December 3, 2007 WIC Update

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SUBJECT 1: Initial Contact Date
SUBJECT 2: HANDS Help Desk Coverage-Upcoming Meetings and Holidays
SUBJECT 3: Caseload Update
SUBJECT 4: WIC Training Schedule for January through June 2008 (Attachments)
SUBJECT 5: Revised Documentation For Medical Needs Formula Issuance
SUBJECT 6: Missouri Birth Defects Prevention Month
SUBJECT 7: Translated Forms and Resource Material – CD
SUBJECT 8: National WIC Association Issues Urgent Legislative Alert
SUBJECT 9: Voter Registration Information Request
SUBJECT 10: 2008 Enhancement Project Announced

  1. Initial Contact Date:  During the Management Evaluation (ME) USDA conducted of Missouri WIC in September 2007, an observation was made that Missouri WIC should clarify the “Contact” date field found on certification and recertification screens in HANDS.  In the WIC Updates of November 26, 2007, there was an article stating that the “Contact” Date field on the certification screens (H401/H403/H421/H423) will be relabeled as “Initial Contact” date effective December 3, 2007.  The “Contact” and “Type” fields will be removed from the recertification screens (H402/H422) effective December 3, 2007.  This is being done because these fields are not required to be keyed on a recertification.

    Continue to follow the current policy of using this field to enter “Initial Contact” date on the certification screens, per ER 3.01600.  The “Initial Contact” date is the date a prospective participant contacts the LWP by phone, in person or in writing requesting WIC services.  Per ER 3.01700 an appointment to determine WIC eligibility for prenatals, infants under six months of age and members of the migrant population must occur within 10 calendar days of the “Initial Contact” date. Per ER 3.01700 an appointment to determine WIC eligibility for all other participants must occur within 20 calendar days of the “Initial Contact” date.  If you have questions contact Glenn Studebaker at glenn.studebaker@health.mo.gov or 573-751-6198 or 800-392-8209.
  2. HANDS Help Desk Coverage-Upcoming Meetings and Holidays:
    There will be no HANDS Help Desk coverage on December 19 from 1:00-5:00 and December 20 from 8:00-5:00 for staff meetings.  There will no HANDS Help Desk coverage and the State WIC Office will be closed on December 25 for Christmas and on January 1 for New Year’s Day.  The State WIC Office will be open as usual from 8:00-5:00 on December 24 and December 31.

