TRENTON, S.C. (WJBF) — Farmworkers got a chance to find out more about their health at Costa Layman Farms.
Health officials put on the health fair to give farmworkers access to health care that they might not otherwise have on a regular basis. “We’re looking at cardiovascular risk factors,” Executive Associate Dean for Augusta University’s College of Nursing Dr. Dwayne Hooks told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.
“So that they can stay aware of their health status, or maybe find something new that they need to have attention drawn to,” Director of Costa Layman Outreach Projects Pam Cromer added.
The event was a part of the annual Costa Layman Health Fair for farmworkers.
“I decided that it was a good choice to come out here to help with minority populations. It’s important that they get their healthcare services as well,” Third-year nursing student Mikayla Hadden said.
This is Hadden’s first year participating. For her, she saw an opportunity to help those who simply may not be able to help themselves. “It’s pretty much going better than I expected. I didn’t think it was going to be such a large population, but it’s going pretty good. I’m seeing a lot of people and doing a lot of different things,” she added.
The room was set up like a make-shift clinic with a number of stations set up to perform different options including blood pressure checks, measurements, and physical therapy. “They go to a laboratory area and they have blood work drawn that looks at various factors. One is a comprehensive metabolic panel that gives us information about general wellbeing and health status,” Dr. Hooks shared.
In addition to normal vital checks, students and staff are checking for COVID-19 antibodies. “To see if these individuals have had the COVID illness and perhaps not even know it without having symptoms,” he added.
The event has been going strong for nearly twenty years as a partnership between the farm and Augusta University. Of course, it looked a little different in the year of the pandemic. “We’ve had to put in place, obviously, some restrictions like the six-foot distancing, the wearing of mask for all of the team members, and all of those that are coming through the process,” Dr. Hooks said.
Nearly 400 workers at the location had the opporunity to learn more about their health. The majority of the workers only spoke Spanish but translators were available.
“Despite COVID and all of the changes that we needed to put in place. We wanted to be able to continue to bring our students and faculty here as, as part of our community outreach for health,” Dean of the College of Nursing Dr. Tanya Sudia added.
“We know as our healthcare system is changing nationally and more work being done, healthcare work outside of the traditional hospital, we need to train nursing staff to be prepared for those settings too, this is one opportunity that we’re able to do that,” Dr. Hooks added.
Officials hope to have another health fair like this next year in June. The overall process took about 30 minutes.