The motivation for this effort was the input provided during the Closing Plenary at the 2014 Midwest Stream Forum, in which a picture of health centers’ reality in serving MSAWs was painted through an exercise called the Wall of Wonder (WOW). This information made it clear that there is a continued need for access to quality care, as testimony illustrated an outstanding and unmet need. Two additional WOW exercises were conducted at the 2015 East Coast and Western Stream Forums to verify that the need is not isolated to the Midwest, rather a national trend. Data from these three events is available on the NCFH website at www.bit.ly/NCFH_WOW. We found it to be a compelling call to action.
Several things have become clear since the Campaign was launched. These include:
- Despite heroic efforts on the part of NCFH and NACHC in sponsoring this Campaign, real change can occur only at the local level. We are your cheerleaders, we can help you to tell your story, but the place where action must happen is at the local level. Together we must be the agents for change.
- You are the best and brightest of advocates for Ag Worker health. To the extent that we can equip you to recruit other champions and improve access, your successes become ours also.
- It is all too easy for consumers of fresh produce, meat, and other commodities to close their eyes to the reality that Ag Workers face every day. We must appeal to the greater good in all to see Ag Workers for the hardworking, industrious individuals and families that they are.
- We must dispel the fear, and myths, among those who choose not to see Ag Workers as we see them. As a nation, we need to revolutionize how this population is perceived by the consumers who benefit from their labors. Change must occur. At all levels.
- You are important in this effort. We need you to take the time to think about how you can influence change, and what you need from NCFH, NACHC and others to support your work.
We could not have started without your support in 2015 and we will not succeed without your continued support within your home communities. Please help us reach the goal of increasing access to quality care to 2 million MSAWs and their families annually.
Join the Ag Worker Access 2020 Campaign at: http://www.ncfh.org/ag-worker-access-2020.html and let’s make 2017 the best year yet!