The Migrant Clinicians Network engages in healthcare delivery and healthcare research for low income workers including but not exclusively migrant workers. Their new Saving Lives by Changing Practice project is attempting to improve the quality of service to work injured clients. Amy Liebman is coordinating the program. She provided me with this introduction to the program.
For an earlier posting on community health clinic services to injured workers, go here.
Amy K. Liebman, MPA
Migrant Clinicians Network
There are numerous barriers to recognizing and treating environmental and occupational health (EOH) problems in the primary care setting. Some of the underlying reasons are the limited EOH training front line providers receive as well as institutional challenges that prevent clinicians from adequately addressing EOH problems.
For migrant farmworkers and other vulnerable populations employed in hazardous jobs, an occupational injury or exposure is often the reason for first point of contact with the health care system, underscoring the need to begin addressing EOH concerns at the primary care level.
MCN’s program, Saving Lives by Changing Practice, is part of a five-year cooperative agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide Programs, to address pesticides and other EOH issues in the practice setting. Through this program MCN will work to link primary care clinicians in Migrant and Community Health Centers with occupational and environmental specialists and clinics by:
• Developing occupational/environmental medicine clinics in Migrant Health Centers.
• Facilitating clinical consults between the primary care clinician and the occupational medicine clinician.
• Developing referral mechanisms for complicated pesticide cases.
• Training primary care providers in occupational/environmental medicine.
MCN will also recruit and work with six to eight Migrant and Community Health Centers to develop a flexible center-based model to integrate EOH in the primary care setting. This will involve working to incorporate key practice skills outlined in National Environmental Education Training Foundation’s, National Pesticide Practice Skills Guidelines for Medical and Nursing Practice (2003).