By: Cathy Winston, Nutrition Manager
This month, the WIC program is opening an offsite clinic at the Healthpoint Family Care Florence location. The purpose is to improve access to WIC services through collaboration and co-location of WIC services with Healthpoint, a Federally Qualified Health Center who serve many eligible women and children. This will be the second site, as we previously opened a WIC site at the Covington location.
Funding was secured with a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) to staff the new site with a full time Registered Dietition and Clerk Interpreter. Due to space limitations, we will be using the cart concept that we currently use in the hospital setting, with our computer, printers, and e-WIC machine in a mobile unit that will be rolled to whatever clinic room is available.
There are numerous benefits with this collaboration, including:
- Increase WIC participation.
- Convenience of one stop services, i.e. Medical care and WIC in one visit.
- Educate Healthpoint staff on WIC program eligibility in order to reach new clients who currently are patients at Healthpoint but are not coming to the Health Department for WIC services.
- Convenience for working parents who won’t have to take off of work twice.
- Reach prenatal clients earlier in their pregnancy to increase their access to needed care, including nutritional health for them and their unborn infant.
- Quicker access for breast pump or special formula prescriptions.
- Referrals for health issues whether it is WIC referring to the doctor, i.e. low hemoglobin, or the doctor referring to the RD for Medical Nutritional Therapy for chronic health issues.
This collaboration is a great example of a creative approach to take WIC to where people are at, instead of waiting for clients to come to us. We also received a grant from USDA to provide WIC services at the Williamstown Headstart program, another creative collaboration. Staff from USDA/FNS will be visiting Northern Kentucky later in August to observe our collaborations and are especially interested in seeing how the computer cart is being utilized.