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Our Story

Our Story

Migrant Clinicians Network: A force for health justice/Somos una fuerza dedicada a la justicia en salud. Our mission is to create practical solutions at the intersection of vulnerability, migration, and health. We envision a world based on health justice and equity, where migration is never an impediment to well-being. We are a courageous team, born to care, and with a passion to improve the health of humanity by the work we do every day.

Our Organization

Migrant Clinicians Network is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides support, technical assistance, and professional development to clinicians in community health centers, health departments, and other health care delivery sites. Through online seminars and learning collaboratives, on-the-ground trainings, resource development, and advocacy, MCN enables clinicians to provide quality health care, increase health care access, and reduce disparities for people who need ongoing care but are experiencing outside forces that exacerbate their vulnerability.

We also provide virtual case management directly to patients who may otherwise be lost to follow-up because of their need to move, through our innovative program Health Network.  We directly serve anyone with any ongoing health need who, because of their vulnerabilities, may be unable to continue their needed treatment plan as a result of the choice to migrate or forced displacement. We serve farmworkers and dairy workers, temporary day laborers, short-term migrants returning for a visit to their country of origin, and refugees forced from their homes, fleeing disease, violence, climate catastrophe, or economic instability.

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, policymakers, and academics with experience in and commitment to health equity.  MCN employs a professional staff of about 40, based in four offices across the mainland US and in Puerto Rico. MCN engages in research, develops and distributes much-needed resources, advocates for patients and clinicians, engages outside partners, and runs programs that support clinical care on the frontline of migrant health. 

MCN actively faces and combats inequities in its work, making diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) central to its strategic plan. MCN equips clinicians, community health workers, and workers with comprehensive training and technical assistance that is culturally competent and culturally humble.  MCN advances equity through language justice by offering educational webinars and written materials in both English and Spanish. Fostering an inclusive work environment starts by creating a safe space for all workers to ask questions, take risks, and be vulnerable with each other, this happens at MCN. Additionally, all staff are encouraged to participate in DEIA work groups. Professional development and promotional pathways to support the advancement of our diverse staff are identified. Each year, measurable goals in all areas of DEIA are set, and success and areas of growth are tracked. MCN is looking ahead and embracing a culture of DEIA that is deliberate and welcoming for their employees and all whom they serve. 


2019 MCN staff and board of directors
MCN Staff and Board of Directors (2019)

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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 a sense 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 people who, because they are moving, are at risk to be lost to follow-up. In 2019, Migrant Clinicians Network celebrated its 35th year in the fight for health justice for the mobile poor.

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Our Clinical Constituents

MCN serves a breadth of health professionals who provide care for migrants. Roughly two-thirds of MCN’s constituency are clinicians providing direct health care to migrants.  The remaining third includes individuals whose efforts, all or in part, focus on migrant health. Slightly over 50 percent of MCN’s clinical constituents are based at community health centers.  The remainder 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 for 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.

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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 mental health of frontline providers; climate change, emergency preparedness, and disaster response; occupational/environmental health; family violence prevention; and continuity of care/bridge case management for mobile patients including migrant farmworkers and asylum seekers leaving detention.  Other areas of expertise include immunization, infectious diseases, global health, chronic illness, and health promotion. MCN is active throughout the US and Puerto Rico, and our Health Network case management team has provided continuity of care services to patients moving from the US to 114 countries.

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, and a library of technical assistance materials 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.


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