Access to and disparities in care among migrant and seasonal farm workers (MSFWs) at U.S. health centers

Ruwei Hu, Leiyu Shi, De Chih Lee, Geraldine Pierre Haile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. This study describes the characteristics of migrant and seasonal farm workers (MSFWs) served by federally- funded health centers and examines disparities in access to primary and preventive care between migrant health center (MHC) and community health center (CHC) program patients. Methods. Cross- sectional analysis of the 2009 Health Center Patient Survey which has 2212 and 831 patients from CHC and MHC program patients, respectively. Results. Our study showed that the MHC program provided comparable health care access and quality for MSFWs relative to CHC patients. However, there were challenges with access to primary care, such as getting timely medical and dental care and prescription medicine. Discussion. These results affirmed the role of health centers in providing high- quality primary care and reducing disparities. However, continual efforts are needed to enhance access to and quality of care for MSFWs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1484-1502
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Access to care
  • Community health centers
  • Migrants and seasonal farm workers (MSFWs)
  • Quality of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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