Philips teams up with Emory School of Nursing

Farm field

From the ground up: Philips’ access-to-care commitment and a community-led program help to advance health equity for migrant farmworkers


For Brandon Magno, helping Georgia’s migrant farmworker community is not just a professional calling – it’s personal. Growing up in a rural community, Brandon witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by seasonal farmworkers. His own mother and her family worked in different fields, such as grapes, onions, garlic, carrots, oranges, cucumbers, peaches, and wherever work was available among the seasons. 


Today, Brandon is a nurse practitioner student at the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, where he participates in its Farm Worker Family Health Program (FWFHP). With FWFHP, he taps into his personal experience and helps provide a vital lifeline to one of our nation's most vulnerable communities. 


With the largest migrant population in the state of Georgia, Colquitt, Tift, Brooks and Cook counties serve a community of seasonal farmworkers who are indispensable to the agricultural industry – and how our country is fed. Working up to 16 hours a day in extreme heat with heavy machinery, these workers can experience many healthcare hazards. This large and transitory population also encounters daunting barriers to healthcare, including communication gaps and lack of insurance and transportation. As we learn from Brandon’s story, meaningful access to care and lasting change is possible for these vulnerable populations when committed partners come together for the greater good.

Farm community close up

At Philips, partnership and collaboration support our purpose to improve the lives of 2.5 billion people a year by 2030, including 400 million people in underserved communities. 

Creating exponential impact – from one to many


Philips has teamed up with Emory’s Farm Worker Family Health Program and local partners to support a community-led effort to address the ongoing health concerns of the farmworker population. In addition to providing access to care, the two-week, faculty-led program held each June offers educational and service-learning opportunities for Emory undergraduate and graduate nursing students, as well as pharmacy, physical therapy, public health, dental hygiene, psychology and education students from other Georgia universities. Nursing students receive hands-on experience with innovative Philips technologies such as the Lumify tablet-based ultrasound, and access to the lifesaving HeartStart AED, all while providing vital care for the farmworker community.

Lumify close up

Over the last 30 years, the program has grown from one faculty member and six students to a team of 120 dedicated faculty members and students.

We’re here because the farmworkers need us. And they really are the backbone of the agricultural industry. They support this community, they support our state, and nationally and globally … they’re the reason we have vegetables on our table … I consider it a privilege to be here to serve them.”

Laura Layne

Women’s Health Director for the Georgia Department of Public Health and FWFHP Co-director

Laura interview

As the expansion of the program demonstrates, improving health equity is a growing priority of US healthcare leaders. According to the 2023 Future Health Index (FHI), this year sees US healthcare leaders addressing health equity in a wide range of ways, from offering more out-of-hospital services (45%) to opening doors to the uninsured (28%).

Meeting patients where they are


With a growing physician shortage, nurse practitioners and other advanced practice clinicians are more important to our nation’s healthcare system than ever before. In addition to critical healthcare skills, the soft skills they provide such as humility, empathy and trustworthiness are mission critical to the success of any patient-provider relationship. Moreover, the focus that providers such as nurse practitioners bring to collaborative care is essential to the success of community-based programs. By facilitating effective teamwork in a variety of settings, they play a significant role in managing transient patients and improving health outcomes.


In the case of Emory’s FWFHP, every afternoon Brandon and the team bring critical healthcare services directly to the farmworkers, meeting them where they are. From there, the real work begins to educate them and build trust in the people and resources that are there to support them.

One of the biggest things that we try to highlight and educate with them is understanding when to get the care they need and where the resources are; understanding there are people that want to help them and we’re on their side.” 

Brandon Magno

Master of Science in Nursing Student, Emory University School of Nursing

Emory nurse

Empowering a community-led approach 


Perhaps one of the greatest takeaways from FWFHP is the importance of engaging directly with community partners to help address the specific needs of underserved populations. The program is powered by a collaboration between the Emory School of Nursing and the Georgia Ellenton Farmworker Health Clinic in Colquitt County, with participation from the other Georgia universities. Philips’ support will allow the program to accommodate a larger volume of patients, conduct diagnostic screening and strengthen data collection and analysis. Over the next year, the FWFHP and Ellenton Clinic, which is solely dedicated to agriculture workers and their families, anticipate caring for as many as 9,000 farmworkers and their families.


The partnership between Philips and the Emory School of Nursing has the potential to improve the way we approach healthcare for underserved communities across the country – by empowering local organizations to focus on the hardest work of serving patients in need.

Addressing health equity requires a deep commitment to engaging community partners, and empowering them to deliver the best care possible over time."

Jeff DiLullo

Chief Region Leader of Philips North America

Adds Brandon, “I have learned that working together is probably the strongest thing you can do for the patients … we’re learning every day with our patients, understanding that the learning doesn’t stop here, it continues on.

Nurses from Emory

Share this article

To learn more about our work addressing health disparities, please contact:

Sign up to receive news and updates from Philips.

Contact information

* This field is mandatory


Contact details


Company details


You are about to visit a Philips global content page


You are about to visit a Philips global content page


Our site can best be viewed with the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Firefox.