January 24, 2011 WIC Update

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SUBJECT 1: Fundamentals of Breastfeeding; an 18 Hour Course
SUBJECT 2: Revised nutrition policies since the release of the 2010-2011 WOM
SUBJECT 3: Discontinuation of Best Choice and Always Save 46 oz. Canned Juices
SUBJECT 4: Caseload
SUBJECT 5: Response Requested:  Microcuvettes & Analyzers

  1. Fundamentals of Breastfeeding; an 18 Hour Course:  The state WIC office is hosting a basic 18 hour breastfeeding course in three different locations throughout the state- St. Charles, Springfield and Sedalia.  This training is meant for nutritionists, nurses and peer counselors who need a comprehensive course to prepare them to assist breastfeeding mothers with normal lactation and common breastfeeding challenges.  Please complete the attached registration form and fax to 573-526-1470 or email to Kathy.Mertzlufft@health.mo.gov.  There is a lot of interest in this training and seating is limited.  We are opening up registration to those outside of WIC, so if you are interested in attending, please register as soon as possible.  If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Mertzlufft at 573-526-4792 or by email at the address above.

    2.  Revised nutrition policies since the release of the 2010-2011 WOM:  Nutrition policies that have been revised since the release of the 2010-2011 WOM are now posted on the WIC Website at: http://health.mo.gov/living/families/wic/wiclwp/policies.php under the section titled Revised WOM Policies.”  Posting all the revised policies since the release of the 2010-2011 WOM in one area will assist staff in locating the revised policies.  If you have any questions, please contact your district TA team.

    3.  Discontinuation of Best Choice and Always Save 46 oz. Canned Juices:  The state WIC office received notification that the 46 ounce canned varieties of Best Choice and Always Save juices have been discontinued by the manufacturer.  Authorized WIC Retail stores that stock these brands of 46 ounce canned juices will no longer have access to order these products for WIC customers.  WIC families should select an approved flavor(s) of 12 ounce frozen juice concentrate if the store does not have any approved flavors of 46 oz. canned juice in stock.  The other option for families is to redeem their WIC checks at an authorized store that has access to an approved 46 oz. canned juice.

    Please share this information with families that shop at retail stores that stock these brands of WIC approved juices.  If you have any questions, please contact the Vendor Group at the state WIC office at 573-751-6204.

    4.  Caseload:  Concern has been expressed by some local WIC agencies that their caseload has declined in the first quarter of the 2011 program year. October 2010’s participation count was a 3.4% drop from the immediately preceding September, which is unusual based on the past two years’ data.  See attached graph.  However, Missouri’s experience is consistent with national trends that have been shifting downward since October 2009.  See attached graph.

    Caseload 2011 contract amounts were projected by local WIC providers and the state agency in June 2010.  At this time participation was continuing to be high and a decrease was not anticipated.  Some possible reasons for decreasing caseload include:

    • Many local WIC agencies were closed (or had fewer clinic appointments) the last week of October due to staff attending the WIC conference.
    • Birthrates have been declining since 2009, which means a smaller eligible pool of potential participants.
    • Due to strained local budgets some local WIC agencies have reduced or eliminated outreach efforts.
    • Some states report a potential chilling effect of anti-immigrant policies and sentiments.
    • Some participants may be getting jobs and thus are no longer eligible for program services.
    • With the improving economy, people who never before sought WIC services did so at the beginning of the economic crisis.  They may have decided not to continue with WIC.

    Actions local WIC providers can take include:

    • Examine your local economic conditions – are businesses hiring, are people relocating to other areas for employment opportunities, are more people working and unable to get to the clinic for services, etc.
    • Take advantage of outreach opportunities – review your local outreach plan, implement previously successful strategies, talk with other agencies that are serving similar groups, work collaboratively with other agencies and organizations to promote program services, etc.
    • Review clinic operations and assess the customer service - are all participants warmly greeted and treated in a friendly manner, is the clinic open when eligible working people can access services, are no-shows contacted and rescheduled, etc.

    As in the past, the state office will work closely with local agencies to discuss whether and when caseload adjustments are needed.  Please work with your TA staff on the particulars of your situation.  If you have questions about the attached graphs, please contact Jim Schindler at James.Schindler@health.mo.gov or at 573-751-6194.

    5.  Response Requested--Microcuvettes & Analyzers:  It is time to order microcuvettes by completing the survey.  Please follow the instructions below to assure your agency receives your supply of microcuvettes and analyzer.

      • Microcuvette Survey:  Please complete and return the attached survey via e-mail to WICOperations@health.mo.gov by Monday, February 7, 2011.  This will assure no interruption in the supply of microcuvettes.
      • Microcuvette Order:  The information from the survey will be used to identify the current supply on hand at each agency and to estimate the needs of each agency for the next six months.  The microcuvette order will be shipped directly to your agency.
      • Analyzers:  Analyzers are also available to agencies by completing the request and justification.  Tell us why you need the analyzer: replace current analyzer; expand services at another room/satellite site; more efficient work flow; other: explain.

     

    Local WIC Provider Confirmation:  When you receive the order please do the following:

    a. Verify the number of microcuvettes received with the number listed on the packing slip.
    b. If the number of microcuvettes in the package is the same as the packing slip, sign and date the packing slip.
    c. Fax the packing slip to Leslie Worrell at the State WIC Office within one (1) week of receiving the shipment.  The fax number is (573) 526-1470.  Confirmation on the packing slip is required in order for the State WIC Office to pay for the microcuvettes.  Confirmation by e-mail will not be accepted.

    d. If the number of microcuvettes received is different from the packing slip, please call Leslie Worrell at 800-392-8209 or (573) 526-4622.  Thank you for your cooperation. 

Attachments:
18 Hr BF Course Registration
Microcuvette Survey
Missouri WIC Caseload Graph '07-'11 November '10
WIC Participation Missouri Normalized to National