PILOT PROJECTS
Learn more about the pilot projects being conducted at SCCAHS!

Uncovering patterns of mental, physical, and occupational health issues among migrant farmworkers with different socio-cultural networks: A pilot study among Haitian and Mexican farm workers in Immokalee, FL

Gulcan Onel

University of Florida, Institute Of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS)

Project Summary: 1. Create pilot data by conducting a three-module survey among 30 Haitian and 60 Mexican workers in Immokalee, FL. The three modules will focus on 1) physical and mental well-being: 2) social network structure and degree of connectedness; and, 3) demographic and occupational information.

2. Assess the impact of key indicators of social support and social networks on the overall burden of mental disorders, primarily on social isolation, depression, and anxiety disorders.

3. Assess the impact of mental health status on physical health measures of farm workers using regression analysis controlling for socio-demographic covariates.

4. Develop an occupational health model of migrant farmworkers where social networks/connectedness, mental health status, and physical health status of migrant farmworkers are determined endogenously and allowed to jointly affect their potential occupational outcome.

Chronic low back pain in seafood workers: a pilot intervention study to identify modifiable work and movement solutions

Kim Dunleavy

University of Florida, College of Public Health and Health Professions

Project Summary: 1. Identify modifiable, sector-specific, work and movement solutions with the potential to reduce the burden or severity of chronic lower back pain in small sample of clam workers.

2. Determine the extent that participants adopt identified solution(s), and the impact of their self-selected work and movement modifications or functional difficulty and low back pain.

Pilot study of mobile app monitoring to prevent heat-related symptoms among Hispanic farmworkers

Juan Luque

Florida A&M University

Project Summary: 1. Test and evaluate an OSHA mobile application among migrant and seasonal farmworkers to reduce the risk of heat-related illness (HRI).

2. Assess the feasibility of recruiting farmworker crew leaders to train-the-trainer intervention and measure implementation of the health intervention.

Understanding the scope of the opioid epidemic for agricultural industries

Heidi Radunovich

University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Project Summary: 1. Obtain qualitative and quantitative survey data to inform understanding of how opioid usage in impacting the functioning or agricultural personnel and their families.

2. Inform outreach material and program development to support agricultural health and safety.

3. Provide information to relevant stakeholders on how to best address opioid addiction within their respective industries & inform resource navigation.

A novel approach (sweat patches) to monitoring pesticide exposure in farmworkers

Gregg Stanwood

Florida State University

Project Summary: 1. Develop and assess the accuracy and precision of laboratory techniques used to measure pesticides and their metabolites from sweat patches.

2. Document challenges and problems experienced by farmworkers in using sweat patches.

3. Determine the levels and variance in concentrations of pesticides and metabolites obtained from sweat to those obtained from urine.

Agro-ecological practices in the face of climate change: Resilience sustainability, and preparedness in Puerto Rico

Antonio Tovar

University of Florida

Project Summary: 1. Evaluate the comparative food production effects of Hurricane Maria in agro-ecological and industrial agricultural settings of Puerto Rico.

2. Describe the resilience, sustainability, and preparedness strategies adopted by each system.

3. Estimating the time and extent to which each system is rebounding.

4. Determine to amount of forestland, lost, standing, or rebuilding in each system.

5. Quantify the impact on human capital in each system, measured by standard of living and nutritional status pre- and post- storm.

Field Evaluation of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators Against Airborne Dust and Microorganisms During Cotton Harvest

Atin Adhikari

Georgia Southern University

Project Summary: Dr. Adhikari has collected control air samples from three cotton farm locations and analyzed them for PM and culturable microorganisms. Respiratory deposition modeling data for particulate matter (PM) was presented in the inhaled aerosol dosimetry conference in Irvine, CA. Air sampling other field experiments at cotton farms continue during harvesting (by combine harvesters).

A Pilot Study to Assess Personal PM2.5 Exposure and Respiratory Virus Infection Among Farmworkers in the Southeast

Eric Coker

University of Florida

Project Summary: 1. Compare exposure to fine particulate matter among farmworkers.

2. Assess presence and types of upper resp infections of farmworkers in SE US and review medical records of farmworkers ages 15 and older diagnosed with upper and lower respiratory infections.

3. Evaluate quality of medical record data from MHCs.

Developing an Integrated Decision Support Tool and Network for WPS Respirator Compliance in Florida Agricultural Industries

Maria Morera

University of Florida

Project Summary: 1. Assess needs for outreach materials in respiratory protection (among farmers, pesticide applicators, agrochemical/PPE dealers, and primary care providers).

2. Develop and disseminate decision-support tools.

3. Evaluate audience response to socially-marketed decision-support tools.

4. Reconvene with respirator working group to plan for scaling up results (to state-wide and cross-industry levels).

Exploring mental health and natural disasters in agricultural communities in Puerto Rico

Marysel Pagán-Santana

Migrant Clinicians Network

Project Summary: The overarching goal of this project is to adapt and pilot an assessment tool to explore mental health status using previously developed resources. The investigative team expects that the implementation and use of the developed tools will provide a pathway to effectively assess the mental health and resilience of agricultural workers in Puerto Rico as it relates to climate change and disasters (e.g. earthquakes). During Year 4, Dr. Pagán-Santana continued to identify culturally appropriate research methods and tools to better understand agricultural workers’ mental health as it relates to natural disasters and climate change. The team analyzed/classified validated instruments related to agricultural workers health, climate perception, mental and behavioral health, and resilience using the following variables:

Pilot study of the acute psychological and health impacts of hurricane Irma in UF/IFAS extension workers

Lynn Grattan

University of Maryland, Neuropsychology

Project Summary: Dr. Grattan examined 36 IFAS Extension Agents to explore Hurricane Irma’s impact on health-related quality of life 6 to 8 weeks and at 1-year post disaster. Findings demonstrate that hurricane impact (exposure high versus low) predicted depression and PTSD. All participants obtained scores within the high average to very superior range on the Symbol Digits Modalities Test. Greater Hurricane Impact (home+work) was associated with elevated Depression, PTSD sx, Medical Symptoms 6- 10 weeks post hurricane (controlling for age and prior hurricane exposure).