Willamette Valley harvest workers receive medical care administered by ¡Salud!
¡Salud! is a nonprofit organization created 21 years ago to assist Oregon’s seasonal vineyard workers. With no other agency like this in the country, ¡Salud! aim’s to care for the migrant grape pickers along with those workers who stay year round to help in the vineyards. They also provide preventative care to the families of these hard working people without whom the Oregon wine industry would not be possible.
Recently ¡Salud! held a vineyard clinic to inoculate the harvest crew at Knudsen Vineyard in the Willamette Valley. Ten well-built men filed into the makeshift nurse’s office set up in a working barn, filled with vineyard equipment and tools.
According to Mark Sheridan, Vineyard Manager at Knudsen Vineyard, everyone present had medical, dental and vision insurance but rarely utilize those services. Some are wary of medical professionals, particularly if they don’t speak Spanish. Many are just confused by the necessary paperwork, often not in Spanish, so attempting to understand takes more time than they have to dedicate, until they get very ill.
¡Salud! wants to bridge that gap by offering basic medical services that lessens the need for visits to the emergency room. With the help of Leda Garside, ¡Salud! Services Clinical Nurse Manager and ¡Salud! Services Assistant Armando Jimenez, both fluent in Spanish, the attending workers fresh from the vineyard were encouraged to participate in the flu shot program offered by ¡Salud!
All ten men read through the handouts, written in both English and Spanish, explaining more about the Influenza vaccine, why it’s important, along with typical flu symptoms and how best to care for someone suffering from the flu. Jimenez & Garside explained that the flu shots were also available to their families as well.
One by one, the men approached the makeshift nurse’s station, were registered in the ¡Salud! database by Jimenez and received a flu shot administered by Garside.
Each recipient left with a Tasmanian Devil band aid, a piece of Halloween candy and at least one chuckle from Garside’s jokes.
Back out to the vineyard they went while the medical supplies were packed up for the second stop of the day, Argyle Winery.
¡Salud! has found that by bringing the clinics to the workers, more people participate in the program. And while they work on a shoestring budget, medical care and supplies have continued to skyrocket in price. With just one major fundraising event each autumn, the success of their annual Pinot noir tasting, auction and gala is more important than ever.
This year’s Pinot noir tasting and auction takes place on Friday, November 9 at Domaine Drouhin Oregon in Dayton and the dinner gala the following night, Saturday, November 10 at the Governor Hotel in downtown Portland.
Help support ¡Salud!’s 21 year commitment to providing healthcare to Oregon’s seasonal grape pickers by joining the festivities both nights.
Tickets are $395 and can be purchased here
Friday, November 9: Pinot noir tasting and auction at Domaine Drouhin Oregon, 6750 Breyman Orchards Road, Dayton, Oregon
Saturday, November 10: Dinner Gala at the Governor Hotel, 614 SW 11th Avenue, Portland, Oregon
Since 1992, ¡Salud! has raised over $9 million, all with the goal of supporting the health and well being of the seasonal workers that play an important role in the Oregon wine industry.
2012 “Vintners Circle” wineries
Amalie Robert Estate
Bethel Heights Vineyard
Dobbes Family Estate
Domaine Drouhin Oregon
Elk Cove Vineyards
Evening Land Vineyards
King Estate Winery
Lange Estate Winery
Panther Creek Cellars
Patricia Green Cellars
Patton Valley Vineyard
Penner-Ash Wine Cellars
R. Stuart & Co.
Raptor Ridge Winery
Scott Paul Wines
Shea Wine Cellars
St. Innocent Winery
Stoller Family Estate
Willamette Valley Vineyards
Winderlea Vineyard & Winery
Witness Tree Vineyard