IHAIG – Immigrant Health and Advocacy Interest Group | Alachua County Blueberry Migrant Workers Health Fair | 04/14/2018


Name of Organization: IHAIG – Immigrant Health and Advocacy Interest Group

Other Group:

Event Information

Title of Event: Alachua County Blueberry Migrant Workers Health Fair

Date of Event: 04/14/2018

Location of Event: Various Blueberry Farms in Alachua County

Resubmission? No

Number of People Expected at the Event: 100

Has this event been held before? Yes

If so, How many participated before: 100

What is the Purpose of the Event? The purpose of the event is to help give some basic healthcare needs to migrant farm workers, a commonly overlooked population in the United States. In partnership with the Rural Women’s Health Project, the Immigrant Health and Advocacy IG will help prepare the necessary supplies and materials for the blueberry migrant workers health fairs in April. For this year, we want to focus on the eye health of the workers. Given their long hours of outdoors work in the sun and exposure to various insecticides and pesticides, migrant farm workers may often experience eye dryness/allergies and other related symptoms. Thus, we hope to purchase eye drops to relieve some of the discomfort associated with their eyes.

In addition to caring for their eye health, we will be assisting other primary care providers in screening for chronic diseases and counseling the migrant workers about the importance of maintaining a good diet and physical health.

What is the Benefit to the State, the university, and/or your organization? Migrant workers make up a large percentage of farm workers in the United States, and it is estimated that 72% of farm workers were born in a foreign country. Within the state of Florida, a large number of migrant workers work many hours in the field to harvest various crops, such as citrus, blueberries, and tomatoes, that are important to the economy of Florida. However, these workers are often earning below minimum wage, and they have very little access to healthcare. Furthermore, some of the farmworkers are adolescents that require annual checkups and health education in order to ensure proper growth and development. Thus, a combination of their low socioeconomic status and language barriers, migrant workers have a lower rate of preventive medicine screening, and they can develop serious chronic diseases or illnesses that are not properly taken care of by physicians and other health professionals.

It is important for the migrant workers to be healthy in order to continue to work and contribute to the vital agriculture industry in Florida. These migrant health fairs can benefit both UF and our organization by allowing students to learn more about caring for immigrant patients from a hands-on experience. With a growing immigrant population in the United States, it is important for medical students to learn to take care of patients with different backgrounds and cultural beliefs that may not be common in the United States. These health fairs provide more opportunities for students to interact with patients and apply the knowledge learned from classes in clinical settings.

Request Information

Item 1 Information

Vendor Description Cost
Walmart 10 packs of 2 x 4mL Systane Eye Drops $114.40
Sam’s Club 7 packs of 3 x 10mL Systane Eye Drops $139.86
Target 10 packs of 2 x 10mL Syatane Eye Drops $169.90

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We have been communicating with Robin Lewy (Director or Programming of The Rural Women's Health Project), and she is in charge of the Blueberry Migrant Workers Health Fairs in mid-April. Similar to previous years, she won't be able to provide us with the exact location and dates of the health fairs until sometime in April in order to protect to the safety of the migrant workers, so I currently have chosen April 14th as a placeholder for the date of our event. However, once I have been informed of more details of the health fairs, I will certainly provide the information to you guys.

Also, for the Number of Participants, there were usually around 100 patients and 15 medical students that attended the health fairs, and we anticipate similar numbers for this year. For now, I put 100 for the total number of participants (patients + medical students) as an estimate.