Kansas` Low German Mennonites - National Center for Farmworker

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www.kdheks.gov
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Kansas’ Low German Mennonites:
Meeting the Challenge of an
Emerging Farmworker Population
KS Statewide Farmworker Health Program
Kansas Department of Health and Environment
Tina Guenther-Regional Case Manager
Cyndi Treaster-Program Director
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Miguel’s Story:
A Multicultural Exchange
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Low Germans in Kansas
While a few Low German
Mennonites from Mexico report
working in Kansas as early as
the late 1970’s and early 1980’s,
large numbers began arriving in
the late 1990’s.
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Low Germans in Kansas
In 1998, KSFHP registered 141 LG
Mennonites from Mexico, representing 7
percent of the total farmworkers served.
In 2004, 1452 LG Mennonites from
Mexico were registered representing 43
percent of the total farmworkers served.
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
KSFHP Populations Served
2000
1800
1600
1400
1200
1000
800
600
400
200
0
2089
2449
3377
LG Menn
Hisp/Lat
Other
1998
2002
2004
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
2009 Kansas Farmworker Profile
Of 4443 farmworkers & dependents identified:

62% Latinos, 36% Low German

96% need interpreting

91% were under 150% of poverty
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
2009 Kansas Farmworker
Profile Continued

51% were male, 49% were female

51% were 19 years/under, 49% over 19

79% were uninsured

55% were seasonal, 45% were migrant
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Early Research : Low Germans
Mennonites from Mexico
Migration North: Mennonites from Mexico: An
Orientation to the Mexican Mennonite Culture &
Way of Life, Mennonite Central Committee, Winnipeg,
Manitoba. 1995
Kanadier Mennonites: Gaining An
Understanding of Their Health and Illness.
Beliefs. Kulig, Judith C,RN, DNSc, et al. University of
Alberta, Canada 2002 ...
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Who are these Farmworkers?:
Health Survey Team 2003
Contacted Mennonite Central
Committee and Mennonite Church USA,
Western District Conference
 Older Mennonite Support Group
(grants, culture and language)
 Canadian born team of three sent to
Western Kansas (interviews and focus
groups)

Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Characteristics of the LG
Mennonites in Kansas (2003)
Originate from colonies in Mexico
 Highly mobile population
 Speak a form of Plautdietsch or Low
German
 Do not emphasize formal education
 Low literacy, but often highly skilled

Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Characteristics of the LG
Mennonites in Kansas (2003)
Religious identity is primary
 Separation from the modern world
 Most conservative (90%) believe
ministers are responsible for Bible
interpretation and its application to
everyday life.
 Agriculture as a way of life-Bible

Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
2 Timothy 3:14
 14But
as for you, continue in what
you have learned and have become
convinced of, because you know
those from whom you learned it,
Characteristics of the LG
Mennonites in Kansas(2003)
Adhere to rigid gender roles within a
patriarchal culture
 Tend to have large families, fertility is
influenced by religious beliefs
 Little experience with modern health
care services
 Issues with depression and anxiety

Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
2003 KSFHP Health Survey
45%
40%
35%
30%
25%
20%
15%
10%
5%
0%
LG Menn
Hisp/Lat
No Routine Health
Visit
No Dental Visit
(5yrs)
No Family
Planning
Mental Health Not
Good
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
2003 Health Survey Results
2003 Health Survey Results
45%
Percentage Farmworkers
40%
35%
30%
25%
LGM
20%
Latino
15%
10%
5%
0%
No Routine Health
Visit
No Dental Visit (5yrs)
No Family Planning
Mental Health Not
Good
Survey Questions
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
How Will We Serve the LGM’s?

A temporary intern with KSFHP had
experience with health promoter
programs at the border and
recommended KSFHP consider the
model. My thought “like looking for a
needle in a haystack!”
KSFHP Health Promoters
and Friends
Tina Guenther, Lena Dyck, Sara Friesen, Helen Loewen, Lisa Froese
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
KSFHP Health Promoters
•Are trusted and respected community
members (culture and language)
•Provide informal community based healthrelated services (health education, case
management, interpretation, etc.)
•Establish vital links between health providers
and persons in the community
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Agriculture as a way of life in Mexico
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Cuauhtemoc, Mexico (Chihuahua)
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Large Agriculturally Based Families
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Passport Pictures
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Migrating Between U.S. and Mexico
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Settled in Seminole Texas
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Sugar
Beets in
Kansas
1974
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
One Foot in Two Worlds
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Developing Innovative Practices

