May 16, 2023
Missouri WIC agencies in Saline and Taney counties begin offering mobile services to expand local access
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
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JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Two Missouri local public health agencies are now offering mobile clinic and WIC services in more towns across Saline and Taney counties. Prior to the change, recipients of Missouri WIC benefits only had one option: travel to the single location in their area that offered services. Those services include health checkups for infants and children, breastfeeding support, and updates or additions to monthly eWIC benefits.
“Missouri WIC has never been able to offer clinic services with this much ease,” said Missouri WIC Administrator Angie Oesterly. “We hope that this flexibility removes scheduling and traveling barriers for some participants with the overall goal to expand nutritional access.”
After receiving approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Saline County Health Department was first to begin using a newly-purchased, mobile medical clinic for WIC purposes, offering visits in two additional locations monthly.
In rural Saline County, a 14-member team is responsible for serving nearly 23,000 residents in a 767-square mile territory. Their primary clinic is in Marshall, but the mobile capability has opened the team up to offering services more easily and frequently in Sweet Springs and Slater. To read the full story on this expansion, please click here.
“This is rural public health at its finest,” said Saline County Health Department Administrator Tara Brewer. “Prior clinics meant we had to establish a pop-up clinic in other buildings. Now this mobile clinic is our home and we are comfortable. This is an opportunity to extend services in a one-on-one basis with individuals around the county.”
Shortly after these services launched in Saline County, the Taney County Health Department also began offering mobile services under the USDA approval.
“We are planning to expand this outreach beyond WIC services,” said Taney County Administrator Lisa Marshall. “We are very excited about bringing these opportunities to our residents by making as many of our services mobile as possible.”
Once a month, Marshall says her team mobilizes at a complex in Branson convenient to many WIC clients to provide their services. Soon, they will also begin monthly visits in the Hollister community and hope to continue adding Taney County locations to their monthly schedule.
More than 80,000 Missourians participate in the Missouri WIC program each month. WIC is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. The program provides quality nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, nutritious foods, and referrals to health services. Missouri WIC offers healthy food choices that target specific essential nutrients often missing from the diets of participants, such as iron, calcium, protein, and vitamins A, C, and D. WIC serves financially eligible women, infants and children under the age of five. Fathers, stepparents, foster parents, grandparents and guardians are also encouraged to apply for WIC benefits for any children in the household under the age of five. It is also one of the most successful, cost-effective and important nutrition intervention programs in the country.
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. Nondiscrimination and complaint information can be found on our website at wic.mo.gov.
WIC is funded by the USDA and is administered by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Related news: DHSS promotes funding transparency, accountability through interactive dashboard and stories (Jan. 23, 2023)