Meeting the Health Care Needs of a Rural Hispanic Migrant Population With Diabetes


  • This program was supported by Rural Health Outreach grant DO 4RH 00251-03 from the Office of Rural Health Policy, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Md. Gratitude is expressed for the research and technical assistance of Andrea Smith, diabetes manager, and Tara Vavrosky, bilingual research assistant.

For further information, contact: Loretta Heuer, 7511 South University Dr, Fargo, ND 58104; e-mail


ABSTRACT: Context: There is a need for models of health care that provide accessible, culturally appropriate, quality services to the population of Hispanic migrant farmworkers at risk for or diagnosed with diabetes. Purposes: The purposes of this study were to describe the Migrant Health Service, Inc (MHSI), Diabetes Program, the conceptual model on which it is based, and 4 types of outcomes achieved over a 3-year period. Methods: Types and amounts of medical services and education were studied. Qualitative data obtained from program records and documents were analyzed to determine the nature of the program. Quantitative data were used to measure outcomes of the program. Findings: The multiplecomponent MHSI Diabetes Program is addressing economic, cultural, and language barriers experienced by the target population. The program provides a continuum of health services and education that meet American Diabetes Association (ADA) Clinical Practice Recommendations on diabetes. The program exposes regional health care professionals and university students from numerous academic disciplines to Hispanic farmworker culture. Conclusions: Evidence-based program management, patient care, and program evaluation are traits of this program, which offers accessible, culturally appropriate, quality health services and education to Hispanic farmworkers. The multicomponent program model has high potential for positively impacting the health of the target population.