Socioeconomic and citizenship barriers prevent farmworkers from accessing public health care; thus, grassroots organization members and health care practitioners collaborate to create community health clinics that provide care for farmworkers and low-wage immigrant workers. Such community clinics are known as parallel health care systems, yet the concept’s existing literature lacks comprehensive studies on the parallel systems operating within farmworker communities. To fill this research gap, I conducted nine semi-structured interviews to collect the perceptions of key community stakeholders involved in providing accessible health and financial aid to farmworker communities in Florida. I analyzed the interviews through the qualitative grounded theory method to identify which factors participants perceived as determining farmworker health outcomes, their explanations for why parallel medical systems emerge, and the differences and similarities between their answers. I found that the participants understood large-scale social structures to be influencing farmworker health outcomes. Furthermore, the participants described parallel health care systems as bridging structural gaps caused by the government’s social abandonment of farmworker communities and health inequality. While the participants all similarly employed a structural framework to discuss farmworker issues, differences in perception arose during conversations of farmworker agency, the ambiguity of a “two-tiered health care,” and proposed solutions. This study’s findings contribute to the existing literature’s observations on parallel health care systems, elaborate on the government’s negative treatment of farmworkers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and generally highlight the voices of key community stakeholders currently working with farmworker communities.
Reyes-Foster, Beatriz M.
Santana, Maria Cristina
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Ocasio Cruz, Andrea, "Parallel Systems of Health Care: How Grassroots Organizations and Health Care Practitioners Perceive Farmworker Health" (2021). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 934.