Many Chicanx/Latinx communities, especially rural communities, throughout California remain underserved. A large portion of these hardworking people are under-educated, under-employed, and are subjected to the problems of unmanaged chronic disease, malnutrition, poor housing, and discrimination. Under these prevailing conditions health care is often perceived as a luxury, and therefore “preventative care” is seldom practiced. Furthermore, an uneven distribution of physicians often renders healthcare inaccessible to the Chicanx/Latinx patient; and moreover, language and cultural barriers tend to decrease medicine’s effectiveness under the established system.
As future health care providers, we must all be aware of the inadequacies in our current healthcare system, especially as it affects the rural communities in this country. We, as future health care providers willing to give back to the underserved communities, are challenged with improving the access to quality healthcare. Our responsibility lies not with “fitting into” and thus perpetuating today’s system, but with revolutionizing tomorrow’s system as we attempt to address the immediate needs of our communities.
Knights Landing One Health Center operates with the consideration of the following goals:
- Knights Landing One Health Center will provide basic health care services to the rural underserved communities of Knights Landing, La Tijera, Robbins, and the nearby migrant camps, including but not limited to health screening, health education, periodic primary care and patient advocacy. These services will be delivered in an atmosphere appropriate to the needs of the community and the patient in a multilingual/multicultural setting. It is the clinic’s goal to provide the proper direction toward necessary fundamental changes in the current healthcare system.
- Knights Landing One Health Center will provide the public with role models of health care professionals and student volunteers that are invested in serving the rural Chicanx/Latinx and non-Chicanx/Latinx community. It is important that our patients, particularly the Chicanx/Latinx patients, become conscious that there exist health care providers and student volunteers dedicated to serving rural farm-working communities and that the health care system can work in their favor. In addition, this is of particular importance to the promotion of higher education in the Chicanx/Latinx community.
- Volunteer medical, graduate and undergraduate students will be given an opportunity to engage with the community and gain first-hand clinical experience as appropriate. The Knights Landing One Health Center will be an environment in which we can develop sensitivity towards the needs of the rural underserved while being exposed to a rural area that suffers chronic health, social, and economic under-service. By encouraging students to return to serve less fortunate rural communities, we also provide an environment conducive to career decisions and actions that are beneficial to the future needs of underserved rural communities.
- The actions of the clinic and its volunteers will strive to reflect a community-centered approach now and in the future! These actions will come from a place of respect, humility, professionalism, and excellence.