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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 6, 2005

UI Graduate Student To Speak On Healthcare For Iowa's Seasonal Workers Oct. 13

Yolanda Villalvazo, a University of Iowa medical student who is also pursuing a master's degree in public health, will share her experience providing healthcare to migrant and seasonal workers in Iowa at the next International Thursday lecture, "Tilling the Soil," from noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13, in the International Center Lounge. The UI International Programs lecture series is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

Last summer, Villalvazo volunteered with Proteus, an Iowa-based, private, not-for-profit corporation, that serves workers who lack access to health care and struggle with language barriers. Of the nearly 3,000 patients Proteus sees a year, more than 1,300 are under-insured or have no insurance. Many of the workers Proteus serves are of Latino heritage and travel from Southwestern states or Mexico during the corn harvesting season in Iowa.

"As a Latina with a background in health care, I want to pursue health education for disease prevention among populations that are defined as underserved in the United States," Villalvazo said.

The third-year medical student performed physical exams and got involved with patient education through the Proteus' Migrant Health Project, which takes primary healthcare services to patients in the field. Her internship with Proteus was funded by the UI Center for Human Rights with support from the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

For more information on this lecture or International Thursdays, contact Amy Green at 319-335-1433 or

The International Thursdays series is sponsored by UI International Programs and the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization and presents discussions with individuals who have had international experiences. The lectures are usually from noon to 1 p.m. every Thursday in the International Center Lounge or other locations on campus throughout the academic year with the exception of holidays and breaks.

UI International Programs consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean of international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and the community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Amy Green, 319-335-1433,; Writer: Po Li Loo