S.C. Migrant Health Program Overview

Project History and Community Served

The South Carolina Primary Health Care Association (SCPHCA) became the grantee for the South Carolina Migrant Health Program (SCMHP) in October of 2004. The mission of the SCMHP is to improve the health status of migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families (MSFW) in South Carolina by providing and promoting culturally and linguistically competent health care and health related services.

Services Provided, Delivery Method, and Staffing

The SCMHP served as the medical home for 1,589 unduplicated patients representing 3,425 medical, 589 dental, and 6,222 enabling visits/encounters in 2013. The Program currently provides primary care (family practice/internal medicine, OB/GYN, and pediatrics), dental, ancillary (laboratory and radiology), emergency care, and pharmacy services. In addition, the SCMHP's scope of service includes the provision of outreach and enabling services such as transportation, translation/interpretation, health screening/assessment, health and social services referrals, follow-up, basic counseling, health education, and health advocacy.

                                          Utilization Tables

 Health Care Services 

2011

2012

2013

Medical  Patients

1,473

1,389

1,395

Dental Patients

347

285

327

Medical Visits

4,119

3,237

3,425

Dental Visits

680

483

589

 

Outreach/Enabling Services

2011

2012 

2013 

Case Management  Services

4,135

3,652

4,041

Health Education Services

2,133

2,012

2,181

 

The SCMHP is a Migrant Health Voucher Program.  As such, the Program utilizes a network of fee-for-service providers to render health care services to farmworkers and their families statewide. This service delivery model has been proven effective in addressing the health care needs of MSFW in South Carolina not only from a continuity of care standpoint, but also from a fiscal perspective. Migrant patients move from one area of the state to another in search of work, thereby needing a coordinated system of care that could accommodate this migration. 

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The SCMHP is administered and staffed by seasoned personnel with requisite expertise and experience in migrant health. Led by the Senior Director of Programs and Services, who functions as the SCMHP Director and who has more than 10 years of Program experience at the management level, staff consists of a board-certified (family practice) Clinical Director, Clinical Quality Improvement Coordinator, who was a former Director of Nursing at a Health Center, and outreach and administrative support personnel.

Special Needs of the Farmworker Community and Effective Project Response to Identified Issues.  The MSFW population has complex health care needs. Farmworkers in South Carolina have a higher prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases, tuberculosis, dermatitis, dental caries, substance abuse, and depression compared to the general population. Insufficient prenatal care and low birth weight infants are all too common for farmworker women. Exposure to pesticides and other toxins causes additional health problems for MSFW. Work-related injuries are among the most common reasons for seeking medical care. To exacerbate the poor health status of the population, farmworkers encounter numerous barriers that adversely impact their health-seeking behavior. Most MSFW in the state is of Hispanic/Latin origin (85%) and unable to adequately communicate in English. The nature of their work involves long hours at remote, hard-to-reach fields, and they frequently have limited access to transportation. Furthermore, farmworkers are largely indigent, uninsured, and ineligible for Medicaid and other public benefits.

In a constant effort to address the myriad of issues faced by MSFW, the SCMHP provides comprehensive health care and enabling services that are designed to improve the accessibility of quality, culturally-appropriate health care services and reduce health disparities for the community. Moreover, partnerships with pertinent local, state, regional, and national collaborators are maintained and developed, and the needs of MSFW are assessed on a continuous basis in order to effectively and proactively respond to issues as they are identified.

For further information pertaining to the SCMHP or farmworker health, please do not hesitate to contact Carlo J. Victoriano by phone at 803-788-2778 or email at [email protected].

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