Montana Migrant Council Provides Healthcare For Migrant Farm and Ranch Workers
Located between Missoula and Lolo, the Montana Migrant Council Clinic provides healthcare for migrant and seasonal farm workers and their families.
Outreach worker Kelsey Angel said the clinic office near Lolo is a satellite of the state headquarters in Billings.
“We have satellite offices in Dillon, Fairview and now Lolo,” Angel said. “We provide primary and preventive health services to anyone working in agriculture. For a long time, we’ve focused on the needs of migrant workers, but that also applies to anyone working in agriculture. Around Missoula, we see a lot of small family farms, cattle ranchers, organic farmers and some migrant workers, as well.”
Angel said the clinic’s mission is to keep farm workers and their families healthy.
“We do a lot of diagnostic blood work, well-women’s exams, physicals and immunizations,” Angel said. “We have a dental hygienist who visits now and then, and we often refer patients out to providers in Lolo.”
The council also has a mobile exam clinic that is visible from the highway with the words “La Clinica”
“We actually have two units, this is our mobile medical clinic and our dental clinic is currently in Bozeman,” Angel said. “This one has a private exam room in the front and back and sort of an intake room in the middle, and we can do everything in that mobile unit that we can in this clinic.”
Angel said the local county agencies have been effective in letting people in the agricultural industry know about their services.
“We’ve had a lot of support from agencies from Lake, Missoula and Ravalli counties and their job service offices, and thanks to their networking, they’ve really gotten the word out for us.”
The Migrant Health Program is funded through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Primary Health Care and has been in existence since 1971. MMC estimates a target population of 10,400 individuals and annually serves about 6,000 men, women and children. The program has nine clinics located where farmworker presence is highest, in the most remote areas in Northeastern, South Central and Western Montana.
Outreach worker Kelsey Angel