Migrant Clinicians Network: A force for health justice for the mobile poor There is a class of people who live on the move. They do the jobs that, even in this economy, most will not. They go where the work is—fields, factories, construction sites—often with their families in tow, and take enormous risks in order to survive in the hope of a better life. They have little access to things most of us take for granted—a permanent home, a steady source of income, well-balanced meals and good health care. Yet, there is a group of clinicians who are committed to serving migrants and their families—who go toward these people with services, specialties, and dedication. The mission of Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN) is to serve these clinicians. We bring education, technical assistance, peer support, and advocacy to the field, creating a chain of connection and commitment that makes everyone stronger and more effective as we unite for one cause: health justice for the mobile poor. Our Organization Our Organization Migrant Clinicians Network is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that creates practical solutions at the intersection of poverty, migration, and health. We provide bridge case management, support, technical assistance, and professional development to clinicians in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and other health care delivery sites with the ultimate purpose of providing quality health care that increases access and reduces disparities for migrant farmworkers and other mobile underserved populations.
MCN is a global organization with more than 10,000 constituents. Our work is overseen by a board of directors comprised of frontline clinicians, researchers, policy makers, and academics with experience in and commitment to migrant health. MCN employs a professional staff of 25 based in five offices across the US that carry out its work of serving as a professional home for clinicians serving migrants. Within that scope, MCN engages in research, develops appropriate resources, advocates for migrants and clinicians, engages outside partners, and runs programs that support clinical care on the frontline of migrant health.
Our History Our History
In 1984, three dedicated clinicians met at the Migrant Health Conference in Padre Island. The three clinicians -- Willa Hays, RN from Northwest Michigan Health Services, Inc.; Gail Stevens, RN from Delmarva Rural Ministries; and David Smith, then a physician at Brownsville Community Health Center -- shared their feelings of personal isolation and dismay at the lack of migrant-specific resources available to clinicians. In 1985, they formed Migrant Clinicians Network, a grassroots clinical network consisting of clinicians dedicated to improved health care for migrant farmworkers. In 2015, Migrant Clinicians Network celebrated its 30th year in the fight for health justice for the mobile poor.
Our Clinical Constituents Our Clinical Constituents
MCN serves a breadth of health professionals who provide care for migrants. Sixty-eight percent of MCN’s constituency is clinicians providing direct health care to migrants. The remaining 32% includes individuals whose efforts, all or in part, focus on migrant health. The majority of MCN’s clinical constituents (56%) are based at community health centers. The other 44% are based in other sites including hospital emergency departments, private practice, health departments, research institutions and educational institutions. Our focus on the multidisciplinary team includes resources and assistance specifically assisting community health workers or promotores de salud. MCN constituents are located throughout the US and include international health professionals with an interest in migrant health.
Our Work Our Work
MCN currently has several areas of programmatic focus, while remaining nimble and responsive to issues that arise in clinics throughout the country. At present, MCN has specific initiatives in the areas of
occupational/environmental health, family violence prevention, and continuity of care/bridge case management for mobile patients. Other areas of expertise include immunization, infectious diseases, global health, chronic illness, and health promotion.
Much of MCN’s work is driven by the needs of clinicians requesting assistance. In order to respond effectively to any issue that arises, MCN draws on internal staff resources, a cadre of migrant health experts, our
External Advisory Board, and a library of technical assistance material to handle the requests as they arrive. See our Technical Assistance page for more information.
MCN also advocates on behalf of both migrant clinicians and the mobile populations that they serve. Learn more on our
Health Justice page. MCN's YEAR IN REVIEWs: 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011