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Oregon WIC – APHA TV 2018

Oregon WIC – APHA TV 2018

(upbeat music) – [Sue Woodbury] Oregon is
very proud of our WIC program. Every month, we serve
over 84,000 families. Our vision is really
to have families have optimal nutrition health and that the children
have lifelong health. We have the data that
supports our successes. We know that our
breastfeeding rates are among the highest
in the country. Our children are
becoming healthier. Their weight is going down. In the time of an
obesity epidemic, that is really important. And we know our families
shop at farmer’s markets to buy local-grown
fruits and vegetables. – The WIC program is an
essential public health program. It insures food security. We know that children
do well in school when they are well fed. And we know that kids
who do well in school have a longer and
better health outcome. So, WIC as a core
public health program is absolutely essential. – The collaboration between
Josephine County Public Health and AllCare began as a
result of a funding crisis. There simply
weren’t enough funds to keep WIC sustainable. We were approached, we
stepped in without hesitation to continue WIC. We believe in the program for women, infants, and children
in our poor community, and without it, there
would be gaps in care. – The partnership that
WIC and AllCare have in public health is foundational and it’s changing our community. And it really embodies the whole public health
modernization project goal. It’s local communities
coming together and finding solutions that
work in our community. It’s local healthcare.
It’s prevention. It’s been a real blessing,
really, for everybody. The community and all the
local community partners. – Public health is
evolving and modernizing. We’re really looking at
foundational programs in public health, such as
prevention and health promotion, and access to clinical care. Nutrition is the basis for
prevention and health promotion. And families get
access to clinical care
by coming into WIC. Often moms come early
in their pregnancy, before they’ve had prenatal care and we connect them there. We have a state-wide
texting system that allows us to get
messages out to families across the state, particularly
vulnerable populations who may not have
other trusted sources of emergency communication. We also help train a work force that is prepared
for public health that’s culturally responsive
and that can go out and provide the local
public health services. – In America, there are
real, historical injustices that make it so that
people of color experience hunger and poverty at
disproportionate rates. And WIC helps families make sure that they have the nutrition. I think a fundamental
belief we have in America is equality of opportunity. In order for that
to become a reality, there’s no better way to do that than to make sure
that the kids have a healthy foundation for life. That means supporting
moms when they’re pregnant and through the first 1,000 days when nutrition and
development are so critical to setting that healthy
foundation for life. We believe that WIC should
be extended to age 6 to make sure that all kids
are ready to learn on day 1 when they show up to school. – To my family and
I, WIC means having a baseline of important,
healthy options at home always. It also means being
able to feel reassured in my parenting and the ability to raise the next generation. I think if I could tell
policymakers one thing, it would be never question the
importance of this program. I see so many children
thrive, my own included, and that makes such a difference because we can reverse poor
health in other families just by taking care of
one generation of kids. If WIC wasn’t around, my life
would definitely be different. I don’t think I would
understand the importance of togetherness with my children and showing them
correct healthy choices. Definitely some poor
parenting cycles would continue down
through generations that is for sure. – I believe in the
future WIC will continue to address
health disparities, promote wellness, and also
address food insecurity. But, more importantly,
nutrition security. Supporting our families
with nutritious foods. I believe that kids are
going to have access in the very near future to
WIC services until they turn 6 because we know that we
have a gap in that right now and families need
our assistance. I also believe
that we’ll continue to change the food landscape, what all of us see when we
shop at local grocery stores will continue to be
healthier because of WIC. – WIC is an essential
health program. I’ve run 2 health departments
here in Washington D.C. And in the state of Maryland. And in both of those programs, I saw that WIC provided
an essential service to the citizens
of our community. It reduced food insecurity. By reducing food
insecurity, we’re able to address things
like infant mortality, low birth weight,
child malnutrition. WIC is absolutely
an important part of the social
determinance of health and every health
department ought to be involved in
the WIC program. (upbeat music)

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