Online Program

Improving WIC Retention in Vermont: Beneficiary Attitudes toward Co-Location in Medical Homes

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Erin Pichiotino, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
Lillian Chang, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
Eunice Fu, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
George Taylor, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
Brian Till, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
Amy Triano, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
John Whittier, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
Donna Bister, Vermont Department of Health, Burlington, VT
Alison Howe, MS, Office of Medical Education, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
Jan K. Carney, MD, MPH, Medicine, Robert Larner MD College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
Introduction. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a national public health nutrition program. Despite proven benefits, it is increasingly difficult to retain families for the full duration of program eligibility. Studies in other states suggest integrating WIC recertification appointments with primary care medical visits as a potential solution.

Methods. A fourteen question survey assessed attitudes towards integrating WIC recertification visits with primary care appointments and garnered person information (e.g. number of children in the household, parental age, income.) The survey was emailed to families identified by WIC officials as current or previous beneficiaries; links were posted to WIC Facebook pages and Front Porch Forum.

Results. Most respondents (82.3%) believed that having WIC re-certification through their medical home would improve continuity of care. When strength of agreement was quantified, those who had missed a WIC recertification appointment more strongly agreed that it would be easier to get recertified if appointments were integrated with their child’s medical appointments as compared to those who had never missed a WIC recertification appointment (p < .05). Of those surveyed, 22% reported missing a WIC recertification appointment while only 8.3% reported missing a medical appointment for their child.

Conclusion. Our data suggests significant interest amongst WIC beneficiaries for consolidation of recertification appointments with medical care services; this model is most favored by those who have missed previous recertification appointments. Our analysis did not find significant differences in opinion based on a range of stratifiers, suggesting this view is broadly held.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe barriers to continuity in the WIC program Discuss WIC participant attitudes towards co-location and coordination of WIC recertification with medical appointments Formulate strategies to link WIC recertification and medical appointments, specifically considering medical homes

Keyword(s): Maternal and Child Health, WIC

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in the design, implementation, data collection, analysis and interpretation, writing, and presentation of this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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