Archive for June 22, 2015

Chief Complaint: Moultrie Was Not Long Enough

 "0061702-15AB"I’ve been back home in Gwinnett County for almost two whole days as of right now and all I can do is slightly smile. Thinking of how bittersweet it is to be back home and which memories to share with this post. Before I went on this trip down to Moultrie, GA I didn’t think I would be so emotionally attached to this city, these people, and these memories I’ve made. I thought this would be a great opportunity to experience public health and help our state with providing health care to those who have little to none access. I did not expect the emotional rollercoaster I began to be such an integral part of my nursing school journey. 

The first Sunday everyone gathered at the Ellenton Clinic where we were slightly introduced to the faculty and different disciplinary teams to learn what each of our roles were as we spend the next two weeks together. We ended the night with a lovely dinner from the Mayor of Moultrie where some amazing Pound Cake with fruit toppings were our farewell gift and a sweet welcoming to the community.

Throughout the week we slowly got accustomed to our roles and we all faced personal journeys with this program. Starting the day off in the morning at Cox Elementary where we did care for the children was definitely a life moving experience. Push aside the unknown of kids, the fear of being with sixteen 5 year olds, and the fear of not being able to help a kid and we were all surprised at what we experienced. From helping kids ages 3 to 10 we got to share some laughs and some personal memories. Working with vision, hearing, blood glucose, and hemoglobin screenings the BSN students really got to know some of these kids pretty well. You try to encourage them to be brave before we poke them in the finger or tell them the blood pressure cuff will feel like a tight hug. We listen to the kids tell us the shape of a heart is “te amo” and you can’t help but smile and agree saying, “good job!” I’ll always remember the little girl who would hold my hand to every station and smile as she did her screenings. Her smile reminded me of all the good we are doing for these young people. The innocence of these kids who are here for an education and a better life bring a sense of hope. I laugh now thinking about the boy who was terrified to get his finger pricked but laughed and told all his friends it tickled after the quick pinch. 

It didn’t hurt at all, it tickled! There’s nothing to be scared about!

– The little boy telling his friends

As we wrapped up the school on Friday it was surreal to know how many kids we saw and helped. How many kids we may not see again next year and how many kids were waving to us goodbye with smiles on their faces. I don’t consider myself a pediatric person, but this daily morning trip to Cox Elementary has changed my life for the better. I hope these kids stay in school and smile as much as they can. Their smiles are infectious and you can’t help but smile with them.

After school everyday a wonderful church would open their arms and doors to us with food and blessings. It was wonderful to see a community so happy and grateful for helping another community in a bigger community sense. I can’t stop thinking about the fried chicken, squash casserole, the endless amounts of homemade desserts, and the love and smiles we received. I am very thankful for the memories we made at lunch and the encouragement we received for all of our hard work. 

I’m positive you could be told how Night Camp was going to be run and not be fully prepared for how these nights would go. Dirt roads, AC blasting, and sometimes little naps that involved drool were the main parts to our night ritual as we drove to a farm each night. As we were directed in which way to park students would create bug spray clouds and quickly rub in some sunscreen lotion so we wouldn’t burn under the hot southern sun. Is it weird to say I miss that lovely combination? Night camp was a beautiful, hectic, and wonderful experience. We were exposed to so much in so little time and yet we were making such a big impact in these two weeks. From blood pressure, height, weight, BMI, and blood glucose/hemoglobin the students were really able to make an impact. Especially with the Foot care station. The ability to really share an intimate moment with someone in such a unique way is one we cannot forget. To take in someone who wants a little human contact in a non-weird way but a very therapeutic way. If you really wanted to feel like you were helping someone out, you needed to work at the foot care station. After this station I’m a FIRM believer in human contact as therapy. 

Night Camp proved to be long and hard like we were told. But there is just no way to talk about how rewarding it was. With Intake we were able to learn a little about our patients and try to customize a certain care plan that fit their needs. Some farm workers needed foot care, muscle relaxants, a full body check up, and some just wanted some clothes. I can say for myself I gained more from them being there then most gained from actually being a patient. You see some pretty upsetting stuff and hear some heart breaking stories and you can’t just help but get teary eyed and keep working. You start to think this program is the least you can do for them. A patient that sticks out in my mind is a boy my age that just came over from Mexico. He was in college to be an Architect but his family needed money for his younger siblings to go to school. He dropped out of school and came over here to send money to his family. My heart broke as I heard this story and it made me realize how fortunate I am. How upsetting it is to see someone have to give up his dreams. How lucky am I to be at Emory getting an education to help achieve my dreams? Could I just drop it? This was just one example of some heart breaking stories we encountered in two weeks. 

