South Georgia Farmworkers Health Project with Emory
The Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation recently had the exciting opportunity to team up with Emory University’s Physician’s Assistant graduate program on their award winning South Georgia Farmworker Health Project. This service learning opportunity is a collaborative effort between Emory’s PA’s and students to aid in providing health and vision screenings to the farmworkers of South Georgia.
Lighthouse clinic coordinator Judith Kerr and Caren Kaplan hopped in our new Ford Sprinter panel vans, made possible by donations from the Woodruff Foundation, and headed down to South Georgia to provide vision care to migrant farmworkers and their families.
“Judith and I are working with Emory to provide comprehensive eye exams and glasses to children of migrant farmworkers,” said Kaplan. This journey marks the first time the Lighthouse has embarked to participate in Farmworkers week as a team, however, this is not the first time the Lighthouse has worked on health initiatives with Emory. In other projects, the Lighthouse has helped with, RB (retinoblastoma) Kids day and the Atlanta Eye Initiative.
This program will ensure that migrant farmworkers and their families have access to vision services. This access not only allows them the luxury of having 20/20 vision but also the ability to maintain a level of independence and increase in quality of life. The fact of the matter is that these workers need quality vision to complete their jobs, having anything less could potentially interfere with providing for their families economically.
What is interesting in the program is collaborative in nature in that it seeks to provide medical care to the underserved but also to the economically important population in Georgia. These workers and families play a crucial role in the agriculture production and economy in our state. Many Georgians do not understand how their fruits and veggies get from farm to dinner table and projects like his one help to provide a new prospective of the people and work that goes into facilitating this process.
Caren would like us to remember that the South Georgia Farmworker Health Project is still an ongoing program and is in the process of accepting donations, medications and clothing. Other items for donation can be donated to Emory’s PA graduate program or if individuals would like to donate via email to please contact Web@emorypa.org and including “Farmworker Project Donation” in the subject line.