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What is WIC? Presented by Kerry Thomson, WIC Clinic Operations Specialist New Mexico WIC Program July 2014 NMWIC.ORG.

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Presentation on theme: "What is WIC? Presented by Kerry Thomson, WIC Clinic Operations Specialist New Mexico WIC Program July 2014 NMWIC.ORG."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is WIC? Presented by Kerry Thomson, WIC Clinic Operations Specialist New Mexico WIC Program July 2014 NMWIC.ORG

2 Introduction  WIC is the special supplemental food program for Women, Infants and Children. WIC celebrates 40 years in  WIC is supported and administered by the USDA/FNS and the New Mexico Department of Health.  Currently, there are 38 clinics, 37 satellites, and 5 contract clinics associated with the NM State WIC program.  In addition, there are 7 Indian Tribal Organizations with WIC services in New Mexico.

3 Mission  The WIC program serves to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, nutrition education and referrals to health and social services.

4 History of WIC  WIC has been in existence for over 40 years.  During the 1970’s results from large scale surveys, such as Ten-State and Hanes I, showed poor nutrition was a major problem among minorities, teens and low income families.  In 1972 congress established the first pilot program known as “The Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children.”  In 1974 the first WIC Program opened in Pineville, Kentucky.  In 1974, the State of New Mexico contracted with three agencies to administer WIC services-the Albuquerque Family Health Center, the UNM Maternal & Infant Care Project and Presbyterian Medical Services in Cuba, NM.  In 1979, USDA sponsored a national forum on program management in Albuquerque, with WIC Directors from all state agencies participating.

5 History of WIC….  By 1980, Wyoming became the 50 th state to provide WIC services.  In 1991, New Mexico implemented infant formula rebates and chose the least expensive brand of some food items, reducing food package costs and allowing WIC to serve more people.  In 1995, New Mexico was recognized by the USDA for its efforts in developing facilitated nutrition education.  Nationwide, WIC provides food benefits and nutrition counseling services to over eight million needy people each month.  WIC serves clients in 50 states, 34 ITO’s, D.C., and 5 territories.  New Mexico WIC currently serves about 58,000 clients.  In 2013, New Mexico’s Federal Budget was nearly $45,000,000 with foods purchased with WIC funds totaling over $26,000,000.

6 Grocery Store Sales  Funds from NM WIC checks help impact grocery store profits in our communities. The top three counties benefiting from WIC funding were:  Bernalillo $10,  Dona Ana $6,059,  Santa Fe $2,629,  WIC food funds help stimulate local economies across the state.

7 Who can participate in WIC?  The WIC Program is open to pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum women as well as infants and children up to age 5.  To qualify for WIC, families must be at 185% of the poverty line or below.  Families who are eligible for Food SNAP or TANF are allowed to participate in WIC.  Those family members who receive NM Centennial Care will also qualify for WIC services. In this case, families may have income up to 230% of the poverty line.  All family members applying for the program must also have a documented nutrition risk.

8 What foods are provided by WIC?  Infant Formula  Infant Cereal  100% pure juices  Milk  Soy Milk  Eggs  Cheese  Tofu  Tuna  Cereal/ Grains  Fresh Fruits/Vegetables  Canned or Frozen fruits and vegetables  Special Infant Formulas  Medical Nutritional Foods  Beans or peas  Peanut Butter

9 What Key Nutrients do WIC Clients need?  Protein  Vitamin A  Vitamin C  Vitamin D  Calcium  Iron  Folic Acid  Fiber

10 Risk Factors  The WIC program assesses clients for medically based risks; here are just a few:  Smoking/Drinking/Use of street drugs  Anemia  Overweight  Underweight  Dental issues  Nutritionists work with each client to determine a behavior change goal that is achievable and that will ultimately improve their health and reduce their risk for chronic disease. This goal is supported through Facilitated Nutrition Education.

11 WIC screens clients for Safety in the home and Substance abuse  Clients are also asked questions on safe environment, domestic violence and abuse/neglect issues.  If needed, staff can seek immediate assistance from Public Health Nurses or Social Workers to work with the client to deal with this issue.

12 Referrals  In many cases, WIC serves as the entry point to clients needing any type of health and social services.  WIC can assist by providing referrals for family planning, dental care screening, mental health, immunizations or help for families with special needs children or any child with a health care issue.  For medically fragile children, WIC can provide specialized formulas or medical nutritional foods.

