Costa Layman Farms, one of the largest perennial companies in the United States, has found a novel way to combine academic support with health awareness for its farm workers.
Approximately 400 Costa Layman employees will receive free health assessments during the nursery’s 7th Annual Interdisciplinary Health Fair July 20 in Trenton, S.C. Clinical Nurse Leader students at Georgia Health Sciences University will partner with dental, respiratory, physical and occupational therapy students, Ryan White Outreach personnel, community volunteers, local hospitals, health centers and South Carolina DHEC to provide free comprehensive health screenings to nursery employees. Participation is a course requirement for Clinical Nurse Leader students.
This year’s health fair features grip strength testing, dental screenings, HIV testing, cholesterol and glucose screenings and pulmonary function testing and screenings for vision, bone density, sleep apnea, height, weight, blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol and glucose and body mechanics classes.
The Ryan White Outreach Team at GHSU has already performed 276 HIV tests on Costa Layman workers this year. Workers who took glucose tests at Edgefield Hospital were also tested for HIV. The results will be given on the day of the health fair. This is an increase from the 70 to 90 workers tested in past years.
Employee turnout and community involvement grows every year, according to Debbie Layman, of Costa Layman and a GHSU College of Nursing alumna.
“We have had students that graduated two years ago that are still coming back to help,” said Layman. “Employees will come back and give a report from last year. They are monitoring glucose levels and having skin lesions checked. People found that they need glasses, started watching their diets.”
In addition to receiving on-site services, Costa Layman workers are referred to community resources for follow-up treatment, if necessary. Interpreters translate for workers who are not fluent in English.
“Identifying these problems can prevent minor things from becoming a lifelong problem or a very severe problem. That’s incredible,” said Layman, who serves on the College of Nursing’s Advancement Committee and as a trustee for the Georgia Health Sciences University’s Foundation.
The health fair will begin at 7:30 a.m. and last until all screenings are complete.