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Mobile Clinic Reaches Rural Population on Farms

Imagine cramming medical supplies into a suitcase before driving to a remote field to visit patients. 

The arrival of a new mobile medical clinic in 2022 enables staff at ReGenesis Health Care in South Carolina to serve farmworkers in the state’s rural areas.  And mobile clinic evening hours twice a week allow staff to average 20 to 30 patient visits an evening. 

Melisa Hammett, a family nurse practitioner and medical director of the ReGenesis Agricultural Farm Worker Program, said graduating from the suitcase adventures to a fully stocked mobile clinic has been a huge help.  The program served more than 1,200 workers and their children last year. 

South Carolina’s lush farmlands boast various products.  Many patients work on labor-intensive farms producing fruits and vegetables as well as plant and flower nurseries. 

Farmers welcomed the clinic hours, knowing it is the only practical way for many workers to access health care.  ReGenesis offers primary care as well as mental and oral health services to its patients.  “A lot of them have never had dental services,” Hammett noted. 

ReGenesis first aimed to make the mobile clinic available during peak agricultural season, but now runs year-round with a bilingual staff to serve a mainly Spanish speaking population.  The efforts recently earned a 2023 Promising Practices Award from the National Center for Farmworker Health. 

The ReGenesis staff has been happy to work in the outreach program, Hammett said.  “It’s a very underserved population.  We’re very proud of the work and growth.”