School of Medicine

Physician Assistant Studies - PA Program

Migrant Farmworker Program



Migrant farm worker

The Santaquin area in Utah County has had the largest population of migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the state. Health care infrastructure was organized in this area with funding from the Farm Worker Health Grant starting in 1991 in Utah with the Farm Worker Health Clinic, Centro de Buena Salud, and Migrant Head Start Programs through Centro de la Familia de Utah. Since this time, the University of Utah Physician Assistant Program (UUPAP) has partnered with these programs to better understand and address farmworker healthcare needs in a sociocultural context.

Training is provided so that University faculty and students can adapt to literacy and social needs and understand historical and contemporary policies that relate to migrant and seasonal farm work. This training includes documentaries “Harvest of Shame” by Edward R. Murrow (1960) and “Harvest of Shame: Revisited” by Byron Pitts (2010).

Each fall, PA student activities among migrant farmworkers include administering annual influenza vaccine, diabetes and blood pressure screenings, and oral health examinations along with diabetes, hypertension, and oral health education. Abnormal findings or other health needs are then referred to Mountainlands Community Health Center and Payson Family Practice, who provide healthcare to this population. The team also includes Michelle Martin, MPH, RDH and her team from the Utah Department of Health Oral Health Program and volunteer interpreters from Community Health Connect.

Click here to learn about our other community engagement activities and partnerships within the UPAP curriculum.