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 is seeking to address these barriers by introducing 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 are provided one-on-one as well as in a group setting. WIC-in-a-CLICK is available to all participant categories with a focus on reaching families who have children ages 1 through 4. While the development of online nutrition education is not a new concept, Yavapai County WIC is using online education in a different way than typically demonstrated by other agencies. WIC-in-a-CLICK is not only offered through scheduled classes but also as on-demand classes. On-demand classes consist of clients requesting an appointment and within 1 hour receiving an invite to a Zoom session. Once the session is completed, food benefits are loaded onto the family’s eWIC (i.e. EBT) card.
Yavapai County WIC predicts that the availability of online nutrition education classes will markedly increase the number of families WIC can reach in outlying areas, as well as those who have a difficult time scheduling an appointment in the clinic. Retention will also likely be improved because participants will be empowered to seek WIC services when it is convenient for them and from the comfort of their own home, office, or when they are on the go.
To test the effectiveness of WIC-in-a-CLICK, Yavapai County WIC is utilizing a quasi-experimental pre-post design with MohaveCounty WIC, a nearby agency, serving as the control site. The outcome evaluation will answer such questions as, “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.