In the Field: A look at MCN’s environmental and occupational health team
Last week, Amy Liebman, MCN’s Director of Environmental and Occupational Health, and Juliana Simmons, Environmental and Occupational Health Program Manager, escaped the dreary winter skylines of Maryland for sunny and warm Florida. While we all hope they manage to get some Vitamin D while they can, we know that they are in fact hard at work.
Their first stop was to visit child care centers for farmworker children, including Redlands Christian Migrant Association. “We are exploring different models and partnerships to keep children safe while their parents are at work,” Amy explained. These visits are part of MCN’s new project in partnership with the National Children’s Center.
Amy and Juliana then visited the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida, to prepare the site for implementation of MCN’s Workers and Health program. With support from the Environmental Protection Agency, MCN's Workers and Health program provides training, tools, and support to providers to raise awareness of how their patient’s job affects their health. Specifically, MCN seeks to improve the recognition, management, and prevention of pesticide poisonings among clinicians with farmworker patients. Knowing that your patient is a farmworker is the first step in accurately diagnosing pesticide exposure. Shannon Dowler, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Blue Ridge Community Health Center, says about the program “In the fast pace of the clinic, it can be easy to bypass a thorough social history, when in fact that may be the key to making an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Simple reminders incorporated in the workflow make it easier to capture this type of critical information!”
After implementing the program, Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida will join 13 Federally Qualified Health Centers in becoming an Environmental and Occupational Health Center of Excellence. Learn more about the program here.