Naples, Fla. (May 11, 2022) – Healthcare Network was recognized as a 2022 Outstanding Migrant Health Center by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) during the annual Conference for Agricultural Worker Health held in Denver, CO on May 2.
The organization was one of two health centers to receive the award which recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to the health of migrant and farmworker communities. Healthcare Network was specifically honored for their work during the pandemic to reach farmworkers and their families in Immokalee who had some of the highest COVID-19 positivity rates in the country.
In the early days of the pandemic, Healthcare Network understood to reach migrant, rural and underserved individuals living in remote corners of the community – healthcare needed to be delivered beyond practice walls. With this in mind, they created and deployed a multi-lingual Community Outreach Team (formerly the COVID-19 Response Team) to address barriers to care including language, cultural, access and fear. Strategic collaborations with several organizations including Partners in Health, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the Department of Health Collier County, Mission Peniel and many others were key to identifying and reaching families in need.
“We are proud of the work we’ve been able to accomplish during the pandemic, breaking barriers and ensuring the advancement of health equity in underserved and vulnerable populations,” said Julie Pedretti, vice president of external affairs for Healthcare Network. “This award is a testament to the incredible care teams at Healthcare Network. Their constant work and unwavering dedication to serving the community is unmatched.”
Recently, based on the success of the Community Outreach Team during the pandemic, Healthcare Network expanded the team from five to 15 members with the goal to reach additional underserved communities including Everglades City/Chokoloske, Golden Gate Estates/Orange Tree/Oil Well Road, and East Naples/Lely. The team will continue to address COVID-19 needs as well as other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease while also connecting families with local resources for physical and mental health, transportation, food and housing assistance.
To learn more about Healthcare Network’s COVID-19 response in Collier County or for more information about joining the COVID-19 Response Team, visit www.HealthcareSWFL.org.