Unsung Hero 2010
MCN is the nation's oldest and largest network dedicated to the mobile underserved. Honoring clinicians in the field of Migrant Health is a part of our commitment. In 2009, we honored James "Curtis" Edwards, Community Health Care. Inc., Bridgeton, New Jersey. As a community leader, Curtis demonstrates the power of asking others to take a stake, and collaborate in reaching farmworkers and other underserved individuals. This year we honor Eugene (Gene) Majka, a champion for quality healthcare for the migrant population in South Florida.
Eugene (Gene) Majka
Champions the health of our migrant population in South Florida.
Majka joined the nursing faculty at Barry University's College of Health Sciences eight years ago and immediately set forth to support the migrant community. He has collaborated with community organizations such as; We Care, Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA), American Lung Association, and Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) in order to address the most pressing healthcare need of migrant served at all six RCMA centers.
- Mr Majka supervises the Community Health clinical experience of Registered Nurses (RNs) who are returning for their baccalaureate degree. Under his direction and supervision these RNs have completed health care assessments on over 600 children, making sure their immunizations, weights and medications are recorded. These assessments continue as needed at local day care centers. Adults are also served, as health screenings are offered at scheduled times throughout the year.
- During the flu outbreak in Fall 2009, Mr Majka worked with the Florida Department of Health to provide over 600 H1N1 immunizations to migrant farm workers and their families.
- His students have provided over 100 health education topics in English, Spanish and Creole to staff members of community agencies, as well as parents. Students leave their educational materials, allowing the staff to continue educating parents on key topics.
Mr. Majka is committed to providing comprehensive care and in making sure the healthcare providers in the Homestead community have the knowledge and resources they need to join the effort.
In the Community
- He and his students discovered rashes on the faces of the children in one of their health screenings and determined they were being hugged by their parents who were wearing their field clothes. Tainted with pesticides, these clothes were producing skin rashes and triggering asthma attacks. Mr Majka used his contacts with the American Lung Association to screen the children for asthma and provide peak flow meters for the children.
- "Project Wash" was instituted to raise funds so that parents could afford laundry detergent to wash their children's clothes separately from their own field clothes.
- Identified resource for selected dental services for migrant children and arranged for Walgreen's to provide pharmacy interns to educate community staff on the use of Epi-pens so they can respond to allergic reactions when RNs are not in the community.
"Mr. Majka could have chosen any community in South Florida and he chose the most disenfranchised- the migrant community in Homestad. He is tireless in his efforts to improve thier lives and make sure they have what they need now as well as in the future."
Pegge L. Bell, PhD, RN, APN
Dean & Professor
College of Health Sciences.
The 2010 unsung hero will receive an all expenses paid trip to the National Summit of Clinicians for Healthcare Justice in Washington, DC, September 23-25, 2010. MCN will present the award in front of a professional audience of clinical peers.
For more information on the "The Unsung Hero Award," changes in the migrant population or any of MCN's innovative programs caring for the mobile underserved in your area contact: