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Migrant Farmworker Health in Vermont

Serving the Underserved: Migrant Farmworker Vaccination Campaigns
UVM Larner Med Blog

by Elena Martel, Class of 2022 medical student

Excerpt: Working with Bridges to Health for the migrant farmerworker flu clinic was undoubtedly one of the most rewarding experiences of my clerkship year thus far. I moved to Vermont from Boston, a bustling city with a diverse population, and was initially disappointed by the homogeneity of my new state. I’ve always had an interest in global health, and hope to implement it in my future career, so I was thrilled to be accepted to the global health program at UVM.  My summer in Uganda allowed me to explore health care in another culture and refreshed my desire to work with populations beyond the “typical Vermonter” of Chittenden County. That being said, my clerkship year provided limited opportunities for diversity, until I was able to work with the Dr. Clements and Bridges to Health. 

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Local Global Health: Migrant Farmerworker Vaccination Campaigns

UVM Larner Med Blog

By Prasanna Kumar, Class of 2022 medical student

Excerpt: The opportunity to help address health inequities in the local community by helping provide flu shots to Latin American migrant farmers was both exciting and humbling. I was working with the same attending physician that I had spent the previous summer with in the Dominican Republic for a global health rotation. However, this time, I would need to challenge my concept of global health as I was not traveling to another country to help provide care. Instead, we were working with limited resources and maximizing our impact on the local community, which was equally challenging and rewarding.

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The Power of Collaboration: Migrant Farmworker Vaccination Campaigns
UVM Larner Med Blog

by Kiana Heredia, Class of 2024 medical student

Excerpt: So much of Vermont’s agricultural industry depends on the labor of migrant workers. These workers make up the fabric of our community and yet during the COVID-19 pandemic they are some of the most at-risk and hardest to reach populations. Given the long list of barriers that may dissuade migrant workers from accessing health services and particularly the COVID-19 vaccine, vaccine hesitancy among migrant workers can easily intensify. These barriers might include obstacles surrounding accessibility, such as navigating online appointment registration or travelling far distances to vaccination sites, spread of misinformation, as well as taking time off from work and suffering loss of income. Language barriers also limit comprehension and raise doubts, especially in relation to the trust between migrant workers and healthcare providers.