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Balance Between Clinical and Non-clinical Settings | 30 Days, 30 Clinicians

MNC Marie-Jose Francois [Editor’s Note: Happy Birthday, Migrant Clinicians Network! To celebrate our 30th anniversary this month, we are highlighting one clinician each day who has been honored in 30 Clinicians Making a Difference​​​, in which we profile the work of 30 diverse migrant clinicians from across the country and abroad.]

It comes as no surprise that one of our 30 Clinicians Making a Difference, Marie-Jose Francois, is based in Florida. After all, the Sunshine State hosts tens of thousands of migratory and seasonal agricultural workers in its crop agriculture each year, and many innovative programs to serve that population’s health needs.

Marie-Jose Francois found that immigrants in her community near Orlando were not able to get the education, support, and case management needed to properly navigate their illnesses, so she founded the Center for Multicultural Wellness and Prevention (CMWP) in the 1990s, with the mission to “to enhance the health, wellness, and quality of life for diverse and ethnic populations in central Florida,” not just those working in agriculture, but any minority in the community needing assistance. Her work with CMWP is chronicled in her profile.

A few hundred miles south from CMWP is where three MCNers arrived last week to work on a site visit at Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida. Ed Zuroweste, MD, our Chief Medical Officer, Amy Liebman, MPA, MA, our Director of Environmental and Occupational Health, and Kerry Brennan, our Environmental and Occupational Health Program Associate conducted a site visit and completed training for about 50 people on better recognizing and managing the work-related health conditions of their patients. (More on this site visit in a future blog post.)

They also met members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), at their headquarters near the health center. The CIW’s award-winning Fair Food Project celebrated last month when multinational food distributor Compass Group signed on to the project, one of dozens of corporations promising to pay a premium to assure fair wages and signing on to a code of conduct. And, last week, Food Chains, the movie documenting the agricultural worker movement in Florida, won the James Beard Award for best documentary.

It’s inspiring to see so many health, well-being, and human rights advocates hard at work in a state that continues to have a reputation for poor treatment of agricultural workers. Congratulations to Marie-Jose Francois for her own work in Florida, and her selection as one of the 30 Clinicians Making a Difference.

Help us honor the work of Dr. Francois by sharing her profile. And, make sure to check out the profiles of all 30 clinicians at the 30 Clinicians Making a Difference webpage.

Like our work? Consider making a donation to MCN to celebrate our 30th anniversary.