    If you have questions, contact Mark Davis at mark.davis@health.mo.gov or 573-526-5323 or 800-392-8209.
  3. Caseload Update:  The caseload numbers for November arrived December 2nd.  While the number of participants decreased about 500 from October to November, the number of participants served remains high.  The greatest increases have been in serving children ages 1-5.  In October, 141,503 participants were served, in November 140,988 participants were served.  Caseload has increased 4% in the last six months (since June when 135,408 participants were served).  This is an unprecedented increase.  We thank local WIC providers for their hard work in seeing so many new WIC participants.  If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your district team or Jim Schindler (James.Schindler@health.mo.gov).
  4. WIC Training Schedule for January through June 2008 (Attachments) - Attached is the training calendar for January 2008 through June 2008 and the training registration form.  Please contact the trainer listed on the schedule for any questions concerning a particular training.  WIC Basic Orientation Training will be presented on-site at each district office one time during 2008 with Video Conference to the remaining district sites.
  5. Revised Documentation For Medical Needs Formula Issuance:  The State office has revised the Documentation For Medical Needs Formula Issuance form (WIC 29).  The revised WIC 29 form will be printed one-side only.  The color of form will be light blue.  Before finalizing the WIC 29 form, we would like to receive feedback from local WIC providers.  Please review the attached form and provide your feedback to Takako Tagami by faxing to 573-526-1470 or e-mailing Takako.Tagami@health.mo.gov by December 10, 2007.
  6. Missouri Birth Defects Prevention Month:  January is Missouri Birth Defects Prevention Month!  Please see the attached items: a) the message from the Bureau of Genetics and Healthy Childhood, b) Folic Acid Quiz, and c) Folic Acid brochure request form.  The WIC State office encourages your agency to plan activities to promote the importance of preconception health care, prenatal care and good nutrition including Folic Acid.  In December, each local WIC provider will receive a packet containing Birth Defects Prevention brochures and a literature request form.  Please fill out the form as needed and fax it to the DHSS warehouse at 573-751-1574.  For more information about birth defects prevention, folic acid consumption and preconception health care, please visit the DHSS website at http://www.dhss.mo.gov/folic_acid/ or by contacting Leslie Seifert in the Bureau of Genetics and Healthy Childhood at 1-800-877-6246 or leslie.seifert@health.mo.gov.
  7. CD - Translated Forms and Resource Material:  CDs containing the translated WIC forms and resource materials will be available by the end of December.  If your agency is interested in receiving the CD, please contact Katie Hollis at Katie.Hollis@health.mo.gov
  8. National WIC Association Issues Urgent Legislative Alert:  The National WIC Association (NWA) has issued an urgent legislative alert asking WIC programs to contact their Congresspersons to ask that they fund the WIC program at $5.96 billion in order for programs to maintain current caseload and not have to begin cutting moms and kids from the program.  Congress is considering an omnibus budget bill to fund federal agencies for 2008.  Right now the WIC program is being funded on a continuing resolution, which means we receive funding one month at a time and at a level of not more than 1/12 of what we received last year.  With caseload having increased 4% since July and food cost increases of 6-10% since summer, flat funding will not be adequate for states to address overall increasing costs throughout the year.  A copy of the legislative alert is attached for your reference.

    If you would like to contact your Congressperson and support more funding for the WIC program, attached is a list of the Missouri delegation including phone numbers and addresses.  The National WIC Association has also developed a letter that you can send.  That can be found on the NWA web page (http://www.nwica.org/). Senator Bond is on the Senate Appropriations Committee and Representative Jo Ann Emerson is on the House Appropriations Committee.  They have a key role in making decisions on WIC funding.

    If you need any additional information please contact Lyn Konstant at Lyn.Konstant@health.mo.gov or 573-751-6086.  If you contact your Representative/Senator and they ask for more information on the WIC program, please feel free to refer them to Lyn.

  9. Voter Registration Information Request:  Last week all WIC coordinators received an e-mail request to update the State Office on how they handle voter registration.  Thank you to the WIC coordinators that have already responded.  If you have not yet sent your information to Lyn Konstant, please take a minute to do so today.  Responses are due December 7.
  10. 2008 Enhancement Project Announced:  Every year we look for ways to support WIC Providers and improve service to WIC participants through Client Services Enhancement Projects.  This is an opportunity to apply for WIC Program Enhancement Funding for 2008.  There is expected to be $150,000 in funds from USDA, which is expected to be available sometime after the first of the year.  These funds must be expended by September 30, 2008.

    This year the Enhancement Project focus is on increasing participation in WIC by pregnant women in their first trimester; and increasing the percentage of WIC participants who begin and continue to breastfeed.  Partnering with community groups to increase participation is strongly encouraged. 

    Please find attached the general guidelines for funding, as well as Attachment A: Project Application, Attachment B:  Project Budget, and Project Suggestions.  Applications are due by COB January 31, 2007.  Contact your District Team or Kathleen Davis at Kathleen.Davis@health.mo.gov with questions.

Attachments:
Missouri WIC Caseload Analysis NOV-a 05-08
WIC Training Schedule 1-08 thru 6-08
2008 Training Registration Form
WIC 29 Draft for Review
Birth Defects Prevention Month LTR 11-27-07
Folic Acid Brochure WIC Request Form
Folic Acid Quiz
Translated Items on CD 11-27-07
NWA Legislative Alert 11-30-07
MO Reps - Senators 2007
2008 Enhancement Application Attachment A
2008 Enhancement Application Guidelines
2008 Enhancement Budget Attachment B
Enhancement Project Suggestions