During Thanksgiving we take time to reflect on all that we are grateful for. As always, but especially during Thanksgiving, we take time to remember those who work tirelessly to bring fresh, affordable produce to our tables for our family meals every day – Agricultural Workers and the farmers that employ them.
For the past 40 years, NCFH has worked to improve the health status of Agricultural Workers and their families by providing population-specific information, training, and technical assistance to the health centers, organizations and other individuals who serve them. This year we, along with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), launched the Ag Worker Access 2020 Campaign, with the goal to increase the number of Agricultural Workers with access to comprehensive and high quality services at community health centers to 2 million by 2020.
As NCFH celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, we’d like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all of you who have helped, and continue to help, NCFH achieve its mission – health centers, primary care associations, our Board of Directors, staff, and other partners, to name only a few. You have shared your skills, knowledge, and especially your heart toward our common goal, and we are humbled and truly grateful.
We at NCFH wish you, our migrant health champions, a safe and happy Thanksgiving. As we look forward to our organization’s next milestone in 5 years we will not only be celebrating NCFH’s 45th anniversary, but also the success of the Ag Worker Access 2020 Campaign. What a celebration that will be!
By: Lisa Miller
Blueberries on 4th of July
This past weekend I celebrated Independence Day camping near Austin, Texas. As the night came by and the fireworks started illuminating the sky, I couldn’t help remembering how different fireworks looked seven years ago.
Seven years ago, I was watching the fireworks through my parents’ truck window as we were arriving in Michigan. From July to mid-September, I, along with my parents and two younger brothers, migrated from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to Michigan to work picking blueberries. Two and a half months of 10 to 12 hour days of hard work were ahead of us -- And like every year, at least one trip to our local health center. You see, in between the branches of the blueberry trees there were always these sneaky poison ivy leaves, which would cause my mother to have an allergic reaction and, year after year, would send her to visit a doctor at the local clinic. Despite coming back every year for the same thing, she was always treated with respect and dignity and found people willing to help her.
I remember the staff at the clinic were always nice and did a great job of trying to let migrant and seasonal agriculture workers know about the clinic’s services. Little did I know that, seven years later, I would be working for an organization that helps health center staff. I now work here at NCFH, creating digital products that convey health education messages to health center patients, many of which are agriculture workers, to help them understand how to get care, how to understand and manage their diagnoses, and much more.
This year NCFH is celebrating 40 years of service -- Forty years in which the organization has helped migrant and community health centers nationwide improve the health status of farmworker families. I stopped migrating and working in the fields six years ago, but I still remember how helpful getting and having access to care was for my family. My family, I, and many others have benefited from the work that NCFH has done throughout these 40 years and I cannot be more thankful. Thank you NCFH and congratulations on your big 40!
By: Joanna Arevalo
It might sound easy to say that we are celebrating 40 years of services, but thinking about what that really means is a different story. I have been working for this organization for the last 9 years, and I can only think about the good that NCFH has spread during all these years. I have been fortunate enough to be able to work directly with Promotores and meet farmworkers everywhere I go. What they do to improve the health of their communities with the support we provide makes me feel proud. It makes me think that the work we do is really meaningful.
But NCFH’s good has also reached me. I work as a health educator. Day in and day out I read about different health issues and one thing that has always stayed with me is how important exercise is for our health. In other words, my work has had a big influence on how I view exercise today. This year, I joined the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey Relay Run Adventure. Two hundred and fifty teams ran 178 miles around Lake Tahoe. This natural beuty is located between the States of Nevada and California. Each team had 12 runners and ours ran this wonderful loop of beauty and challenges in 31:49 minutes. It was a great adventure that I dedicate with my heart to NCFH in its 40th anniversary!
De mí parte y de parte de mi familia les deseamos felicidades y muchos años más de éxitos!
The National Center for Farmworker Health
Improving health care access for one of America's most vulnerable populations