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Migrant Health Center Leaders Honored at National Conference

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Tom Van Coverden, NACHC  President & CEO, Dolores Huerta and Mike Holmes, NACHC Treasurer, CEO, Cook Area Health Services, MN

Migrant health center leaders from around the country were honored this week at the Conference for Agricultural Worker Health, sponsored by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC).  The national gathering, which took place in Albuquerque, NM, is the only conference dedicated solely to the health and well-being of America’s migrant and seasonal agricultural workers and their families.

Among those honored were:

2019 Lifetime Achievement in Migrant Health Award

Roland J. Gardner, Chief Executive Officer, Beaufort-Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services in Ridgeland, SC.

2019 Outstanding Migrant Health Center Award

Golden Valley Health Centers, Merced, California

2019 Outstanding Migrant Health Center Board Member Award

Carmen Veguilla, Board Chair, COSSMA  Inc., Cidra, P.R.

2019 Outstanding Migrant Health Public Service Award

Roland Gardner accepts Lifetime Achievement in Migrant Health Award, with NACHC Board Chair Jim Luisi, Chair-Elect Lathran Woodard, & Tom Van Coverden, NACHC President & CEO.

Susan Gabbard, Ph.D Vice President, JBS International, Inc., Burlingame, CA

“Each year, NACHC takes pride in recognizing colleagues, who have done so much on behalf of our migrant and seasonal farmworkers” said NACHC Board Chair Jim Luisi during the award ceremony. “Each in their own way has shown what it takes to make health care meaningful and responsive for this vital part of the nation’s workforce.  Honorees have lifted barriers to care and advanced understanding of the complex health needs of people suffering poverty and hardship. Equally important, in serving a population far outside the mainstream, they have defined the components of quality patient care, creating a new vision for health care delivery. We applaud their service and join expressing gratitude for their leadership and invaluable contributions to the Health Center Movement.”

The Conference for Agricultural Health also featured keynote remarks by Dolores Huerta, Co-Founder of the United Farm Workers of America and President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland and Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General.  Both leaders were  presented with the National Achievement in Migrant Health Award.

Community and Migrant Health Centers serve one million migrant and seasonal agricultural workers and more than 28 million people nationwide.  The Migrant Health Program was signed into law in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy.

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