History of Knights Landing One Health Center
Prior to the opening of the Knights Landing One Health Center, the rural community of Knights Landing, CA, a community composed predominantly of Mexican farm-working families, began to steadily lose resources vital to its social, economic, physical, and mental health. The first loss was the migrant clinic, followed by the closure of the public park and the teen center. When the community clinic closed in 2008, the community was left without a local source of medical care, forcing them to travel 20 minutes to the city of Woodland in order to see a doctor and access medications. Woodland, also being the closest source of affordable and fresh fruits and vegetables, caused the limited bus hours to compound the obstacles to healthy living. For farm-workers, the situation was almost a complete barrier to medical care, as they worked during the time that clinics in Woodland operated.
A group of predominantly Spanish-speaking, farm worker housewives surfaced as leaders in reaction to the significant loss of resources. They formed the “Grupo de Mujeres” to discuss and advocate for the needs of their community. In 2009 they contacted Juanita Ontiveros, a long-term protector of farm worker rights, who recruited UC Davis professor of Chicano Studies, Natalia Deeb-Sossa to the cause. Deeb-Sossa taught the women how to organize and empowered them to act. In January 2011, the Knights Landing Community Engagement Project (KLCEP) was formed by Deeb-Sossa and UC Davis medical and undergraduate students as a means of using a community-centered approach to advocate for the medically underserved within Knights Landing. The KLCEP partnered with the UC Davis School of Medicine Rural-PRIME program, a five-year MD/MPH program focused on fostering physician leaders committed to serving the rural underserved. The KLCEP also partnered with the Yolo Family Resource Center and the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation. Together, they worked with Clinica Tepati, the long-standing UC Davis student-run clinic, to open its first satellite clinic in Knights Landing.
On January 19, 2013 the Knights Landing One Health Center celebrated its one-year anniversary. Every first and third Sunday of the month, volunteer undergraduate, graduate, and medical students as well as physicians and nurses provide free medical services to the medically underserved within Knights Landing. Still alive is the community engagement component that occurs through regular meetings with the Women’s group, town hall meetings, and focus groups with the community. This is critical to providing community-centered services. Upcoming projects include a community health needs assessment and outreach efforts focusing on migrant workers and underserved non-Hispanics. The clinic is also partnering with UC Davis veterinary students to pursue a One Health Initiative model of care that strives to link human, animal, and environmental health. Finally, the KLCEP is working with the Knights Landing youth group “Pueblo Unido” to provide health education to teens in the community.