MCMC Provides Healthcare for Migrant Farm Worker Families

MCMC and community partners provide primary care and specialty medical services for more than 200 adults and children

The Dalles, Ore., July 30, 2018 —Mid-Columbia Medical Center and community organizations joined together to provide onsite healthcare, food, and formula to more than 200 individuals, including parents and children, during this year’s cherry harvest.

Resources were provided by Serving Oregon and its Migrants by Offering Solutions (SOMOS), a group of individuals at MCMC linked with community partners who are dedicated to serve the thousands of migrant and seasonal farm workers and their children in The Dalles and surrounding areas.

“This event really shows the heart of the community,” said Stephanie Bowen, MCMC Community Outreach Coordinator. “Here at MCMC, part of our mission is to lead and act as a catalyst in promoting health for all people, and this is a shining example. Each year, the event continues to grow, both in the amount of people we serve and the organizations who collaborate with us.”

Outreach was expanded this year to incorporate Mosier orchards with an event held at the Mosier Community Schools, in addition to events at Curtiss Orchards, Orchard View Farms, and McClaskey Orchard.

Many obstacles can prevent migrant and seasonal farmers from accessing healthcare. As migrant farm workers follow the fruit, they often move out of the area for months at a time. Long hours and inconsistent work schedules make arranging medical appointments almost impossible.

Although healthcare providers like MCMC offer Spanish language providers and interpreters, language barriers, low literacy levels, and poor cell phone service in work areas make communication difficult.

At each of the four onsite healthcare events, farmworkers and their families had access to primary care, physical therapy, preventative care education, glucose testing, blood pressure testing, and information about other community resources.

MCMC Pediatrics also provided Spanish-language children’s books through the Reach Out and Read Program, MCMC Family Medicine donated dozens of cans of formula, and the Mid-Columbia Health Foundation’s Breast Health for Strong Families provided fresh produce and other food supplies.

Additional resources were provided by One Community Health, WorkSource Oregon, The Next Door, Wells Fargo Bank, and Haven from Domestic Abuse.

“We have so many wonderful local organizations that have different ways that they can help support our migrant farmworker families—when we all come together, it really makes an impact on the lives of these individuals,” Bowen said. “The combined efforts and professional talent gives farmworkers more health care services, access to resources, and education.”

About Mid-Columbia Medical Center

MCMC has been serving the Columbia River Gorge for over 50 years. Adopted in 1992, the Planetree philosophy of patient care emphasizes the need to address a person's intellectual, environmental, emotional, and spiritual concerns in addition to their physical needs. For more information, visit mcmc.net. For more information about the SOMOS program or to get involved, contact Stephanie Bowen at stephaniela@mcmc.net.


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