Date of Presentation

5-2-2019 12:00 AM

College

School of Osteopathic Medicine

Poster Abstract

Migrant and seasonal farm workers (MSFW) are one of the most economically disadvantaged populations in the United States. MSFW confront numerous health challenges as a result of occupational hazards, poor living conditions, and inadequate nutrition, in addition to common health concerns like diabetes and hypertension. The objective of this study was to identify major barriers to health care for individuals working in the agriculture industry in southern New Jersey. Though there are numerous factors which impact health for migrant farmers, we hypothesized that language, financial burden, and fear from immigration status will be the most significant. Research was conducted using a survey distributed at South Cumberland Medical Associates, which holds a free clinic for MSFW during the agricultural season. The goal of the survey was to collect epidemiological data on the MSFW population in southern New Jersey and to evaluate the perceived access to health care using a Likert scale. The research showed that while most individuals surveyed identified themselves as "healthy," nearly half suffer from one or more chronic disease. The most concerning factors affecting health care access were language, lacking health insurance, and the financial burden of prescription medications. During the agricultural season MSFW become a significant part of the larger population, but this research is the first to look at the MSFW population in southern New Jersey. Although the migratory nature of the population makes long term studies difficult, it is important to understand the specific health care needs of this vulnerable population. Future research and data collection specifically addressing MSFW should be conducted to educate healthcare workers and to improve public health infrastructure that can positively impact the health status of these individuals.

Keywords

migrant labor, health care, health care access, seasonal workers

Disciplines

Community Health | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Services Research | Medical Humanities | Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health Education and Promotion

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May 2nd, 12:00 AM

Assessment of the Perceived Access to Health Care by Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers in Southern New Jersey

Migrant and seasonal farm workers (MSFW) are one of the most economically disadvantaged populations in the United States. MSFW confront numerous health challenges as a result of occupational hazards, poor living conditions, and inadequate nutrition, in addition to common health concerns like diabetes and hypertension. The objective of this study was to identify major barriers to health care for individuals working in the agriculture industry in southern New Jersey. Though there are numerous factors which impact health for migrant farmers, we hypothesized that language, financial burden, and fear from immigration status will be the most significant. Research was conducted using a survey distributed at South Cumberland Medical Associates, which holds a free clinic for MSFW during the agricultural season. The goal of the survey was to collect epidemiological data on the MSFW population in southern New Jersey and to evaluate the perceived access to health care using a Likert scale. The research showed that while most individuals surveyed identified themselves as "healthy," nearly half suffer from one or more chronic disease. The most concerning factors affecting health care access were language, lacking health insurance, and the financial burden of prescription medications. During the agricultural season MSFW become a significant part of the larger population, but this research is the first to look at the MSFW population in southern New Jersey. Although the migratory nature of the population makes long term studies difficult, it is important to understand the specific health care needs of this vulnerable population. Future research and data collection specifically addressing MSFW should be conducted to educate healthcare workers and to improve public health infrastructure that can positively impact the health status of these individuals.

 

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