5026.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 8:35 AM

Abstract #12460

Achieving Public Health's mission: WIC as a major player

Kim M.L. Wallace, RD, MBA, Dept. of Health, WA State WIC Program, P.O. Box 7886, Olympia, WA 98504-7886, (360)236-3697, karen.valenzuela@doh.wa.gov

It is now well understood that factors most responsible for this centuryís astonishing gain in life expectancy as well as the major determinants of good health are linked mainly to the science and practice not of medicine but of public health. Improvements in sanitation, drinking water supply, nutrition and housing have contributed most of the 40 or so added years of life expectancy over the 20th century. Good nutrition, beginning prenatally and continuing over the entire life span of an individual, is recognized as a major protective factor against illness, chronic conditions and even some types of injury. The key public health program that addresses nutrition risks and deficiencies in pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and children is WIC. And yet, the linkage between WIC and Public Health is not well developed enough for public health leaders to support and promote WICís fullest potential for helping to achieve the public health mission. This presentation by a state WIC Director will provoke discussion about the relationship between WIC and Public Health, how it can be strengthened, and why, at the beginning of this new millennium, doing so is mission-critical to addressing and reducing health disparities.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, participants will: 1. be able to articulate WIC's role in helping to achieve the public health mission; and 2. see WIC as a public health program critical to achieving the goal of eliminating health disparities

Keywords: Nutrition, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA