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ECU and partners working to increase ag workers' access to telehealth

Shane Tolentino for NPR

East Carolina University faculty are part of a research team focused on the health of agricultural workers and their families in North Carolina by giving them better access to telehealth.

The North Carolina Office of Rural Health, ECU and North Carolina State University secured a five-year, nearly $6 million grant for the proposed Agricultural Workers Digital Equity Initiative.

More than 90,000 farmworkers and their family members are estimated to live in North Carolina, and officials say the $100-billion-a-year agriculture industry in the state is dependent on a healthy workforce.

The goal is to increase agricultural workers’ access to digital health services and emergency communication through affordable, reliable high-speed internet.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to