December 08, 2009

News Release

For Immediate Release

WIC Program Now Reaching Clients Online

To better serve its clients in this mobile society, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program adds online learning to its innovative service package, launches a new Facebook page and posts a video introduction to WIC on YouTube.

“We’re seeing a caseload of more than 7,000 clients each month,” says program coordinator Mary Ellison, MA, MPH, “and we’re still growing. These online tools will allow clients to receive information from us, provide feedback to our staff, and participate in education sessions from any internet accessible location, at a time that is convenient for them.”

WIC’s other innovative programs include prenatal yoga, infant yoga, childbirth classes and counseling and support for breastfeeding. In addition, partnerships with Parents as Teachers, the Springfield-Greene County Library District, Doulas of Mid-America and Jordan Valley Community Health Center allow clients to access enhanced services at a single location.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to offer all these services to our WIC participants,” says Ellison. “Not only does the WIC program provide infants and children the proper nutrition they need to start life strong, it also offers support, education and guidance to pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women. Being enrolled in WIC can be life changing for our clients, and we want to make that opportunity available to everyone who is eligible.”

WIC served a caseload of 7,521 clients in October, and recently renewed its contract with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to provide services for 86,400 women, infants and children through fiscal year 2010. With a cost per participant of $10.30 and additional funding for special projects, WIC’s total annual award is $934,503.00.

WIC is a supplemental nutrition program that provides nutrition education, nutritional screening, dietary risk assessment and counseling to pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children up to five years old. WIC also provides vouchers to purchase nutritious supplemental foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, cheese, cereal, peanut butter, and dry beans or peas. Breastfeeding mothers receive an enhanced food package.

The WIC program is open to families who live in Missouri, with a gross income that meets or is below the income guidelines. Program benefits are provided to women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or whose pregnancy recently ended, infants less than 12 months old and children under 5 years old who have a need for improved nutrition as determined by a nutrition professional. The unborn child is counted as a member of the family when eligibility is determined. For complete income eligibility information, visit www.springfieldmo.gov/health/wic.html.

WIC is currently located at 440 E. Tampa in the new Jordan Valley Community Health Center building, and has a satellite office in Republic. To learn more about WIC, or to make an appointment, visit the WIC office or call (417) 851-1581. Office hours are Monday through Thursday 7:30 am to 7:00 pm and Friday 7:30 am to 5:00 pm.

The Springfield-Greene County WIC program is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Services are provided on a non-discriminatory basis. Standards for participation in the WIC program are the same for everyone, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or handicap. If you desire information in an alternate form because of a disability, contact the Springfield-Greene County WIC Program, 440 E. Tampa, Springfield, MO 65802, or call (417) 851-1581. Hearing-impaired residents may contact the department through the Missouri Relay at 1-800-735-2966.

Media contact: Jaci McReynolds, Public Information Administrator, (417) 874-1205 office • (417) 830-9511 cell

springfield greene county health department
city of springfield and greene county logos

Harold K. Bengsch Building

227 E. Chestnut Expwy. • Springfield, MO 65802
417-864-1658 • health.springfieldmo.gov