MiVIA™ touches the lives of farmworkers and their families in many ways. We are sharing some of the personal stories as reported by Ricardo Uribe, MiVIA™ outreach coordinator for Vineyard Worker Services.

How MiVIA™ impacts lives

Our agency has changed from being simply involved with housing to now looking at all issues within the community, especially health. One agricultural worker who had worked in Sonoma County for several years had a serious problem upon his arrival a year ago. He had unknowingly developed kidney failure upon his arrival. I received a call from the hospital in Santa Rosa to come and translate as he speaks no English. When I told him that he would need dialysis, he thought it was a one-time procedure. After much talking he was shocked at the seriousness and how his life would change. I entered him into the MiVIA™ program and got him set up with an emergency information card. He started dialysis in Windsor, about 1-1/2 miles from his employer's ranch. On his way to dialysis, one hot afternoon, he was spotted weaving about by the police. He was picked up and when he showed his ID card to the police they rushed him to the clinic instead of to jail as a drunk.

A little girl, who had just arrived from Mexico, had just been entered into MiVIA™ before she started school. The mother put the girl's MiVIA™ ID in her backpack. After school the girl got on the wrong bus and after sometime the driver noticed she did not know where to go. He called in and they searched her backpack and found the MiVIA™ ID. With that the school called the mother, and the girl arrived home safely. The mother has since been one of the biggest promoters that families register their children into the program.

The mobile dental clinic that comes once a week used to waste a lot of time trying to figure out relationships, but now with the MiVIA™ cards, they can take care of up to 17 people instead of 10 each day. They can deal with more problems and spend less time on administration. A Patient at the dental clinic had his jaw lock up. We rushed him to the local emergency but they could not treat him. He was sent to Santa Rosa. The family member who took him could not speak English and there was no translator. The hospital attendant took a look at the MiVIA™ ID, got into his records and saw that he had a previous record of his jaw locking up with dental treatment. They knew how to treat him quickly. Without the card he would have been bounced back as no one knew how to explain what was happening.

Every time we have our harvest camp site there are emergencies. Last year we had a man who had seizures. He did not know how to explain what was happening. We put him into MiVIA™ and took him for examination. He found he had an allergy which was causing the attacks. He has moved to another venue, but has his MiVIA™ record traveling with him.

We had another man last year who broke his leg walking along a railroad track after work. He suffered several hours while waiting for someone who could translate and to take him to the doctor. When I saw him, I registered him in MiVIA™ and got him to the hospital. Even though I had to leave him, they had his registration and were able to work with his records. All of the treatment he received was entered into the record which traveled with him.

The community has trust in Vineyard Workers Services and in turn in the program offered by MiVIA™. MiVIA™ has in turn enriched VWS in the services it offers to the community.
(Ricardo Uribe, VWS

 
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