June 15, 2009 WIC Update

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SUBJECT 1:  Breastfeeding Conference Save the Date – September 17, 2009
SUBJECT 2: New life for the Breastfeeding Promotion Act – Oregon
SUBJECT 3: FFY 2010 WIC State Plan Goals and Objectives
SUBJECT 4: MOWINS Down Time/Speed Issues
SUBJECT 5: Revised Formula and Food Reference Sheets (FFRS) June 1, 2009 version
SUBJECT 6: Missouri WIC New Food package and Poster Survey
SUBJECT 7: Shipment from Warehouse
SUBJECT 8: Independence Day Holiday - July 3, 2009
SUBJECT 9: Potential Grant Opportunity
SUBJECT 10: Caseload Participation Estimates

  1. Breastfeeding Conference, Save the Date:  Pettis County WIC and State Fair Community College are hosting a breastfeeding conference on Thursday, September 17, 2009 titled, “Working Together to Promote Breastfeeding Success, A Day with Dr. Mom®”.  Marianne Neifert, M.D., M.T.S., nationally known as Dr. Mom®, will be the guest speaker.  This free one-day conference will be held at the State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Missouri.  Topics include: “The Successful Initiation of Breastfeeding”, “Extending the Duration of Breastfeeding”, and Troubleshooting Breastfeeding Problems”.  Registration information will be available in July.  For more information contact Kathy Mertzlufft at 573-526-4792 or by email at Kathy.Mertzlufft@health.mo.gov.

  2. New life for the Breastfeeding Promotion Act – Oregon:  Attached is an interesting news release from the state of Oregon.  They are very serious about breastfeeding and not only wanting moms and families to realize the health benefits when the decision is to breastfeed but also writing legislation that supports the family’s decision to breastfeed. 

  3. FFY 2010 WIC State Plan Goals and Objectives:  The State WIC Office is soliciting your comments on Missouri’s planned Goals, Objectives and Strategies for Federal Fiscal Year 2010 (October 1, 2009 and ending September 30, 2010).  USDA requires states to develop an annual plan that includes goals on nutrition services initiatives to promote and support breastfeeding, vendor management, and other program goals.  USDA’s National priorities include: revitalizing quality nutrition services through value enhanced nutrition assessment (VENA); breastfeeding; and reducing overweight and obesity in children (sometimes referred to as Fit WIC).  The Missouri plan addresses USDA’s national priorities and requirements in addition to a focus on improving customer service.  The FFY10 Goals, Objectives and Strategies can be found in the attached document.  Please send your comments by June 30, 2009 to the attention of Lyn.Konstant@health.mo.gov.

  4. MOWINS Down Time/Speed Issues:  On June 9, 2009, MOWINS went down for several hours.  ITSD staff immediately attempted to fix the problem.  The problem was with the Application Control Engine (ACE) module located in the Server Room in 920 Wildwood in Jefferson City.  This module works to balance the load of the MOWINS web servers.  These servers enable the user to log onto MOWINS.  ITSD staff was on the phone much of the day with Cisco, the company that makes the module, to determine the cause of the problem and fix it.  There were power surges that day in 920 Wildwood and ITSD believes this may have been the cause for the problem.  Cisco is studying the log files from that day to verify the cause and will notify ITSD when complete.  MOWINS has been down other times, particularly the last two weeks, and ITSD is working on a solution for this also.  These down times also appear to be related to the ACE module.  We know down time causes you great frustration as it does for ITSD and us.  I want to assure you that we and ITSD are doing everything possible to solve this problem.

    On a related subject, the recent release, 1.38, on June 9, had a performance enhancer that should have caused an increase in MOWINS speed.  If you are concerned about the speed at your agency, please contact your TA staff so they can schedule a day to do a timing of the system as you use MOWINS.
    If you have questions, please contact Mark Davis at Mark.Davis@health.mo.gov or 573-526-5323 or 800-392-8209.

  5. Revised Formula and Food Reference Sheets (FFRS) June 1, 2009 version:  Thank you to all those who provided their suggestions on the Formula and Food Reference Sheets (June 1, 2009 version).  Suggestions from local WIC providers are appreciated.  The attached are updated version of FFRS:
    • Full Pages of Updated FFRS (June 15, 2009)
    • Revised and New Pages

    Please begin using the updated version of FFRS (June 15, 2009).  The FFRS will also be posted on the MOWINS website.  If you have any suggestions and/questions, please feel free to contact Takako Tagami at Takako.Tagami@health.mo.gov.

  6. Missouri WIC New Food package and Poster Survey:  The State office has developed two posters for local WIC providers’ use and would like to know your preference of posters:
    • 2009 Missouri WIC Approved New Foods Poster
    • Missouri WIC New Food Package Poster

    Please fill out the attached survey form and fax or e-mail to Sheila Dessieux by June 30, 2009:
    By Fax: 573-526-1470; or E-mail: Sheila.Dessieux@health.mo.gov.
    One survey form must be completed by each local WIC provider.  We plan to ship around the end of July 2009.  If you have questions, please contact Takako Tagami at Takako.Tagami@health.mo.gov.

  7. Shipment from Warehouse:  During the week of June 15, 2009, all local WIC providers will receive a package from the DHSS warehouse.  The following items are included in the package:
    • WIC Participant’s Rights and Responsibilities (WIC-10 Laminated)
    • WIC Participant’s Rights and Responsibilities (WIC 10-M Back-Up; 50 sheets/pad)
    • Envelope containing WIC New Food Package Notification Post Cards (Terra Green Color) and Missouri WIC Director’s letter

    Please order additional the laminated WIC-10 sheets and padded forms as needed from the warehouse.  If you have any suggestions and/or questions, please contact Takako Tagami at Takako.Tagami@health.mo.gov.

  8. Independence Day Holiday - July 3, 2009:  The State WIC Office, including the MOWINS/HANDS Help Desk, will be closed on Friday July 3, 2009.
    If you have questions, contact Mark Davis at Mark.Davis@health.mo.gov or 573-526-5323 or 800-392-8209.

  9. Potential Grant Opportunity:  The Federal Government recognizes the important work carried out by nonprofit organizations to address the needs of disadvantaged and hard-to-reach populations suffering economic hardships and intends to empower these organizations to be part of economic recovery through the new Strengthening Communities Fund.  The Strengthening Communities Fund is now available and applications are due July 7, 2009.

    The Strengthening Communities Fund -

    Objective:  The objective of the Strengthening Communities Fund (SCF) is to enable nonprofit organizations to contribute to the economic recovery and help Federal, State, local, and Indian/Native American Tribal governments ensure that the information and services described in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) reach disadvantaged and hard-to-serve populations.

    Program Focus:  The focus of this program is to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations, whether secular or faith based, to address the broad economic recovery issues present in their communities, including helping low-income individuals secure and retain employment, earn higher wages, obtain better-quality jobs, and gain greater access to state and Federal benefits and tax credits, including ARRA benefits.

    Grant Program:  SCF is made up of two separate grant programs.

    Nonprofit Capacity Building Program:  The SCF Nonprofit Capacity Building program will make one-time awards up to $1 million to experienced lead organizations to provide nonprofit organizations -- or project partners -- with capacity building training, technical assistance, and competitive financial assistance.  A minimum of 55% of the Federal funds awarded must be provided to project partners through a competitive process.  The grant period for this award is 24 months.  To read the full program announcement for the SCF Nonprofit Capacity Building program visit: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/HHS-2009-ACF-OCS-SI-0091.html

    State, Local, and Tribal Government Capacity Building Program:  The SCF State, Local, and Tribal Government Capacity Building program will make one-time awards up to $250,000 to State, city, county, and Indian/Native American Tribal government offices (e.g., offices responsible for outreach to faith-based and community organizations or those interested in initiating such an effort), or their designees, to build the capacity of nonprofit faith-based and community organizations to better serve those in need and to increase nonprofit organizations' involvement in the economic recovery.  Grantees will use program funds to provide free capacity building services to nonprofit organizations and to build their own capacity to provide such services to nonprofits.  The grant period for this award is 24 months.  To read the full program announcement for the SCF State, Local and Tribal Government Capacity Building Program visit: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/HHS-2009-ACF-OCS-SN-0092.html

    For more information about this new program, visit http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/scf/

    For recordings of technical assistance calls for potential applicants, visit http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/scf/online_training.html

  10. Caseload Participation Estimates:  WIC local agency caseload estimates for FFY2009 will be available by close of business today (6/10/09) in Crystal Reports.  The HANDS participation report is in the usual format on Crystal.  The MOWINS estimates are available as a separate report.  For the monthly total add your agency HANDS participation number to your MOWINS estimate.  This would be your monthly total with qualifications.

    How do I access the new participation count for my WIC local agency?  Log on to Crystal reports and click on the plus sign (+) next to the Public Folders.  Click on the plus sign (+) next to the WIC Reports – Local Agency.  Next, click on the Caseload Management line and finally click on HWIAC425-01 Reports for HANDS data.  Select the most updated version of the HANDS report—Date 05-02-2009.  For the MOWINS estimates, access “MOWINS” under the Caseload Management.  It will be an Excel spreadsheet and be listed by agency.  Find your agency and maximize Excel in order to see all the tabs.  It will show tabs for each month your agency has MOWINS data.  If you rolled out in April, you very likely will have data for March.  To obtain a total count, use all the data from each tab.

    Why do I have participation numbers for the month before I began MOWINS?  MOWINS counts slightly differently than HANDS.  You probably remember from your training that a participant with a benefit’s due date in one month, but who does not come in to pick up that month’s checks until the next month will receive prorated benefits for that prior month.  The participant will be counted in the first, prior month, and not the second month (unless picking up bi-monthly or tri-monthly benefits).  For instance, if a participant with a benefits date of May 25 does not come into the agency until June 8, the participant is part of the May caseload participation count, not June.  HANDS would count this person in June and assign a full food package.  MOWINS credits May with the caseload participation and assigns a partial food package.

    How does this make a difference to my agency participation count?  If you rolled out in April, and MOWINS has a participation count for March due to late benefits pickup, add this to the March HANDS participation.  This will give you the total for your agency for March.

    Also, fully breastfeed infant’s data is NOT currently available from MOWINS and was therefore NOT included in computing these projected numbers.

    What about my six month evaluation of contracted caseload?  The six month estimate of participation was used to estimate the amount of increase/decrease to contracted caseload appropriate for each agency at this point in time.  We hope in the near future to have available the actual participation caseload for each agency.  We will be increasing the contracts for agencies over serving to allow more funding to serve participants right now.  We will be decreasing agencies that show under service by 5%.  The funding should be reflected in the Online WIC Invoicing Application this week.  We will move forward with the caseload increases/decreases based on the best numbers we have available.

    The numbers from HANDS are actual participation and combined with estimates from MOWINS will provide our best estimation of participation for 2009.  Thank you for your patience while we work through the participation count issues.

    If you have simple, non system questions, please call Kathleen Davis at 573-526-2821 or email at Kathleen.Davis@health.mo.gov

Attachments:
New Life for the Breastfeeding Promotion Act
Survey - WIC New Food PKG and Food Posters
2010 Goals and Objectives
FFRS revised Pages only
FFRS 6-11-09