As part of our work with Red Nose Day to come together to end child poverty, one nose at a time, we launched the Healthy and Ready for the Future initiative in 2016. The program provides a healthy start in oral health and early education for Latino children from migrant and seasonal farmworker families across rural America.
We invited one of our Affiliate partners on this initiative, Sea Mar Community Health Centers, a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Seattle, Wash., to share their experiences working with migrant and seasonal farmworker families.
By Jennifer Vigil, Dental Program Manager, Sea Mar Community Health Centers
Washington state boasts an abundance of rich terrain: lush rain forests, lakes, rivers, streams, majestic mountains, miles of tulip fields, and acres upon acres of agricultural farmland as far as the eye can see. Woven in the fabric of this landscape is a population of equally beautiful, hard-working, humble, and underserved people—migrant farm workers.
For decades, Sea Mar Community Health Centers have extended hands and hearts to provide basic health care services to the state’s growing population of migrant farm workers. In the many clinics throughout Western Washington as well as rural outreach programs, Sea Mar teams have joined forces to meet people where they are. This frequently means caring for patients in one of our 22 urban clinics, or establishing tents and mobile clinics in rural agricultural communities.
The effect on the lives of those served is nothing short of beautiful.