Delivery of Mobile Farm Clinic Services to Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers: A Review of Practice Models for Community-Academic Partnerships

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Journal of Community Health




Farmworkers in the US are a medically underserved group, who are largely uninsured, foreign-born, and working in a hazardous industry. This review addresses the challenges of providing health services for this priority population to study the numerous health access barriers that face migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFW), evaluates the services provided at mobile clinics, summarizes practice models for community-academic partnerships, and synthesizes the literature on effective partnership approaches to deliver these services. Because MSFW are a difficult group to reach and access, mobile farmworker clinics provide an opportunity for unique student training experiences, in addition to small survey and feasibility studies. A literature search was conducted to identify articles for the review. Out of 196 articles identified by the article databases and manual search techniques, 18 articles were finally selected for the review based on predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Half of the articles were classified as case studies or descriptive studies with lessons learned. Only three articles were classified as research studies, and six articles were not classified as research studies, but rather descriptions of the clinics only. Many of the partnership models were structured with the lead agency as either the academic partner or an Area Health Education Center. The academic partner was usually a nursing school, and less frequently a medical school. Other service partners frequently mentioned were federally-qualified Community Health Centers, Migrant Health Centers, and health departments. The review found that service partnerships were characterized by collaboration between academic institutions and community organizations, with a lead agency driving sustainability efforts.