State WIC program gains $1 million federal telehealth grant | Local Government

A $1 million federal grant has been awarded to North Carolina’s WIC program for use in providing telehealth intervention strategies.

The state Special Supplemental Nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is one of seven state agencies to receive a U.S. Agriculture Department grant.

WIC provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women.

Also eligible are infants and children up to age 5 who are found to be at nutritional risk.

The grant will be used to develop and promote “innovative telehealth solutions to deliver nutrition education and breastfeeding support to WIC participants to overcome barriers to access, particularly those encountered in rural settings.”

The initiative features the following:

• A participant portal app for streamlining the certification process.

• A video chat component to host distance appointments.

• Fixed kiosks to be placed in high-participant-traffic areas of the community with participant portal capabilities.

• A TeleWIC service center to be utilized by local WIC agencies that are short-staffed to facilitate distance-based appointments.