May 4, 2009 WIC Update

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SUBJECT 1: H1N1 Influenza Virus
SUBJECT 2: Great Value Cereals-Design Change
SUBJECT 3: MOWINS Speed
SUBJECT 4: MOWINS Bug Fixes
SUBJECT 5: MOWINS Enhancements
SUBJECT 6: WIC-24 May Invoices

  1. H1N1 Influenza Virus:  We have received several calls from local WIC agencies on H1N1 influenza (known as swine flu).  The Department of Health and Senior Services is posting information daily on the H1N1 influenza virus .  Based on information being issued by the Department, we have no evidence at this time that there is any extraordinary flu activity in Missouri that is adversely affecting local agency WIC operations.

    WIC clinics should continue to function as they do during the regular influenza season following good hygiene practices.  You can stay healthy by: covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough and washing your hands frequently with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand cleaner.  There is information available in multiple languages which can be downloaded.  Questions, answers and other updates are also available.  Local WIC providers are encouraged to check this web page for the most current information on H1N1 influenza.

    If you get questions from breastfeeding mothers about continuing to breastfeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has prepared some questions and answers regarding continuing to breastfeed.  This can be found at CDC H1N1 Flu | Novel H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) and Feeding your Baby: What Parents Should Know  http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/infantfeeding.htm.

    Should the situation change and new recommendations be made by the Department, the State WIC Office will notify local WIC agencies immediately.  We remind local agencies that the State WIC Office must approve mailing of checks and changes in clinic hours.  If you have any questions, please contact your TA staff.

  2. Great Value Cereals - Design Change: Wal-Mart has changed the design of their Great Value cereal boxes.  Some of WIC participants will begin seeing cereals with the new design at WIC vendors during the month of May, 2009.  According to Wal-Mart, the transition from the old design to the new design will be completed by the end of July 2009.  The ingredient and nutrient content will remain the same.  Please share this information and the attached sheet with your staff and participants.   If you have any questions, please contact Takako Tagami at Takako.Tagami@health.mo.gov.

  3. MOWINS Speed:  We’d like to give you an update on the speed of MOWINS.  On Monday, April 27, we implemented MOWINS release 1.36.4.  One of the improvements in this release was to improve the performance of MOWINS and speed it up.  If you are now on MOWINS, you should have noticed an increase in speed.  Another speed improvement is in release 1.38, which you should receive later in May.  A third release with a speed improvement will be sent later this year.  We have done two time studies in one local agency.  State WIC staff came to the agency and timed all steps in a certification.  One was before release 1.36.4 and one was after.  A moderate increase in speed was noted.  We will do additional time studies at local agencies in the near future.  The reason we’re doing these time studies is determine an average or expected time local agency staff can expect when doing specific actions in MOWINS.

    Please understand that MOWINS will never be as fast as HANDS.  MOWINS has a graphical User Interface (GUI), meaning it has many features, such as drop down menus, which make it easier for the user.  Each time the user completes an action in MOWINS (such as opening a participant folder) data is transmitted to and from the server in Jefferson City.  Since much more data is transmitted, as compared to HANDS, it takes longer for the data to arrive.  However, we will continue to do what we can to make MOWINS as fast as possible.  There is much information that local agency staff need to communicate to participants during certifications, recertifications and check pick-ups.  We suggest you make use of the time while waiting for the system to provide this information to participants.
    If you have questions, contact Mark Davis at Mark.Davis@health.mo.gov or 573-526-5323 or 800-392-8209.

  4. MOWINS Bug Fixes:  We want to give you an update on the status of bug fixes in MOWINS.  The following are the highlights of changes you will receive in release 1.38, which you should receive later in May.

    Calendar Appointments Disappearing – The problems that have been occurring with appointments disappearing from the MOWINS calendars should be resolved.

    Voter Registration – In Demographics tab/additional info 2, the question ‘register to vote’ will now be highlighted and required to be answered for infants and children.  The answer will be the information from the authorized representative of the infant of child.  We will provide more information on this change as we get closer to implementing it.

    425 Risk Factor in VENA – In the VENA tab, the 425 risk factor can now be assigned correctly.  The problem was occurring when the previous certification had a 425 risk factor on it and in the current certification attempt; the 425 would automatically appear and then would not show as being assigned to the current certification attempt.

    If you have questions, contact the WIC Help Desk at 800-554-2544.

  5. MOWINS Enhancements:  We will soon develop a form that will be posted on the Department’s web site that will allow state and local agency staff to enter suggestions for enhancements to MOWINS.  We’ll let you know later when it will be ready and will provide instructions on how to use it.  Once we have received the suggestions we will analyze them and determine the priority for making these enhancements.

    If you have questions, contact Mark Davis at Mark.Davis@health.mo.gov or 573-526-5323 or 800-392-8209.

  6. WIC-24 May Invoices:  WIC-24 Invoices for May 2009, or earlier, submitted for payment in the month of June, must be submitted through the Online WIC Invoicing Application by close of business Friday, June 5, 2009.  Any invoices submitted after that date will be held and paid in July 2009.  This change in schedule complies with State Fiscal Year 2009 payment processing deadlines.  If you have questions please contact Laura Weiler at: laura.weiler@health.mo.gov or 573-526-7901.

Attachments:
WIC UPDATE Great Value Package Design Change