WIC Research Learning Collaborative

About

The HER NOPREN WIC Learning Collaborative is a team of researchers, practitioners, and advocates committed to improving the health of women who are pregnant and lactating and infants and young children through improved research, policy and practice of the USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This Collaborative is a joint effort of Healthy Eating Research (HER) and the Nutrition and Obesity Policy and Research Network (NOPREN). The Collaborative falls under the work of the HER NOPREN Healthy Food Retail Working Group and is building stronger collaborations with the HER NOPREN Early Childhood Working Group

About WIC

WIC provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for income eligible pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk. Individuals that qualify for WIC are only allowed to use their benefits on select pre-approved food items. The benefits of WIC include reducing premature birth, reducing fetal and infant deaths, improving maternal vitamin and mineral intake, and increasing access to regular healthcare. Learn more about WIC by listening to the HER NOPREN Student Summer Series WIC Overview.

Mission

Build a multidisciplinary learning collaborative made up of researchers, practitioners, funding agencies, and advocates committed to improving the health of women who are pregnant and lactating and infants and children from 0 to age 6 through improved research, policy and practice of the USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This work includes:

Help build the evidence-base and accelerate the translation of evidence aiming to strengthen the public health impacts of WIC by:

  • Creating a collaborative space to learn about relevant data and research projects;
  • Identifying knowledge gaps and opportunities;
  • Facilitating joint projects or multi-site collaborative projects; and,   
  • Helping to foster the next generation of WIC researchers, practitioners, and advocates.

Group Papers/Projects

Work Group Meeting Schedule

Date

Topic

Speaker(s)

1/27/2022 Celebration of High Impact WIC Publications  
11/18/2021 Insights on the WIC Cash Value Benefit Increase Jennifer Tong, Amy Malinowski, Bagya Kodur, Devina Wadhera & Sarah Younker
9/30/2021 Pressing Needs for WIC Technology Innovations Ryan Magee, Zoë Neuberger, Christina Chauvenet & Martelle Esposito
7/22/2021 Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Vendor Criteria: An Examination of US State Agency Variations Matthew Landry
5/27/2021 Overview of the WIC Special Project Innovation (WSPI) Grants Matt Shafer, Aja Croteau, & Rachel Wright
3/18/2021 Qualitative and Quantitative Research Evaluating Factors Associated with WIC Program Participation and Retention Carolyn Barnes, Chelsea Singleton, & Sydeena Isaacs
1/14/2021 Findings from the USDA's WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2 (ITFPS-2) Courtney Paolicelli, Lorrene Ritchie, Christine Borger, & Shannon Whaley
11/19/2020 The Importance of WIC-Academic Partnerships: Lessons from Southern California   Shannon Whaley
10/8/2020 COVID-19, Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition Daniel Raiten
9/10/2020 The Risk of Homemade Infant Formulas - Emerging Issues for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists Farryl Bertmann, Caroline Dunn, Elizabeth Racine, & Sheila Fleischhacker
8/13/2020 Emergency/Pandemic Plan for Johns Hopkins WIC Local Agency Patricia Bell-Waddy, Rhonda Wicks, Susan Gross, & David Paige
7/9/2020 WIC Custom Data Processing Jim Chilcoat & Boyd Neal
6/11/2020 Online WIC Study Betsy Anderson Steeves, Meghan Zimmer, Elyse Kovalsky, & Maria Ashley
5/14/2020 United Fresh WIC CVV Legislative Developments Mollie Van Lieu
4/30/2020 COVID-19 WIC Relief Responses and Remaining Needs - Perspectives from NWIC and FRAC Elisabet Eppes and Geri Henchy
4/9/2020 COVID-19 WIC Relief Responses and Remaining Needs - Perspectives from NWIC and FRAC Elisabet Eppes and Geri Henchy 
3/26/2020 COVID-19 WIC Relief Responses and Remaining Needs - Perspectives from NWIC and FRAC Elisabet Eppes and Geri Henchy
3/5/2020 HER Roundtable  
2/13/2020

The Hopkins/USDA Participant Research Innovation Laboratory for Enhancing WIC Services (HPRIL)

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Public Charge Rule Updates and WIC Implications

Sue Gross


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Sheila Fleischhacker

1/16/2020 USDA RFA Regarding WIC Telehealth Erica Hennessy & Harry Zhang
12/17/2019

Overview of the USDA WIC

USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Program Integrity and Monitoring Branch

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USDA FNS Office of Policy Support

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USDA Economic Research Service

Amy Herring & Patricia Baile


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Courtney Paolicellli & Ruth Morgan

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Joanne Guthrie

12/12/2019

Overview of the National WIC Association's WIC Retail Priorities for Child Nutrition Reauthorization

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Overview of AND's WIC Retail Relevant Priorities for Child Nutrition Reauthorization

Brian Dittmeier

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Liz Campbell

11/7/2019 Overview of Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) WIC Activities Geri Henchy

10/10/2019

Building a WIC Learning Collaborative

Sheila Fleischhacker & Elizabeth Racine

CONTACTS

Learning Collaborative Co-Chair
Leslie Hodges, PhD
Research Agricultural Economist
USDA, Economic Research Service
Learning Collaborative Co-Chair
Harry Zhang, PhD
Professor
Community & Environmental Health
Old Dominion University
Learning Collaborative Fellow
Caitlin Lowery, MSPH
Doctoral Student in Nutrition
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
[email protected]

 

Liasions 
FRAC Liasion

Geri Henchy, MPH, RDN
Director of Nutrition Policy & Early Childhood [email protected]

NWA Liasion
Christina Chauvenet
cc[email protected]

CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Liaison
Kate Reddy, MS
Health Scientist, Early Care and Education Team
[email protected]

Past Leadership Team Members
Sheila Fleischhacker, PhD, JD (Co-Founder & Co-Chair Oct 2019-Sept 2020)
Elizabeth Racine, DrPH, RD (Past Co-Chair) 
Christen Gaskin, MPH (c) (Summer Intern 2020)
Alek Ostrander, MPH, RDN (c) (Summer Intern 2020)
Angela Miller, MPH (Summer Intern 2020)

Resources