Many of Yolo County’s approximately 7,000 agricultural workers are migrant workers, temporarily moving into the County each growing season. They are largely non-English speakers, often lack adequate health care and food security, and many are undocumented. These are just a few of the drivers that create poorer health outcomes for this population. Nevertheless, agricultural workers constitute approximately 4% of Yolo County’s GDP and continuously provide critical resources to the community.
From the outset of the program, one of Healthy Davis Together’s most prominent priorities was to ensure equitable access to resources and health care amongst Yolo County’s vulnerable populations. As a part of this effort, HDT convened and partnered directly with Yolo County, community-based organizations, and ÒRALE—an NIH-funded research project—to support Yolo County’s agricultural workers. Through a novel public-private-non-profit collaboration, these organizations offered culturally competent services including isolation, food and income-replacement support, COVID-19 testing, COVID-19 vaccinations, and strategic communications.
As COVID-19 vaccines became available, Yolo County led efforts to vaccinate the County’s agricultural workers. As a result of their work, supported by HDT, ÒRALE and other community partners, 83% of agricultural workers in Yolo County were vaccinated by May 2021.
This case study details the program and lessons learned. As HDT’s work to reach agricultural workers and other underserved populations continues, we continue to embrace new ways to share information and build community. For example, we’re beginning to host weekly meals for migrant farmworkers, as an opportunity to answer questions and dispel myths about vaccines.
As the pandemic begins to subside, we are hopeful that the deep connections forged between Yolo County, HDT representatives, ÒRALE, local community organizations, and community members will provide a substantial foundation for expanded social services support and a more robust public health infrastructure.