Migrant Farmworker Grant Builds Community Health Worker Capacity

A dairy farm worker in the milking parlor with cows.

Building on a decade of migrant farmworker health outreach by dedicated, committed and mostly part-time UVM Extension staff, the Vermont Department of Health awarded Principal Investigator Naomi Wolcott-MacCausland a $1,300,000 grant to ensure greater equity and access to COVID-19 vaccines for those disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

The Extension teams capacity and reach will increase significantly utilizing an evidence-based community health worker (CHW) model, to create six full-time CHW positions located across the state. The CHW team will work collaboratively with local and state health and social service organizations to address systemic barriers to health equity, while simultaneously working at an individual, family, and community level to meet the unique health and social needs of both agricultural and non-agricultural migrant workers and their family members.

The CHW team will:

  • Coordinate access to culturally and linguistically responsive public health information, testing, and vaccinations including pop-up health clinics in collaboration with community organizations and health care volunteers.
  • Implement person centered community-based support that reduces barriers to care, facilitates access to telehealth services with specialists, and provides interval check-ins to individuals with chronic conditions to ensure continuity of care.
  • Develop formal systems, referrals, and community partnerships to connect individuals and families to resources like transportation, housing support, food assistance programs, mental health and substance abuse services, and other social services.
  • Assess and implement strategies that enhance community resilience including the development of advisory groups comprised of members of target population.
  • Develop and implement a CHW in-training/health mentorship project engaging migrant youth and adults in building knowledge, skills, and interest in health promotion within their families and community.

https://www.healthvermont.gov/systems/health-professionals/community-health-workers Would like reference to “Community Health Worker” in first paragraph to be linked to that website.

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