Vecinos, We Are Neighbors

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Who We Are

Our Story

The mission of Vecinos, Inc. Farmworker Health Program truly began in April of 2001 when our founders, Josie Ellis, RN and Dr. Mark Heffington, began visiting migrant labor camps in Jackson County, NC. Operating with a grant from the North Carolina Farmworker Health Program (NCFHP) and volunteering a lot of their time, Josie and Mark pioneered what is now the Vecinos, Inc. medical outreach model.

In February of 2004 we were incorporated as a nonprofit organization and Vecinos, Inc. was born. Since our inception, Vecinos, Inc. has been providing medical outreach and advocating for the social and economic wellbeing of farmworkers and their families in our communities. Vecinos, Inc. is one of two medical outreach units serving farmworkers in the state of NC and we continue to be a grantee of the NCFHP. In 2014 we celebrated our 10 year anniversary and we are still going strong.

Who We Are

Vecinos, Inc. Farmworker Health Program is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides free mobile medical outreach, case management, and health education to farmworkers and their families in Western North Carolina. We currently operate in the eight western-most counties: Clay, Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain, and Transylvania.

Farmworkers are among the most vulnerable people living and working in North Carolina. While the men, women, and children we serve help put food on our tables and are critical to our local and state economies, they often live in the shadows. Farmworkers’ lives are hard and they face many barriers to accessing health care services including transportation, language, and cultural norms.

At Vecinos, which means “Neighbors” in Spanish, we strive to be good neighbors and help break down these barriers in an effort to improve the lives of farmworkers and their families with whom we share our community.
Interested in what we do? Find out more here!

Please take some time to explore our site and learn how you can get involved. Together we can create a safe place to work and live for everyone in our beautiful state.

Our People

Marianne Martinez, MPA | Executive Director

Email: [email protected]

Dr. Janet James, FNC-P, DNP | Medical Provider

Email: [email protected]

Osiel Gonzalez | Lead Outreach Worker

Email: [email protected]

Karla Mendoza | Outreach Worker and Chronic Disease Case Manager

Email: [email protected]

Jessica Rodriguez | Student Action with Farmworkers 2017 Fellow

Email: [email protected]