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Franklin County Latino Migrant Farm Worker Health David Larsen MS-II, Pete Cooch MS-II, Charlotte Reback MD, UVM College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont 2011 VT SEARCH Scholars Project. BACKGROUND. INFORMATION GATHERING.

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Franklin County Latino Migrant Farm Worker Health

David Larsen MS-II, Pete Cooch MS-II, Charlotte Reback MD, UVM College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont

2011 VT SEARCH Scholars Project



  • Latino migrant farm workers (LMFW’s) in Franklin county live in isolation. Some do not leave their residence except to walk to the milking barn for work. This is primarily because of fear of being seen and deported. This is particularly true closer to the northern border of the state where immigration officials have a strong presence, driving by some farms multiple times in a day. Anything they need is brought to them at the farm, usually by their employer. This creates a complex relationship between workers and employers which varies from farm to farm.
  • Some challenges LMFW’s face in accessing health care include :
    • Language barriers
    • Lack of transportation
    • Fear of deportation
    • Unfamiliarity with available resources
    • Fear of high costs
  • Our project addressed these challenges in two ways:
  • 1. We produced a pamphlet containing Franklin County health care information for the farm workers and their employers.
  • 2. We wrote a chapter for the Champlain Valley AHEC Cultural Competency Manual on the LMFW population.

We conducted semi-structured interviews with 25 LMFW’s at nine different farms in Franklin county. We also spoke with multiple farmers. Workers were asked about their experiences seeking healthcare in Vermont, their questions and concerns, and the healthcare systems they were familiar with from home. Workers were chosen based on the variety of care they’d received, including, acute and chronic conditions, dentistry and childbirth.

We also met with clinicians, pharmacists, farm health coalition members, and medical administrators from across Franklin County.

  • The inside of the pamphlet goes step-by-step through the process of making an appointment for medical or dental care, including contact information for migrant-friendly clinics in Franklin county. It identifies necessary materials to bring, how to navigate paperwork and billing, using interpreter services, and provides guidance for follow-up care.
    • This pamphlet was produced in English and will be professionally translated into Spanish.


The Champlain Valley AHEC Cultural Competency Manual is intended for health care workers in Franklin, Chittenden, and Addison counties.

Our chapter gives information specific to the LMFW’s in Vermont including population, religion, diet, education, family, and prior health experience. It also addresses specific health concerns, barriers to care, special considerations for health care providers, and additional resources that will be helpful in serving the LMFW’s.

You can receive a copy of the pamphlet or the Cultural Competency Manual by contacting the Champlain Valley AHEC office by phone, (802)527-1474, email,, or by visiting their website at



  • Photographs by Caleb Kenna-The Golden Cage-Vermont Folklife Center
  • Community Mentor – Judy Wechsler, CVAHEC
  • Faculty Mentor – Charlotte Reback MD, UVM
  • NoTCH contacts:
  • Naomi Wolcott-MacCausland
      • Matt Tryhorne RN, NoTCH clinical director

The pamphlet is in a double-sided tri-fold format . It contains the answers to the most common questions and concerns voiced by LMFW’s, as well as tips and suggestions from healthcare providers, administrators, and interpreters.

The outside of the pamphlet is organized as a series of Frequently Asked Questions, such as “What if I don’t speak English”, “Will I be asked for documentation”, and “Will my healthcare be affordable”.

This program is funded by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)