Funding helps ensure farm workers without insurance to access diabetes care

Yakima, Wash. — Regence BlueShield of Washington recently awarded a $13,000 grant to the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic to fund two mobile diabetes screening clinics. The mobile clinics travel throughout the Yakima Valley providing diabetes care to community members without health insurance, with a focus on Spanish-speaking farm workers. Since February of this year, the mobile clinics have helped nearly 80 community members better manage their diabetes.

“Diabetes is the fifth deadliest disease in the United States, and a large number of Latinos in the Yakima Valley are battling it without routine health care,” said Kay Tainter of Health Care Services at Regence. “At Regence, the health of our communities is a priority, and without the mobile clinics a large number of area residents would not receive routine diabetes screenings.”

Regence’s grant helped purchase three hemoglobin A1c portable testing machines to measure how well a patient’s blood sugar has been controlled during the past two to three months. The grant also provided funding for culturally appropriate Spanish language diabetes education materials and gas to fuel the mobile clinics.

The mobile clinics are operated and staffed by the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, and travel to local food banks, churches, shopping centers, parks, job sites and wherever else they are requested. The health teams also help ensure that patients who need follow-up diabetes care get established with a doctor at one of their stationary clinics.

About Regence:
Regence BlueShield is a leading health plan in Washington with more than one million members, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence is the largest health insurer in the Northwest / Intermountain Region, serving nearly three million members as Regence BlueShield (in Washington), Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield of Idaho. Each plan is a not-for-profit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities, and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit