TRENTON, S.C. (WJBF) – Augusta University’s College of Nursing has a program that’s been bringing healthcare to minorities in rural areas for 18 years now.

The Costa Layman International Health Fair Outreach was started back in 2005, and has since grown to offer many types of healthcare screenings for those who need it the most. 

“Our focus at the college is on rural outreach and serving our communities, engaging them in healthy aspects of living,” said Pam Cromer, the Director of Costa Layman Outreach at Augusta University.

At Friday’s event, dental, lung, skin, HIV, EKG, and other screenings were provided to rural Hispanic farmworkers.

“Of course there are a lot of people that come here to work, to the United States, and they don’t have these services and benefits,” said Eduardo, who works at Costa Layman Farms.

Students from the nursing school, the College of Allied Health Sciences, the Medical College of Georgia, and the Dental College of Georgia were able to get hands-on experience caring for patients.

“We constantly evolve to bring in more and more services to provide healthcare, as well as health promotion and prevention, and education to our workers while training our future workforce,” Cromer said.

During COVID, the turnout at the event dwindled, but at Friday’s event, the majority of workers at the farms showed up.

“This year in particular, we have the highest participation ever,” said Tanya Sudia, the Dean of the College of Nursing at Augusta University. “Approximately ninety percent of the workers have chosen to participate this year.”

Program leaders said the goal is to keep improving, and they hope to expand their services in the coming years. The school of nursing’s next outreach event will be in the fall, and will be focused on giving healthcare to underserved women.