The NC Farmworker Health Program staff work collaboratively with health departments, community health centers, rural health centers, hospitals, community organizations, universities, and other agencies working to improve the health of migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the state.
North Carolina Farmworker Health Program
Office of Rural Health
2009 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699
Toll Free: 800-533-8847
(919) 527-6440 main
(919) 733-2981 fax
Direct Line: (919) 527-6455 · Email
Elizabeth Freeman Lambar, MSW, MPH is currently the director of the North Carolina Farmworker Health Program, within the Office of Rural Health, NC DHHS, where she has worked since 2001. Elizabeth was previously employed working with farmworkers as a health outreach worker in North Carolina, New Jersey and Florida. Prior to working with farmworkers, she worked with Central American refugees in Tucson and with the homeless in Philadelphia and San Antonio. She received her undergraduate degree in Human Development and Social Relations at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana and received her MSW and MPH from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Aleena Bhasin is part of the COVID Response Team at NCFHP, where she supports farmworker health outreach programs across the state responding to pandemic-related needs. She specifically collaborates with partners at the community level and at the state level to develop strategies that streamline on-the-ground efforts. Prior to NCFHP, Aleena worked as an RN in Interventional Radiology and in Emergency Depts in NC and across the US. Before nursing, she worked as an administrator in global health. She earned her BA in an Individualized Major with a Concentration in Media, Politics, and Culture from NYU, her BSN from Duke University, and her MHA from Columbia University.
Direct Line: (919) 527-6470 · Email
Ann Watson, MSW is a Farmworker Health Operations Specialist at NCFHP. Ann provides technical assistance to farmworker health outreach programs across the state. She also coordinates outreach trainings and assists in the development and implementation of special initiatives. Prior to her current position at NCFHP, Ann directed an HIV health initiative at a national farmworker advocacy organization in Washington, DC. Ann began her career in social work and public health as a perinatal home visitor at a community health center. She worked in education for several years in rural Costa Rica before returning to her home state for graduate school. Ann is a graduate of Guilford College and received her MSW from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Direct Line: (919) 527-6482 · Email
Gayle B Thomas, MD was trained in Family Medicine at UCLA Medical School and Santa Monica Hospital in California. She served as a chief resident at UNC Dept. of Family Medicine prior to becoming a staff physician at Carrboro Community Health Center in North Carolina. During her 22 years at the Community Health Center, she served many Latino patients. To better serve these patients, she became fluent in medical Spanish and studied Latino health care beliefs. She continued her relationship during these years with UNC Family Medicine by serving as a preceptor for medical students in the clinic and for residents in the hospital. In 2013, she left the Community Health Center and joined the UNC Family Medicine Faculty. She currently serves as both an inpatient and outpatient preceptor and as the medical director of the NC Farmworker Health Program, continuing her interests in care for the underserved and the Latino culture.
Kate Douglass is part of the COVID-19 Response Team supporting health posts statewide responding to pandemic-related farmworker needs. Specifically, Kate assists with increasing access to isolation and quarantine housing, wrap-around services support, and procurement of supplies. Prior to her position at the NCFHP, Kate worked for international humanitarian organizations, most recently as a Health Promotion Manager in Nigeria, South Sudan, and with migrant farmworkers in Immokalee, Florida. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Panama (2010-2012). Kate completed her undergraduate at Appalachian State University and received her M.A. in International Development and Global Health Certificate from the University of Denver. Mountains, running, and family are in her top three favorite things (not in that order of course)!
Direct Line: (919) 527-6466 · Email
Kate Furgurson manages NCFHP’s data, compiles reports, coordinates the continuous quality improvement process, and supports the team in technical assistance and other projects. Kate has worked with farmworkers in Georgia and North Carolina in health outreach and public health research settings. She completed a Student Action with Farmworkers fellowship and worked as an outreach coordinator at one of NCFHP’s contract sites. Most recently, Kate worked at the Wake Forest School of Medicine where she contributed to research on farmworker health. She also served on NCFHP’s governing board. She completed her undergraduate degree at the College of William and Mary and received her MPH from Emory University.
Direct Line: (336) 257-6337 · Email
Natalie H. Rivera, MPH is the Internet Connectivity Project Coordinator at NCFHP. Natalie is currently coordinating a sustainable initiative to bring internet to migrant farmworker housing across North Carolina. The goal is to promote the well-being of farmworkers by bridging access to telemedicine, social outlets and educational resources through internet connectivity. Prior to working with NCFHP, she launched one of our grant-funded farmworker health outreach sites in Eastern North Carolina, where she served as the outreach coordinator for over seven years. She has experience working at Latinx lead nonprofits through both AmeriCorps ACCESS and Student Action with Farmworkers. Natalie completed her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and received her MPH from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
Direct Line: (919) 527-6483 · Email
Tara Tyson, MBA manages NCFHP’s budget, monitors expenditures and ensures compliance with state and federal program regulations. In addition, Tara provides financial training and supports the team in technical assistance to agencies funding by the Program. Prior to working at NCFHP, she worked as grants and contracts manager with the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In addition to her experience with agriculture, Tara has worked as a Financial Management Consultant at the NC Department of Public Instruction in School Nutrition and has over 20 years of financial experience working in state government. Tara completed her undergraduate degree at North Carolina Central University as well as an Elementary Education Licensure and received an MBA from the University of Phoenix.
Direct Line: (919) 527-6479 · Email
Zoë L. Cummings, MSW, MPH is a Farmworker Health Operations Specialist at NCFHP where she has worked since 2011. Currently, Zoë provides contract monitoring and technical assistance for farmworker health program grantees as well as grantees that participate in the 340B program. She assists with coordinating outreach trainings and with a variety of special initiatives. Prior to working at NCFHP she worked as an outreach coordinator at one of our farmworker health contract sites in Western NC. In addition to her experience with farmworker health, Zoë has worked at an inpatient residential treatment facility in South Carolina, a group home for people with developmental disabilities in Iowa, and with an adult literacy program in Belize, Central America where she served two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Zoë completed her undergraduate degree at The University of Iowa and received her MSW and MPH at the University of South Carolina.