KSFHP has utilized a variety of methods
to reach the LGM (and all) populations
of farmworkers who come to Kansas to
work and sometimes settle in our state.
Harvest of Health Curriculum


This information was developed for migrant and seasonal
farmworkers in Kansas.
Harvest of the Health visual booklet. click here (pdf)
2.69mb
Harvest of Health - English
1-How Do I Find Assistance in Kansas
(wma)
2-Preventive Services and Hygiene
(wma)
3-Nutrition and Nutrition Assistance
(wma)
4-Depression (wma)
5-Alcohol Abuse and Smoking (wma)
6-Family Planning (wma)
7-Hantavirus English (wma)
8-FAQs About Immigration English
(wma)
9-Occupational and Farm Safety (wma)
Ernte der Gesundheit - Low
German
1-Wie Finde Hilfe in Kansas (wma)
2-Vorbeugende Dedienung und
Reinlichkeit (wma)
3-Nahrung und Nahrungs
Unterstuetzung (wma)
4-Bedrueckt Fuehlen (wma)
5-Alcohol Misbrauchen und Rauchen
(wma)
6-Familie Plannen (wma)
7-Hantavirus (wma)
8-Fragen ueber Einwanderung (wma)
9-Sicherkeit auf dem Farm (wma)
http://www.kdheks.gov/olrh/FWAudioEd.htm
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
KSFHP Calendars
2009
2011
200
8
2010
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Community Outreach
LGM Health Fair in Western KS
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Chronic Disease Self-Management
& Health Promotion Groups

Kansas Optimizing Health (based on the
Stanford's Chronic Disease Self-.
Management Program)

Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease SelfManagement Guide from the Gateway
Community Health Center “La Clinica”
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Focus Groups Questions





What are the biggest health problems you and your family
face?
How are your healthcare needs being met?
What are the problems you have when trying to get health
care?
How has your health changed since being on the Farmworker
Health Program?
How are you using the program?
 How are you using the Medical benefits?
 How are you using the Dental benefits?
 How are you using the Pharmacy benefits?
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Focus Groups Questions
What works well with Farmworker Health Program or what do
you like about the program?
 What doesn’t work well with Farmworker Health Program or
what don’t you like about the program? What
recommendations would you make?
 Each year we try to do things to help our families get or stay
healthy.
What are some of the things that you learned from KSFHP
program activities?
 Each year we showcase a health issue through our
calendar.
What did you learn from this calendar?

Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
KSFHP Health Survey 2009
Percentage Farmworkers
Health Survey Comparison 2003/2009
50%
40%
2003 LGM FWKRS
30%
2003 Latino
20%
2009 LGM
2009 Latino
10%
0%
Never Had a Routine Mental Health Not
Visit
Good
No Dentist (5yrs)
No Birth Control
2003 LGM FWKRS
26%
27%
19%
41%
2003 Latino
2%
3%
9%
20%
2009 LGM
3.20%
5.70%
23.60%
41.90%
2009 Latino
19.10%
5.40%
25.60%
27%
Survey Questions
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
KSFHP Health Survey 2009
Percentage Farmworkers
Health Survey Comparison 2003/2009
40%
30%
2003 LGM
2003 Latino
20%
2009 LGM
2009 Latino
10%
0%
Report Smoking
>2 drinks daily
Never Had Pap
Obese BMI
Had Flu Shot
2003 LGM
19%
0%
11%
0
0
2003 Latino
8%
2%
0%
0
0
2009 LGM
12.70%
11.80%
8.30%
36.40%
36.30%
2009 Latino
11.70%
12.10%
2.90%
35.30%
27%
Survey Questions
Impact of Time in the U.S.?
Residency in the U.S.
Percentage of Farmworkers
60%
50%
40%
Years in the US LGM
30%
Years in the US Latino
20%
10%
0%
US Born
< 5yrs US
5-10yrs US
>10yrs US
Years in the U.S.
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
Questions?
Cyndi Treaster,
KS Statewide Farmworker
Health Program (KDHE)
1000 SW Jackson, Ste 340
Topeka, KS 66612
(785) 296-8113
[email protected]
www.kdheks/gov/olrh
Tina Guenther,
KS Statewide Farmworker
Health Program (UMMAM)
712 A St. John St
Garden City, KS 67846
(620) 952-1470
[email protected]
www.kdheks/gov/olrh
Our Vision – Healthy Kansans living in safe and sustainable environments.
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