WVXU: UC/Children’s pilot new WIC enrollment method to reach the eligible
A new QR code at Cincinnati Children's locations makes signing up for WIC easier
Many women and children eligible for federal assistance have language and access barriers. It’s a hinderance that could explain part of why more than 50% of those eligible in Ohio are not enrolled in the WIC program, also known as Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, however, are working to make enrollment easier through technology. The researchers have been awarded an 18-month, $326,712 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to introduce a new online referral system to apply for WIC benefits. The system will allow families to use QR codes to start the WIC application process and for the application to be available in English and several non-English preferred languages.
UC researcher Cathy Stough told WVXU there are now six pilot QR stations at family health clinics, with plans for expansion to more clinics.
"We're actually going to develop a sort of standard operating procedure manual of how we do this, so that if another clinic is interested, we don't even have to go through lots of long meetings to teach you how we did it," says Stough, an assistant professor of psychology and director of UC's Healthy Bearcat Families Lab.
Featured image at top by Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash
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