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Award Announcement

Johns Hopkins to Fund and Support 5 WIC Program Innovation Projects

July 17, 2019

The Hopkins/USDA Research Innovation Laboratory for Enhancing WIC Services (HPRIL) is excited to announce 5 local WIC agency awardees, which will receive awards of up to $150,000 each. Selected through a competitive review process, these 18-month projects aim to address the issue of WIC Program child drop-out by improving different aspects of the WIC service delivery experience with innovative tools. HPRIL will provide evaluation support. The awardees are:

Pima County, AZ

Innovative Tool: a culturally-tailored text message-based drip marketing campaign, a campaign that will send monthly pre-written messages to WIC clients

Yavapai County WIC, AZ

Innovative Tool: self-scheduled and on-demand nutrition education sessions via video conference

Florida Department of Public Health Miami-Dade County WIC Program, FL

Innovative Tool: a culturally-tailored integrated media marketing tool, involving behavioral targeting, social media, YouTube, and geo-precise targeting

Cabarrus Health Alliance, NC

Innovative Tool: an online scheduling (OAS) and queue management system, a model that has been implemented successfully in retail and other health and social services settings

Public Health Solutions, NY

Innovative Tool: a referral system and accountable network of services that will provide real-time data and care coordination and will use the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s client-centered “What Matters to You” approach to making referrals

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a government program that provides nutrition education, breastfeeding education and support, referrals to other health care and social services, and nutritious foods to low-income mothers and young children at risk for nutrition-related health problems.

Research shows that participating in WIC for longer periods of time means better health outcomes for kids. But, only approximately 50% of eligible children currently participate nationally in the WIC program. Many barriers to participation have been identified, and these 5 projects will attempt to overcome some of those barriers in the context of their local programs. Successful projects have the potential to scale to the state and national levels to help increase child retention rates on a larger scale.

HPRIL is funded through a cooperative agreement by the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.