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Blue Ridge Medical Center

Mission: The mission of Blue Ridge Medical Center (BRMC) is to provide patient-centered quality health care to all people in Nelson County and surrounding communities; and to improve their general health and well-being through prevention, education, and treatment.

Community Need: There are an estimated 600 to 650 seasonal farmworkers in Nelson County.  The number swells to almost 1,000 during the growing and harvest seasons (June through early November).  There are nine migrant farm camps in Nelson County and immediately adjacent communities.  Most of the people who populate the camps are young men, though some camps accommodate families with children.  This population continues to gradually increase.  These farmworkers are at risk for work-related injuries, diabetes, poor dental hygiene, and behavioral health difficulties. Gaps in primary care services for migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their dependents occur because the vast majority do not have health benefits and are not eligible for many public health programs. Because of the hours they work, accessing health care can be difficult and many lack reliable transportation.  BRMC’s Rural Health Outreach Program (RHOP) has special programming to insure that culturally appropriate services are provided, and that language differences do not constitute a barrier to care.

Primary Activities: BRMC provides primary care, including pediatrics as well as family medicine. The center also provides behavioral health services and dental services, which are fully integrated with primary care services. X-ray, physical therapy, lab, and pharmacy services are available on site. Enabling services provided by their patient advocates and their RHOP include transportation, medical interpretation for non-English speakers, case management, education support groups, and telehealth.

Constituents Served: Anyone can receive health care at BRMC. The services of the RHOP, including the Latino Outreach Program (LOP), target people who are low income and experience access barriers to health care. Eligibility for some RHOP services as well as the BRMC sliding fee scale is based on income. People whose incomes are at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level are eligible for free or discounted health care throughout the center. During the last fiscal year, BRMC served 7,888 patients, of whom 2,686 were 18 or younger, 1,215 were 65 or older, and 3,987 were adults under 65.

Program Details:  BRMC proposes support for its LOP, which is coordinated by RHOP personnel.  Migrant and seasonal farmworkers in Nelson County are primarily part of a guest worker program that supports local agricultural operations.  Most are low-income, uninsured, and must overcome language and cultural differences that can make health care more difficult to access.  RHOP offers a variety of services through it’s LOP to address the needs of the population and to equalize disparities in access to care as well as health outcome measures. To do this, they need to go where program recipients live and work, including migrant and seasonal farmworker camps and worksites. LOP activities include visits to migrant and seasonal farmworker camps to provide education, case management, preventive health screenings, physical exams and health care treatment, referrals for specialty care, assistance completing applications for services, medical interpretation, transportation, and the annual Hispanic Community Day.

Amount Requested: $10,000

Operating Budget: $9,316,883

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