Coming back to Gwinnett County I can’t help to think how blessed and fortunate I am to have so much in less than a mile of my house. Grocery Stores, Healthcare, Education, and Public Services all just around the corner. I live in an area were I am privileged compared to where I just came from and it’s shocking. Who knew two weeks in Moultrie could change you like this. I saw a little girl at church today and I couldn’t help but smile and think about the girl at Cox Elementary. Or seeing these dad’s today and thinking about the amount of fathers in the farms trying to make money for their families back home. 

This trip to Moultrie is a memorial trip I will cherish forever. From the laughs, new friends, new bonds, the different things we were exposed to, and the idea of helping those in need I can’t help but smile right now as I type this. Moultrie has a special place in my heart that’s changed my life. Thank you to everyone who got to share this moment with me and I hope you enjoyed reading about our journey in South Georgia! 

We were crazy busy all the time but I ended up loving it and you and everyone made it great!

– Marcela Sanchez

– Tyler Hanke-Diego

From Start to Finish


Week #3 prior to going to Moultrie, sorting and packing donations

Being asked to sum up the past two weeks isn’t easy, the best way to say it was that it was incredible. We five weeks together crammed full of struggles, adventures, learning, laughing and bonding. Providing care to the migrant farm worker population was by far one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. Never have I had such a fun rewarding time learning.


Oh the desserts! So many and so delicious!!

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Team work. No one leaves until everyone is finished and packed up.


The entire 2016 Moultrie Team.

Things to do between week 1 and week 2

If you’re not driving back to Atlanta between weeks while at the Moultrie experience, here are a few suggestions:
DoeRun Pitcherplant Bog Natural Area.
Just outside of Moultrie, this park is a 600-acre area that houses many keystone and rare animal and plant species.

Making A Difference

Today was a busy day as we helped out at the elementary school in the morning and visited the UGA extension for lunch. In the afternoon, we listened to each other give presentations on the health of migrant farmworkers.

At night camp, we returned to a camp from the first week. Last week, this camp had many workers with chemical burns on their feet. It was great to see one of our previous patients return and show us how his treatment was working. The medication and education from our team made a huge difference and he was much better. It was great to see firsthand how our care is improving the health of the farmworkers.

Patient's foot with chemical burns before treatment.

Patient’s foot with chemical burns before treatment.


Patient's foot the second week after treatment.

Patient’s foot the second week after treatment.


Jessica Rutledge & Michelle Gillig

A Series of Pictures







These are a series of pictures we have collected throughout our stay at Moultrie. The majority speak for themselves because you can really tell how grateful and happy we were to have this experience.

Although we will have some recollection of the hundreds of farmworkers we met and the groups we served with, one person will always be clear in our minds, Don Jose. If you ever wonder what it is like to spend your life serving others, then one talk with him will help clear this question. He has many inspiring stories of how he and the Ellenton Clinic have made healthcare more accessible to an often neglected population.

Without a doubt, this experience has inspired our group to find a population of people for which work does not seem like work. It has also given us an appreciation for all of the people involved in how our food is grown, picked and processed. It would be impossible to look at food and forget the hundreds of faces we have now learned to associate with this industry.


By- Arabelly Camilo and Stephanie Medrano

Back for Week Two!

We’re excited to be back for week two of the Farm Worker Family Health Program! Although it’s the beginning of the end, this trip has brought us closer than ever before–we are looking forward to everything this week will bring.

We began this week with  vision screenings.

We began this week with vision screenings.

"How many fingers am I holding up?"

“How many fingers am I holding up?”

Hamilton Southern Valley Ranch

Hamilton Southern Valley Ranch

Hamilton Southern Valley Ranch.

Hamilton Southern Valley Ranch.

Rows and rows of cucumbers at Hamilton Southern Valley Ranch.

Rows and rows of cucumbers at Hamilton Southern Valley Ranch.

Some of the students picking peppers.

Some of the students picking peppers.

Hemoglobin and glucose station at night camp.

Hemoglobin and glucose station at night camp.

Providing foot care for the farm workers during night camp.

Providing foot care for the farm workers during night camp.

