July 7, 2014 WIC Update

SUBJECT 1: USDA’s Reminder of WIC’s Role in Immunizations
SUBJECT 2: Mandatory WIC Final Food Package Training: Phase 1 - Reminder
SUBJECT 3: Folic Acid Supplementation
SUBJECT 4: New WIC Call Routing Guide
JOB OPPORTUNITY: Nutritionist/Dietitian-Grace Hill Health Centers, Inc
JOB OPPORTUNITY: WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor-Grace Hill Health Centers, Inc.

  1. USDA’s Reminder of WIC’s Role in Immunizations: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has sent a press release May 29, 2014, about the recent increase in measles cases in the U.S. The press release can be reviewed at the follow website: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0529-measles.html

    Two hundred and eighty-eight cases of measles were reported to CDC between January 1 and May 23, 2014. This is the largest number of measles cases in the U.S. reported in the first five months of a year since 1994. Nearly all of the measles cases this year have been associated with international travel by unvaccinated people. The large number of measles cases this year stresses the importance of vaccination.

    As an adjunct to health care, WIC’s role is to ensure that infants and children at risk for under-immunization are referred for appropriate care. WIC played a crucial role during the last measles epidemic in the 1990s in helping to increase measles vaccination in WIC children. Measles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000, meaning that there was no longer continuous measles transmission for more than 12 months. The current increase in measles cases is being driven by unvaccinated people, primarily U.S. residents, who got measles in other countries, brought the virus back to the U.S. and spread to others in communities where many people are not vaccinated.
    Please remember WIC’s responsibility for immunization screening and referrals to the immunization nurse in your public health department or referrals to their health care provider.

    WIC’s role is to ensure that WIC infants and children are up to date on immunizations. Infants and young children are at high risk of getting a serious case of measles, and timely vaccination is the best way to prevent the disease. WIC local agencies are required to screen and refer infants and young children to the local public health immunizations unit or the participant’s health care provider.

    For more information on measles, please visit: www.cdc.gov/measles.

    For general information about WIC and immunizations, please visit: http://wicworks.nal.usda.gov/topics-z/immunizations If you have questions please contact: The Bureau of Immunizations 800-219-3224 and ask for your County Liaison.
  2. Mandatory Training - WIC Final Food Rule: Phase 1 - Reminder: The 3-hour sessions will provide attendees with an overview of the WIC food package changes that will be implemented October 1, 2014. The training will be delivered on-site at several locations and dates throughout the state. A nutritionist from each agency must attend. Other WIC local agency counseling staff may attend. A training registration is attached with the dates, times and locations. Phase 2 of the Final Food Rule will be implemented in April 2015. There will be additional training offered for the Phase 2 food package changes. Trainings for Phase 2 implementation will be announced at a later date. If you have questions, contact D’Anne Ward at Danne.Ward@health.mo.gov or 573-526-0209. (ONE ATTACHMENT)
  3. Folic Acid Supplementation: Mystery Birth Defect Cluster: Is Diet to Blame? A baffling cluster of birth defects in central Washington state is raising new questions about whether adding a vital nutrient to corn tortillas, tamales and other foods favored by Hispanic families could prevent such devastating problems in the first place.

    When folic acid fortification was implemented, first as a recommendation in 1992 and then as a requirement in 1998, corn masa flour wasn’t widely consumed and the FDA didn’t include it in the list of affected grains. Since then, the population of Hispanics in the U.S. has jumped from about 31 million in 1998, or 11.4 percent of the population, to 53 million in 2012, or 17 percent of the population, according to census data.

    Read the entire article at http://www.nbcnews.com/#/health/womens-health/mystery-birth-defect-cluster-diet-blame-n135026.. Please educate your WIC participants on the importance of folic acid in their diet and as a supplement.
  4. New WIC Call Routing Guide: We have posted a new document to the MOWINS webpage titled WIC Call Routing Guide. The guide is listed under the Useful Links category in the Miscellaneous section (scroll to bottom of page). This guide will help agencies know who to call when they have questions about WIC program issues, MOWINS, ITSD or WIC Technical Assistance. We hope you find this routing guide helpful. If you have any questions, please call the WIC Help Desk at (800) 554-2544 or by email at WICHelpDesk@health.mo.gov.

WIC Positions

JOB OPPORTUNITY: WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor-Grace Hill Health Centers, Inc. has an immediate opening for a part time (18-24 hours per week) Peer Counselor in the WIC program. The candidate must have a high school diploma or equivalent and breastfed one baby (does not have to be currently breastfeeding). The selected candidate will provide basic breastfeeding information and encouragement to WIC eligible prenatal and breastfeeding moms and express enthusiasm about breastfeeding and help mothers enjoy a positive experience. The candidate must be willing to accept after hour phone calls and make home and hospital visits. Send resume to Acey J. Staples, at Grace Hill Health Centers, 1717 Biddle Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63106 or e-mail to AceyS@gracehill.org WIC is an equal opportunity employer.


Food Package Training Registration Form