Zoom Meeting Oct. 7 — Addressing Increased Health Disparities During a Pandemic: Immokalee Case Study

Existing health disparities in the United States have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighted by the challenges certain populations face in accessing tests and vaccines. In an unlikely and nontraditional partnership, Healthcare Network, Partners in Health, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the National Center for Farmworker Health, and others developed and supported a team of community health workers and secured resources to address roadblocks to access and care, including overcoming fear and distrust, as well as technology and transportation barriers. 

Join us Oct. 7 at noon via Zoom as we hear from representatives from four of the collaborators in a nationally recognized model for improving health equity.

Gerardo Reyes Chavez

Gerardo Reyes Chavez is a key leader of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), mobilizing communities across the world to advocate for the rights of exploited workers. Through CIW’s Fair Food Program, Gerardo has facilitated unique partnerships among farmers, farmworkers, and retail food companies to ensure humane wages and working conditions for the workers on the participating farms. Gerardo leads workers’ rights education programs, as well as managing the complexities of complaints of abuses in the fields, wage theft claims, and investigating cases of modern-day slavery. He has spoken publicly about the Fair Food Program at events such as Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program Convening on Farm Labor Challenges and the Interfaith Council on Corporate Responsibility’s Multi-stakeholder Roundtable on Ethical Recruitment. Gerardo is a 2018 Aspen Institute Ricardo Salinas Scholar.

Dr. Jude Beachamp

Jude Beachamp, MD, MMSc, was recently named Senior Project Lead, U.S. Public Health Accompaniment Unit, Partners in Health (PIH), in Immokalee. He is leading PIH’s collaborative work with Healthcare Network, CIW, the Department of Health-Collier, and other community partners to improve health equity among migrant farmworker and other underserved and vulnerable populations. Dr. Beauchamp previously served as TB/HIV Lead in Liberia and worked extensively in Haiti, including the 2010 earthquake recovery efforts. He has a Master’s degree in Global Health Delivery from Harvard Medical School, completed several clinical rotations in the USA and Canada including a clinical rotation in Family Medicine at Urgences Médicales Rive Sud Inc, in Québec. Dr. Beauchamp earned his Doctor of Medicine at the Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie Université d’État d’Haïti.

Erin Birney

Erin Birney is Outreach Coordinator for the National Center of Farmworker Health. Through documenting and sharing promising practices, technical assistance, and health education material, Erin provides support to outreach teams nationwide that are working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in agricultural worker communities. She has over ten years of experience working with asylum seekers and refugees in Central Texas. Before joining NCFH, Erin worked as an intensive case manager for refugee clients with high medical needs. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish and graduated from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, specializing in photography and film.

Julie Pedretti

Julie Pedretti, MBA, FACHE, APR, is Vice President of External Affairs for Healthcare Network with responsibility for marketing, development, and community outreach/partnerships. She joined Healthcare Network in June 2020 as COVID-19 Community Relations Director. Canvassing door-to-door and setting up a mobile unit in neighborhoods, the multilingual COVID-19 Response Team provides education, testing and access to vaccines to improve health equity for those facing barriers, such as technology and transportation. Healthcare Network, founded in 1977 to serve the healthcare needs of migrant farmworkers in Immokalee, strives to make primary healthcare available to everyone in Collier County, regardless of job, insurance, or citizenship status. 

This is a free Zoom event. RSVP by emailing RSVP@pressclubswfl.org, and we will email you the Zoom link.

Please note that the press club hopes to resume in-person meetings later this fall.