-Ashley Hollingsworth & Marcela Sanchez

Serving While Learning in West Virginia

At the Cabin Creek Health System, we’ve had the amazing New River Gorge Group Photoopportunity to shadow primary care providers (PA, MD & LCSW) who work in a truly integrated care model. We’ve been able to shadow some of the Emory NP students who see patients, and gain insight into our futures next summer. It’s been great getting to know them at the clinic and in the evenings over dinner. Plus, we’ve been fortunate to see how involved and committed the MA’s (medical assistants) are in patient interaction, documentation and teamwork with providers. Even the administrators seem part of the team, and the overall vibe is very egalitarian. Basically, this health system seems like a dream primary care clinic.

Cabin CreekThe administrators asked us to develop a QI project addressing the sudden increase in Hepatitis C cases across their system (about 4 or 5 clinics). So far, researched Hep C evidence and information from CDC, USPSTF, the state of WV and PubMed; we’ve interviewed two providers who have seen many of these cases at the main clinic; drafted an initial flowchart about screening and care management for providers; drafted patient interview questions; and started planning a brief (5 min) presentation defining the problem and summarizing site-specific data to all staff at the weekly huddle next Tuesday.

And after all these good things…we also toured a mine, ate some of the best pizza in the Southeast and hiked the New River Gorge!


At the End of a Successful Week

Although we definitely feel the exhaustion of an eventful week, the bonds we made with one another in this interdisciplinary camp was all worth it! We are definitely looking forward to working with the next group of dental hygiene students next week.

Amy's last day in Moultrie. We'll miss her smiles and enthusiasm during the second half of our program.

Amy’s last day in Moultrie. We’ll miss her smile and enthusiasm during the second half of our program!

BSN students rocking out at Dickie's Peach Farm on the way down to Moultrie, GA.

BSN students rocking out at Dickie’s Peach Farm on the way down to Moultrie, GA.

Ashley and Marcela cheesin' in front of the intake station at the Las Vegas camp site.

Ashley and Marcela cheesin’ in front of the intake station at the Las Vegas camp site.

Tyler testing out the blood pressure cuffs before farmworkers arrive.

Tyler testing out the blood pressure cuffs before the farmworkers arrive.

The hustle and bustle of night camp!

The hustle and bustle of night camp!

How do you say “Rate your pain” in Spanish?

It’s day 4. The week is coming to an end. Tomorrow we say goodbye to dental hygienist (Darton College), physical therapy (Georgia State), and pharmacy students (UGA–University of Georgia, Athens). We’ll miss them, they do good work (and they’re friendly).

The weather has cooperated, some. We’ve had bouts of rain showers, thunder, sunshine and a rare rainbow grace the skies. Pretty typical for Southern Georgia.

During the day we work at Cox elementary with the children. We do basic screening tests for vision and hearing as well as blood pressure and height/weight. We are also responsible for the most dreaded table: “The SHOTS” (hemoglobin/glucose testing).

During our stay, Señor José drives students in the Ellenton Clinic van very afternoon, while Theresa points out crops of cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, hot peppers and corn. He makes stops for the “tourist” students to take home samples of the bounties from the fields.

Year in and year out, migrant workers from Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras travel to the US to pick fruits and vegetables that end up on our table. They endure long hours in the hot sun and very short rest breaks. We (mostly urban Americans) reap the benefits of their hard labor. However none of us are able to imagine the intensity of the work that migrant farm workers do on a daily basis.

In the afternoon, if we’re not exploring farms, we’re probably in the hotel, catching up on sleep. The Hampton Inn becomes eerily quiet during our “siesta” time. Everyone is in their rooms taking blissful naps before night camp. Then, it’s time to get ready to caravan to the camps where the male workers live. But first many hit the coffee carafe, which stays piping hot morning and afternoon, thanks to Miss Sherry.

After nearly a week of practice, those who initially spoke only a few words in Spanish can now converse in full sentences. Stay tuned for more “aventuras” in Moultrie.


Shelby Perry and Jennifer Ratcliffe

Arco Iris




Candyce and Lara working at the Height and BMI station for the kids at Cox Elementary.


Shelby working hard on some charting for the vision station with her new prescription glasses.


Ready for lunch at Immaculate Conception! IMG_5046

Tyler worked at the Hemoglobin and Glucose station with the kids today!

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Lewis Taylor Camp set up at night time! IMG_8656

Marcela and Haley were all smiles while getting ready to get blood pressures from the little kids!


Lewis Taylor Camp welcomed us with a beautiful rainbow!