Yavapai County WIC, AZ
Yavapai County Health Department WIC serves about 3,300 participants and has experienced a steady decline in participation in all categories in recent years. In particular, Yavapai County WIC’s child retention rate is less than 50%. According to Yavapai County WIC staff, participants leave WIC early for a variety of reasons, including:
- Inconvenient appointment times
- Difficulty bringing children to appointments
- Busy schedules which make it hard to come to the clinic
- Difficulty with transportation to clinics due to living in remote areas.
Meet the Yavapai County HPRIL Team
Yavapai County WIC sought to address their identified barriers, YC WIC introduced WIC-in-a-CLICK, an online platform allowing clients to receive online nutrition education through electronic devices including cell phones, tablets or computers. Online sessions were provided one-on-one as well as in a group setting. WIC-in-a-CLICK was available to all participant categories with a focus on reaching families who had children ages 1 through 4. While the development of online nutrition education is not a new concept, Yavapai County WIC used online education in a different way than typically demonstrated by other agencies. WIC-in-a-CLICK was not only offered through scheduled classes but also on-demand classes. On-demand classes consisted of clients requesting appointments and within 1 hour receiving an invite to a Zoom session. Once the sessions were completed, food benefits were loaded onto the family’s eWIC (i.e. EBT) card.
Yavapai County WIC predicted that the availability of online nutrition education classes would markedly increase the number of families WIC could reach in outlying areas, as well as those who had a difficult time scheduling an appointment in the clinic. It was predicted that retention would be improved because participants would be empowered to seek WIC services when convenient for them and from the comfort of their own home, office, or on the go.
To test the effectiveness of WIC-in-a-CLICK, Yavapai County WIC used a quasi-experimental pre-post design with Mohave County WIC, a nearby agency, serving as the control site. The outcome evaluation answered the question “Did WIC-in-a-CLICK contribute to improved retention rates of children in the intervention site as compared to the control site?”
To learn more about Yavapai County WIC’s HPRIL project, please contact Carrie Wright at Carrie.Wright@yavapai.us.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS…
What motivated you to pursue this innovation?
We’re in a rural community, so sometimes our clients have to drive from pretty far away to get to the clinic. So this…saves them money, time, sometimes they have issues with transportation…it's really a way to reach more clients. [With] the virtual platform …we still get that face to face interaction, just over video conferencing...we get the opportunity to meet them when they're a little less stressed, and so I think we have better conversations that way.
What has been the most exciting thing to date about your project?
Clients love [WIC-in-a-CLICK]. To me, that's been the most exciting thing.