Sea Mar Health Centers Reaches Migrant Farm Worker Families Where They Are

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

Sea Mar Community Health Centers Staff. Photo: Sea Mar Community Health Centers Facebook page.

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.

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It’s Time to Get Those Noses On!

Red Nose Day is almost here! But you don’t have to wait for May 25 to do your part to put an end to child poverty. Last week, we shared a story about how Red Nose Day’s support of NCLR has helped us connect Yesenia Chavez with affordable dental services in her home town. Through our Healthy and Ready for the Future campaign, and with Red Nose Day’s support, we’ve made more than 18,500 referrals. And more than 7,300 children received dental services.

We’re glad to have the support and we know that thousands of kids will have bigger and brighter smiles thanks to having access to a dentist. Continue reading

Red Nose Day USA is Helping NCLR Promote Good Oral Health

Yesenia Chavez Medina with her 4-year old son, Miguel Angel, ready for his dental check-up at one of Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo’s dental clinics.

Yesenia Chavez Medina had just moved to Westmorland, Calif. when she attended a presentation on children’s oral health led by two community health workers (CHWs) from Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo (CDSDP)—a Federally Qualified Migrant Health Center in Brawley, Calif. Supported by Red Nose Day Fund in 2016, the health center is part of the National Council of La Raza’s Healthy and Ready for the Future initiative which provides a healthy start in oral health and early education for Latino children from migrant and seasonal farmworker families across rural America.

While the CHWs, Cecilia Cota and Ana Solorio, discussed the importance of taking care of children’s oral health, the message struck Yesenia to her core. She considered herself a responsible mom, diligent about her children having health insurance through Medi-Cal and a stable family life despite having to move around as a migrant farmworker. Yet, she realized she had neglected their teeth. She feared her youngest sons, Miguel Angel, 4, and Jose Luis, 11, had cavities because they “sometimes complained of pain in their mouth or had what looked like rotting teeth.” Yesenia spoke with Cecilia and Ana, who helped schedule appointments.

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What Are the Benefits of the SNAP Program?

Last week, we joined MomsRising for their regular #FoodFri Twitter chat. The topic for this chat: the benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP, for American families. We joined as co-hosts with our friends at Food Resource Action Center (FRAC), and the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities.

Below are NCLR highlights from the chat. Join MomsRising for their #FoodFri chat every Friday at 1 pm ET.


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Healthy and Ready for the Future – A Convening to Address Latino Children’s Oral Health in Rural America

NCLR’s Institute for Hispanic Health (IHH) recently hosted six Affiliates at a kick-off meeting for Healthy and Ready for the Future, an initiative aimed at improving the oral health of Latino children living in rural communities, especially those from migrant and seasonal farmworker families. NCLR is partnering with Affiliates that are either Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) or community-based organizations with Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) programs. Our partners will build upon their work of linking children to a medical or dental “home”—such as primary health care or dental providers— that can provide ongoing care. Coming from California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and Washington, the Affiliate partners have a wealth of experience serving low-income Latino children and families in rural areas.

MSHS programs provide an array of vital services to 34,000 children from migrant and seasonal farmworker families every year. FQHCs and Community Health Centers often serve as a medical and dental home for these children and strive to improve the health of underserved communities and vulnerable populations by providing access to quality care. Aside from increasing access to early oral health care for children, Healthy and Ready for the Future will launch a culturally sensitive, bilingual outreach and education campaign to boost awareness of how important it is for families to get early preventive oral health care and establish a dental home for their children.

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