13 Outreach  Federal law requires that WIC provide outreach to special populations such as migrant farm workers and homeless people.  WIC provides services to teen moms; NM has satellite clinics that specifically serve this group such as the Teen Parent Center in Santa Fe and the New Futures School in Albuquerque.  WIC will refer clients to the SNAP Program, Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF), Centennial Care/Medicaid and other services.

14 Immunizations  During certification, clients are asked to bring in shot records which are then read by staff. If client does not have record, staff can access NMISS.  Clients not up to date on shots are provided with a printed list of needed immunizations to take to their medical provider.

15 Immunization Follow Up  WIC staff will make a note in the client’s file on immunization status, make referral to health care provider if child is behind and follow up at the next appointment to ensure the child was immunized.  This service reinforces the importance of immunizations to a large population of New Mexicans.

16 Nutrition Education  Facilitated Nutrition Education is an educational format that allows clients to actively participate in the learning process.Using open-ended questions, the facilitator helps draw out the group’s conversation topic without lecturing at them, correcting information only when needed.  Subjects covered in nutrition education sessions directly relate to issues that impact WIC clients, including prenatal nutrition, breastfeeding, infant nutrition, feeding relationships and child nutrition.

17 WIC FIT KIDS  “WIC FIT KIDS” 2005 and “Get Healthy Together” 2006 were initiatives in nutrition education that challenged WIC staff and clients to help themselves and their children achieve a healthy weight for life by decreasing sweetened drinks, increasing water consumption and increasing daily activity through play and fun.  Family routines are emphasized, including preparing meals at home and eating together.  Suggestions on limiting TV time and increasing outside activities are provided as well.

18 Literacy  The New Mexico WIC Program also promotes literacy, by teaching basic nutrition through the use of easy to read books that are provided free to clients. Books entitled “Picking Apples and Pumpkins”, “I like to Nurse” and “Jump for Joy” are examples of this literacy promotion project.  Books are provided in English and Spanish.  In the past years, over 16,500 children’s books were distributed to clients.

19 Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program  WIC has been instrumental in promoting the Five a Day program with the use of Farmer’s Market checks.  Each summer, these checks are given to clients during certification and nutrition education sessions in order to encourage them to try a variety of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables.  Clients are provided with information and recipes in order to improve the intake of nutrients provided by these foods.

20 Breastfeeding Promotion  Breastfeeding counseling services are available to all WIC moms at no charge.  Many WIC nutritionists are trained in breastfeeding and are able to provide information and assistance to breastfeeding mothers. NM WIC has seven IBCLC’s on staff.  The NM WIC program promotes breastfeeding by providing moms with a hospital grade loaner breast pump to use when returning to work or school.  A mom who chooses to exclusively breastfeed may be able to receive a personal electric breast pump and counseling services.  Moms who exclusively breastfeed receive a larger food package that includes extra food items as well such as fish, fruits and vegetables..

21 Peer Counselor Program  Peer counselors are WIC moms who have breastfed their own babies and who have had training in breastfeeding support.  In 2013, 43 clinics were provided with PC training, there are now about 60 peer counselors across New Mexico.  Peer Counselors receive a stipend for each mom who breastfeeds, up to $60 for clients breastfeeding through the sixth month of life.

22 Peer Counselors help improve Breastfeeding initiation and duration  New Mexico WIC has been one of the few states to pioneer the use of Breastfeeding Peer Counselors to provide mother to mother support to WIC clients.  In 2013,  NM Peer Counselors have improved breastfeeding initiation rates.

23 Where are WIC offices located?  The New Mexico WIC Program depends on local counties to provide clinic space for individual WIC programs.  The use of public health facilities that are multi-service in nature are cost effective and provide one-stop health services for New Mexicans.  There are approximately 38 WIC clinics operating in New Mexico, not including 37satellites.

24 Electronic Benefit Transfer Expansion  NM WIC uses an Electronic Benefit system for seven years. This is a means of providing food benefits to clients using a “Smart” card rather than paper checks.  New Mexico uses a card with a chip. The chip is a data base that provides benefits to the client and communicates with grocer system.  This system saves time at the clinic, the grocer and the bank.

25 In order to qualify for WIC, a person must meet the following criteria:  Be a resident of New Mexico  Be a pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum mom, or an infant or a child up to age 5.  Meet income guidelines.  Have a nutrition related health risk.  Anyone who meets the eligibility criteria can participate in the WIC Program, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion or handicap.  U.S. citizenship is not a requirement.

26 WIC Works! NMWIC.ORG For more information, contact Sarah Flores-Sievers, NM WIC Director Kerry Thomson, Clinic Operations S. Pacheco Santa Fe, NM 87505


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