South Georgia Farmworker Health Project
EVENT DATE: Jun 05, 2015
The South Georgia Farmworker Health Project (SGFHP) is a well-established community-campus collaborative project, developed and managed by the Emory Physician Assistant Program, a division of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA. The Emory Physician Assistant Program is a graduate (MMSc) program which endeavors to train PAs with an emphasis on primary care medicine, and providing care to the medically underserved. As such, we see exposure with, and outreach to underserved populations as very important for those served, and to the long term care of similar populations.SGFHP uses a mobile outreach model to provide free out-patient care to migrant and seasonal farm workers and their dependents in the southern tier of Georgia counties. Beyond its direct impact on a very medically underserved and impoverished patient base, it has had substantial impact on communities, individual volunteers and students. For many, it forever makes the lives and contributions of farmworkers visible.
SGFHP was initiated in May 1996 as a one-week (5 day) pilot project involving three PA faculty, eight PA students, and one physician. We have grown from an initial patient count of 150 in 1996 to 1400-1600 patients over 12 days in June in recent years. Using portable tents and several mobile units donated by the local communities, we set up makeshift clinics in the camps in the morning before workers go into the fields (i.e. 8-10:30am), at church sites (i.e. 10a-1p), in packing sheds (by arrangement with the growers), or country store sites where workers come to eat lunch. Tents are packed, supplies stowed in cars and trucks and transported to the next camp after each site visit. Clinics are “rebuilt” each evening around 6:30pm. Most clinics finish around 11:30pm, although they have gone past midnight on some occasions. Typically we spend approximately 60+ hours each week seeing patients between our various sites.
This year’s project dates are June 5-11 in Bainbridge and June 12-18 in Valdosta.
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