Bonnie Bade is a Medical Anthropologist whose work focuses on farmworker health, health care, California agriculture and farm labor, transnational migration, ethnomedicine and ethnobotany among peoples of both indigenous Oaxaca and indigenous Southern California. Dr. Bade has worked specifically with Mixtec communities in California and Oaxaca for over 20 years. Dr. Bade earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside in 1994. Her dissertation is entitled Sweatbaths, Sacrifice, and Surgery: The Practice of Transnational Health Care by Mixtec Families in California.
In 1999 Dr. Bade was co-investigator of the first statewide farmworker health needs assessment run by the California Institute for Rural Studies and funded by The California Endowment. The resulting papers, "Suffering in Silence" (www.calendow.org,), "Access to Health Care for California's Hired Farm Workers: A Baseline Report," and "Is there a Doctor in the Field?"(www.ucop.edu/cprc) represent data based on clinical examinations of farmworkers and self reported health, health service utilization patterns, and health service access among more than 1000 farmworkers in California. Dr. Bade's ongoing research in California, Mexico and at the border examines health care patterns, specifically access and utilization problems and the alternatives generated by Mixtec women and farmworker families who are confronted with health problems.
Central to Dr. Bade's research is the documentation of the use of indigenous forms of health care to supplement clinical forms available in health institutions on both sides of the border. She examines the interface between clinical health care and farmworker families, including patient/provider interaction and barriers that impact health service access and utilization. She has also conducted ethnomedical research in Oaxaca, Mexico, where she has been documenting illness etiologies, medicinal concepts and practices, and medicinal plant use with Mixtec healers. Dr. Bade teaches anthropology at California State University, San Marcos.