Saturday, May 18, 2024

Washington Department of Health launches interactive WIC clinic locator tool

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OLYMPIA — The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) unveiled an innovative online tool, the WIC Clinic Locator, designed to bridge connections between individuals and the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program. This initiative aims to enhance accessibility to the underutilized program across the state.

The WIC Clinic Locator map, a key feature of this online platform, showcases over 200 WIC clinics statewide. It offers comprehensive information, including clinic addresses, contact numbers, and operating hours, empowering users to locate and access WIC services easily. Additionally, a newly introduced WIC Interest Form enables individuals to submit applications directly to their chosen clinic online. Healthcare providers and community-based organizations can also utilize this form to facilitate referrals to the WIC program.

Michele Roberts, the Assistant Secretary for Prevention and Community Health at DOH highlighted the significance of this digital advancement, stating, "The WIC Clinic Locator tool is another important step the state of Washington is taking to modernize the WIC Program and improve equitable access. We know that in our state, as well as nationally, about 50% of people on Medicaid who are also eligible for WIC benefits are not currently enrolled in the program. Our goal with this tool is to spread awareness of WIC and remove as many barriers as possible.”

The WIC Nutrition Program extends monthly food benefits, emphasizing nutritious items such as milk, fruits, and vegetables. Additionally, it offers health screenings, nutritional education, and invaluable support for breast/chest-feeding. Eligibility for WIC encompasses pregnant individuals, new mothers, those engaged in breast/chest-feeding, and children under the age of 5. Moreover, fathers, grandparents, foster parents, and guardians are encouraged to apply for WIC benefits on behalf of eligible children. In 2022, Washington's WIC program provided services to 195,655 individuals statewide.

The launch of the WIC Clinic Locator marks a pivotal step forward in the state's efforts to expand the reach and impact of the WIC Nutrition Program, striving to empower more individuals with access to essential health and nutrition services.

For further details or to explore the WIC Clinic Locator, visit the official Washington State Department of Health website at https://doh.wa.gov/node/18893.

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