Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers was founded in 1977 as Salantic Health Services, a health center for migrants. Serving the farmworker community still remains a priority. SJFMC operates a network of multi-service community health centers where medical professionals provide low-cost, high-quality medical and dental services to migrant farmworkers and low-income residents of South Jersey.
Caring for Farmworkers in South Jersey
The lifestyle of migrant farm workers makes it difficult for them to access health care when they need it. Many migrants have limited financial resources, do not speak English, do not have an automobile or a telephone, and are not aware of how to access health care since they are only in New Jersey for a short period of time. Long working hours and tight living conditions in farm labor camps also result in particular health problems for farm workers. By meeting the farmworkers where they work and live, we actively decrease their social, economic, and cultural barriers to care. We perform health assessments, facilitate health educational sessions, arrange medical appointments, and provide transportation, interpretation and case management services in order to improve access to health care, promote healthy behaviors and ultimately improve health outcomes among these vulnerable populations. Every spring throughout the fall, South Jersey is visited by over 30,000 migrant farm workers and their families, who work on the farms of Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem Counties. Arriving from other points on the migrant trail – Florida, Georgia, North Carolina – migrant farm workers stop in New Jersey during the harvest season to handpick the blueberries, peaches, tomatoes, cranberries and other fruits and vegetables that feed the population of the Delaware Valley. Most farm workers are originally from Mexico, but many are from Central America, Puerto Rico, Haiti and Jamaica.
Our Migrant Health Program Services: