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Farmworker Health Program receives $10K grant

Vecinos Farmworker Health Program was honored to receive a $10,000 grant from Nantahala Health Foundation, which partners and collaborates with local organizations to improve the health and well-being of Western North Carolinians, to fund a new vehicle to safely transport farmworkers to-and-from medical appointments.

Vecinos Farmworker Health Program is a nonprofit health care organization addressing the wellness of farmworkers and their families with health care, education, community partnerships and advocacy, covering about 3,500 square miles across eight counties in western North Carolina. Grant funds from Nantahala Health Foundation will be used to purchase a new vehicle to support Vecinos staff in covering these miles addressing current needs of patients and brace for those of the future, with reliable and safe transportation. Their medical and outreach teams have been working tirelessly to reach our regions farmworkers, providing education lessons and materials, medication, support supplies, and testing surrounding COVID-19 and other primary and behavior health care matters.

“Language and transportation are some of the biggest barriers Vecinos sees, both for migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Having reliable transportation is critical to ensuring access to healthcare for our patients. Vecinos is grateful to Nantahala for their continued support, especially as farmworkers are disproportionately affected by COVID” says Marianne Martinez, Executive Director of Vecinos Farmworker Health Program.

Working as a catalyst for innovation and collaboration, Nantahala Health Foundation seeks to partner with nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary to achieve better health outcomes for all. By addressing the root causes of health inequities and improving social determinants of health, NHF works with regional change-makers to improve lives. Since its establishment in 2019, NHF has awarded nearly $1.75 million in support of more than 60 programs throughout the region.

“We are pleased to partner with the Vecinos Farmworker Health Program on their project to provide safe medical transport to those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lori Bailey, Nantahala Health Foundation Executive Director. “We are grateful for Vecinos’ work to support those in need achieve better health outcomes through this effort to provide enhanced access to care.”

Vecinos Farmworker Health program is continually amazed and grateful for the generosity and partnership of the WNC community in the support of their initiatives built on respect and value for our farmworker community, and now for the sustenance from Nantahala Health Foundation, to uphold values during such unprecedented and trying times.

For more information about Vecinos Farmworker Health Program and how you can support this community effort, please visit our bilingual website at www.vecinos.org.

Vecinos is a free clinic, serving 100% uninsured/underinsured patients with primary and behavioral health care. All 991 of our patients identify as Hispanic/Latino and 99% fall at-or-below the Federal Poverty Line. Our flagship service is a mobile medical clinic for 458 migrant farmworkers and we also hold weekly traditional clinics for 533 non-migrant “seasonal” farmworkers in the 8 western counties. For all our patients, our fully bilingual, trained medical interpreter staff provide focused health education and case management services, including medical interpretation and transportation.

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