A clinic in Gadsden County is opening its doors to farm workers who don't have health care. It took three years to get the project running, but Saturday's grand opening made it all worthwhile.
Migrant workers are now getting the help they need. Her name is Lucia, she gave no last name. She speaks little English and has no insurance. Lucia is one in a thousand of Gadsden County residents in need of health care.
"There's such a great need for our farm worker families and really the community in general," said Maria Pouncy, the Migrant Education Project Manager.
So after years of hard work, the Panhandle Area Educational Consortium has opened its very first medical center in Gadsden County.
"I'm hoping to see around 40 patients and I think we can do that."
From the time the doors opened the waiting room was filled with patients. Still, the medical staff had hoped for rain so workers would be able to come off the fields and get medical care. Unfortunately they did not get the bad weather they were looking for. It is a beautiful day, the migrants are here working in the fields so that's exactly where the health care professionals came.
Lucia was the first in line. Most of the workers declined care, saying they had to get back to work. They were probably a little afraid of our cameras as well, but the staff made sure they knew the clinic is now open, so the next time they need medical attention help will be there.
Everyone working in the clinic, from the nurse practitioner to the medical students, is offering free services.