Serving Maine’s Wreath Workers in Washington County
The Maine Migrant Health (MMHP) Program has had a successful season serving the men and women who make it possible for companies like Worcester and Whitney to provide wreaths to Wreaths Across America and Maine’s quintessential balsam products to holiday greens retailers. Maine’s wreath workers are primarily local Mainers living DownEast or have Haitian or Latino backgrounds coming from points across the US and Mexico to work in the area for 6 weeks. The long hours including tipping boughs for the wreaths and assembling them. MMHP, a health center without walls, provides on-site medical care from its mobile unit during the chilly nights after long workdays. Partnerships with local providers such as Harrington Family Health Center, DownEast Community Hospital, MaineCoast Memorial Hospital, and the optometry practice of Dr. Thomas Crawford ensure that the patients receive medical, dental, and vision care that MMHP cannot provide on the mobile unit. Most patients do not speak English, so the culturally and linguistically appropriate care coordination provided by MMHP is essential to ensuring that patients are well taken care of and able to access the broad range of medical services needed during their time in Maine. MMHP’s network of Camp Health Aides (CHA) and Community Health Workers (CHW) provide essential components of outreach, clinic coordination, and health education. Many thanks to all the providers, staff and partners who are making this year’s wreath season a success for patients and business alike.