Project Summary

Health disparities affect the Latino population, including the 75% of migratory and seasonal agricultural workers (MSAWs) born outside of the United States. Involving them in the research process can lead to more reliable and valid research findings in areas important to them. Significant gaps in conducting patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) exist.

COVID-19-Related Project Enhancement

Migrant farmworkers are generally excluded from healthcare or research discussions. In partnership with Migrant Farmworkers Assistance Fund, the project enhancement will build capacity to conduct engagement with this population through alternate mechanisms in a time of masking and social distancing. It focuses on the awareness and informational needs of migrant farmworkers regarding COVID-19, and will seek to understand how they obtain information, who they trust to provide accurate information, what they prioritize when balancing the need to work with social distancing recommendations, and how their priorities affect their use of health care.

The enhancement activities will also collect information about how to stay connected to populations, such as farmworkers, some who are migrating and very mobile, and who may have limited Internet connections, equipment, or technology skills when shelter-at-home orders are in place.

Enhancement Award Amount: $149,944

Our solution is to connect existing networks; increase researchers’ and other key stakeholders’ knowledge of PCOR; and utilize various forums to discuss ideas, share results, and build partnerships for conducting PCOR. We will also engage funders interested in PCOR and MSAWs’ health. Work with MSAWs will occur in the Midwest. Researchers, providers, and funders will be engaged across the United States.

Short-term objectives are the following:

  • Identify and expand network(s) through which researchers and local and national organizations share and obtain information about MSAW health and utilize those avenues to increase key stakeholders interested and prepared to conduct PCOR.
  • Expand the population of MSAWs prepared for and interested in participating in PCOR.
  • Engage funders in discussing PCOR and inclusion of MSAWs as part of their funding portfolios/strategic plans.

A longer-term objective is to increase the number of (a) researchers conducting PCOR with MSAWs throughout the process; (b) providers/agencies utilizing the results; and (c) funders including PCOR and MSAWs in their strategic plans.

We will achieve these objectives through a three-pronged approach. First, we will work to strengthen and revitalize opportunities to discuss, conduct, and disseminate research, including PCOR, related to MSAWs’ health. A national advisory council will help inform and guide the work to ensure that we are obtaining multiple perspectives from the Midwest and across the United States. Second, we will work with our current group of MSAWs who participated in a previous engagement award to co-create a user-friendly training about PCOR that can be used in multiple geographical areas. We will use this to co-train MSAWs in a second state – Texas – as part of this project, thus increasing the number of MSAWs prepared for and interested in PCOR. Third, we will engage funders interested in learning more about PCOR and MSAWs in an effort to include that focus in their funding portfolio/strategic plans.

Project deliverables will include the following: a resource for connecting and engaging researchers, organizations, and other key stakeholders interested in PCOR and MSAWs’ health; training materials co-developed with MSAWs to prepare other MSAWs to engage in PCOR related to health topics; a companion tip sheet informed by MSAWs for researchers interested in partnering with MSAWs; and creation of the national advisory council. A project website will be developed to share project information, including a list of collaborators and resource links.

The patients and stakeholders involved in the project will include MASWs in at least two US states, researchers from various universities, local and national organizations that focus on MSAW health, and other key stakeholders.

Migrant Farmworkers Assistance Fund and the National Center for Farmworker Health are community co-leads with the University of Kansas. Partners include Juntos Center for Advancing Latino Health, REACH Healthcare Foundation, University of Nebraska Medical Center, and the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, with others being added as project implementation begins.

Project Information

Cheryl Holmes, MPA
University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc.

Key Dates

24 months


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Last updated: November 23, 2021