The inability to access health care services is a significant issue in the United States (US). The US Census Bureau reports that as of 2009 over 50 million individuals (16.7% of the population) lacked health insurance. The number of people who became uninsured has also increased over time. One segment of the US population that is particularly vulnerable to health care inequities is Latinos. Failure to access timely primary medical services may increase the risk of disease transmission, morbidity, and mortality. In addition, failing to address health care needs at the primary provider level may contribute to an overutilization of potentially unnecessary emergency room services. To address health care disparities and inequalities, community partners must collaborate to provide the needed services. This report will describe the collaboration between community health nurses and physical therapists when providing services to address the musculoskeletal health of the workers. In addition, this report will describe the service and experiential opportunities for physical therapy students including the opportunity to provide care within an interprofessional setting, practice techniques and provide service in a unique environment, and to develop aspects of professionalism.
Published in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 2011; 20(4): 494-504.