Dental Hygiene Farm Worker Family Health Program
As part of a consortium of health programs at several Georgia colleges and universities, Clayton State University dental hygiene students can participate in the Farm Worker Family Health Program.
Led by the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory, students and faculty from various health professions offer on-site preventative and episodic health care is delivered over a two-week period in Southwest Georgia each summer.
Clayton State’s Department of Dental Hygiene has consecutively participated since 2008 for one-week in the FWFHP. Dental hygiene faculty supervise dental hygiene students during this program. Dental hygiene students provide free oral health screenings, preventative dental sealants, oral health education, and donated dental products to this underserved population
Through this program, students obtain service-learning experience in a rural health setting and gain invaluable clinical and cultural insights through the delivery of community-based health services to an underserved group where they are most needed and where the population is most accessible: in the fields, camps, and school settings.
The Farm Worker Family Health Program (FWFHP) started in 1993, when one Public Health Nursing clinical group from Georgia State University School of Nursing traveled to Tifton, GA to work with farmworkers. In 2001, the program moved to the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory. Since its beginning, the program has grown, expanded, and improved year after year. The program, which takes place each summer in an intensive outreach setting, also serves as part of the clinical training programs of the participating universities. The FWFHP has served over 15,000 individuals in its more than two-decade history.
The FWFHP is a federally funded program to provide primary health care to farm workers and their families. The program operates through the Ellenton Rural Health Clinic in Colquitt County, which serves Colquitt, Cook, Tift, and Brooks counties. Each year, Clayton State joins and collaborates with nursing, physical therapy, pharmacy, and dental hygiene students and faculty from Emory University, Georgia State University, University of Georgia, and Brenau University, along with other partners to ensure the program’s success.
Interested students must be juniors admitted to the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program. Students must complete an application form, which informs of the programs, dates, expenses, etc. Once received by the specified due date and if there’s more applicants than space, students’ names are drawn via lottery.
This experience fulfills the sealant graduation requirements as part of clinical courses.