards full implementation.  By 2014, all parts of the law, including health insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansion (for those states that choose to expand their Medicaid programs) will be in effect.  Thanks to the ACA,  the Congressional Budget Office estimates that between 20 million and 23 million people will receive coverage through the state insurance exchanges and 16 to 17 million additional people will be enrolled in Medicaid.

National Health Center Week: Migrant Health Centers in their Communities

Migrant health centers play a vital role in educating their communities on health risks associated with farm work. A farmworker’s health and well-being is impacted by his/her living and working conditions.  Often, farmworkers perform hazardous work and live in substandard housing.  Hours of performing backbreaking and repetitive tasks put farmworkers at risk for musculoskeletal injuries.

FJ Celebrates National Health Center Week

This week, health centers across the country are holding events to celebrate their contributions to their communities. Community and Migrant Health Centers are an integral part of the U.S. healthcare system.  They provide affordable, high quality primary preventative healthcare to medically underserved populations across the United States, including farmworkers and their families.  Farmworkers are not only the health centers’ patients; they are also active members of the health centers’ governing boards.

Indigenous Farmworkers Face Unique Barriers to Healthcare

As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala, I lived and worked in an indigenous community where the women wore traditional dress and the primary language was Maya K’iche.  Although many of my community members had lived and worked in the United States, I was unaware how dominant and diverse indigenous culture was in the United States, especially in the agricultural sector.

Health Care is a Human Right for All

Farmworker Justice believes that our nation’s farmworkers deserve quality healthcare that is affordable, accessible and culturally appropriate. The right to healthcare goes beyond access to health services.  It also encompasses safe housing and working conditions and access to healthy food.

Healthcare is internationally recognized as an essential human right.  According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which the U.S. is a signatory,

FJ on NY NPR: Farm Safety for Kids- The battle over proposed DOL regulation changes

NPR story featuring Virginia Ruiz, FJ Director of Occupational and Environmental Health, on farm safety issues for children working in agriculture. FJ supports the Department of Labor proposed updates to the hazardous orders that limit the types of dangerous jobs children employed in agriculture can undertake.

From North Country Public Radio:

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