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Joseph F. Sullivan Center

Clemson Students on the Farm

JFSC Partners with SCMHP

Since 1991, the Sullivan Center has partnered with the South Carolina Migrant Health Program to provide unique service learning experiences to Clemson students while serving the migrant and seasonal farmworker population in our area. Our nurse practitioners and outreach team take students from a diverse collection of studies to participate in outreach efforts in surrounding areas. Nursing students (both undergraduate and graduate), language students and health science students are all a vital part of our team to provide health screenings and assessments to the farmworker population. Students interested in community health and service learning are able to be involved in not only health services, but also health education, counseling and outreach services.

The Sullivan Center and SCMHP

In the past 20 years of partnership with SCMHP, the Sullivan Center has addressed the problems with barriers to care for the MSFW in a variety of ways. From setting up our mobile unit on specific farms and seeing an entire workforce or setting up in a centralized location and allowing workers to come to us, to going into the fields and actually working alongside the migrant and seasonal workers, the Sullivan Center works as a dynamic health care service for the MSFW population. Each year, we evaluate the needs of the populations in our area to help change the way we serve them. In the past we have done on-site clinics at the farms, lunch time health screenings and flu shots, after-hours clinics in centralized locations and even weekend clinics.

About the SCMHP

The South Carolina Migrant Health Program is funded by the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association. The SCMHP is a Migrant Health Voucher Program, which utilizes a network of culturally and linguistically competent health care providers to provide fee-for-services to migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families in South Carolina. The program offers comprehensive health care services to improve quality of life and reduce health disparities in our community. Persons are only eligible if their primary employment is farmworking, they have worked on a farm in the past 24 months, have no health insurance coverage or are a dependent of a farmworker.

The South Carolina Migrant Health Program provides primary care services (such as family practice, OB/GYN and pediatrics), dental, ancillary, pharmacy and emergency serices. In addition, the program provides outreach and enabling services such as health screenings, assessments, service referrals, follow up and basic counseling and health education. In 2010, the SCMHP served 1,843 patients: 4,514 medical visits, 621 dental visits, and 6,456 enabling visits.

In a constant effort to address the myriad of issues faced by MSFW, the SCMHP provides comprehensive health care and enabling services that are designed to improve the accessibility of quality, culturally-appropriate health care services and reduce health disparities for the community. Moreover, partnerships with pertinent local, state, regional, and national collaborators are maintained and developed, and the needs of MSFW are assessed on a continuous basis in order to effectively and proactively respond to issues as they are identified.

Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Health Care Needs

Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers have complex healthcare needs. Due to the nature of their work (long hours, little health focus), the MSFW population tends to have a higher prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, other chronic diseases, tuberculosis, dental issues, substance abuse and depression than the general population. This population has a high exposure to toxins (pesticides) that cause other health problems. There are often untreated work-related injuries that are exacerbated by not having access to medical attention. There are many barriers to care for the MSFW population: majority of them are of Hispanic/Latino origin and cannot communicate in English; the long hours conflict with general medical facilities operating times; they have limited access to transportation; and lastly, majority are indigent, uninsured and ineligible for Medicaid or other public health benefits.

If you would like to know more about the SCMHP, you can visit the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association's webpage by clicking on their logo below. If you would like to get involved directly, you can contact Caitlin Moore at the Sullivan Center at caitli8@clemson.edu

Information provided by the SCPHCA website

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