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The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a national program aimed at improving the nutrition and health of pregnant women and children.

Those eligible for Vermont WIC include anyone pregnant or with children under 5 that has an income below 185% of federal poverty level or is enrolled in Vermont Medicaid.

WIC has been shown to improve birth outcomes1, breast feeding rates2, infant growth and development, and consumption of important nutrients.

Those enrolled in WIC report high levels of satisfaction

Despite the benefits of WIC, retention rates of eligible families remain low.

Studies have shown that mandatory bi-annual recertification appointments pose logistical problems. Rescheduling missed appointments and long waiting times at the WIC offices were also barriers.

Other states have found that integration of WIC recertification appointments with the family’s primary care medical visits may improve retention.

A limited scale co-localization of WIC and the medical home in Vermont showed some promise.


Alison Howe, MS University of Vermont College of Medicine

Jenna Whitson, Hunger Free Vermont


Hunger Free Vermont


Access to Health Services, Health-Related Quality of Life & Well-Being, Nutrition and Weight Status, Social Determinants of Health, Educational and Community-Based Programs


Presented at the 2016 APHA Annual Meeting & Expo, Denver, CO, November 3, 2015.

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Improving WIC Retention in Vermont: Beneficiary attitudes toward co-location in medical homes