Cohort #1 Sustainability Success Stories

By: Natalie Mulloy, Communications and Reporting Assistant, National WIC Association

Although the project period for Cohort #1 sub-recipients is complete, many of the projects have continued to prosper. The updates shared by these sub-recipients show the long-term impact the CPHMC project can make on a community. We applaud all sub-recipients for their efforts in the CPHMC project. 

Prior to the end of the project, Gateway Community Action Partnership (CAP) reached out to the Women's Care Center (WCC) at Cooper Hospital, an outpatient OB/GYN clinic, to develop a cross-referral system. They discussed various ideas and strategies and quickly realized they were both equally passionate about signing moms up for WIC. Through their partnership, they posted flyers promoting WIC’s presence at WCC. Eventually, a WIC staff member began visiting WCC on a monthly basis to distribute WIC and breastfeeding information. One of the goals for Gateway CAP through the CPHMC project was to minimize the travel for moms who receive WIC benefits by providing WIC services at their healthcare provider's office. WCC has fulfilled that goal by providing WIC with a private room for a nutritionist to certify and sign moms up for the WIC program. In the meantime, Gateway CAP is diligently working to reach their community through this partnership with WCC. 

Angelina County & Cities Health District (ACCHD) has received approval through a grant opportunity to continue running digital billboards. They will also continue their projects through a TxHealthy Communities grant they received. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. The Department of State Health Services awarded ACCHD the silver award for their efforts to promote a healthy community in their county. 

In District 10 Health Department, the Healthy Families of Oceana County (HFOC), a community coalition formed through the CPHMC project, received an 18-month grant from the Oceana County Community Foundation for $7,500. During this time, they plan to distribute family resource bookmarks and healthy shopping guides, implement healthy shelf labels in Spanish, provide fresh milk and nutrition education to the Bread of Life Pantry families, continue the farmers’ market, and distribute a recipe book. HFOC has also received a grant to implement a ball pit and tobacco-free park signs. They look forward to continuing to make an impact in their community. 

East Side Health District has received a mini-grant from the YMCA to continue their Make Health Happen Healthy Corner Stores Initiative. They have also partnered with nursing school students to begin surveying churches on their health and wellness policies and activities. After collecting data they will begin promoting health in local churches based on the survey responses.

St. Tammany Parish Hospital has incredible sustaining projects, as well as new projects in the making. They have developed a prenatal group nutrition program where OB’s can refer patients, and where high-risk pregnant moms will be referred to the dietitian for individual nutritional counselling. Additionally, St. Tammany Parish Hospital will be developing a nutritional program at a local health club as part of a weight loss challenge initiative. This includes pop-up grocery store tours, food demonstrations, and events with local restaurants for “Eat Fit” Program nights.  

Many of the projects that St. Tammany Parish Hospital began during the CPHMC project have continued to thrive. The Eat Fit Northshore program requires the collaboration between a nutritionist and local grocery stores, restaurant owners, and chefs to develop food items to fit within the Eat Fit criteria. This criterion comprises reduced calories, sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, sugars, and refined starches.  St. Tammany Parish Hospital Eat Fit Program holds store tours once a month, cooking classes, and partners with the American Diabetic Association to participate in “Healthy Lunch Day” on November 15. They hope to work with the Mayors of St. Tammany Parish to declare this day as “Healthy Lunch Day” for the entire parish community. A big success happened in one of the supermarkets involved with the store tours, where a dietitian was hired to support customers during store tours and during shopping in general. 

St. Tammany Parish Hospital has sustained their breastfeeding initiative to include a “Breastfeeding Corner” in their hospital conference room not only for moms involved in the breastfeeding support group, but for all moms in their community to utilize. This effort is part of their plan to become a baby friendly hospital. Lastly, St. Tammany Parish Hospital continues to teach WIC participants at their Community Wellness Center Garden as they plant fall crops and teach along the way with a Master Gardener at some of the classes. Their YMCA garden site is continuing to flourish and will continue planting in the fall.

Recently, The Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos were awarded, among other Native tribes, a new grant that aims to encourage Native children to drink more water and reduce their consumption of sugary-sweetened beverages and promote breastfeeding. This will be a community-led process over a two-and-a-half year period to successfully identify and implement a policy or system change effort in their communities. The Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos specifically have a goal to decrease the prevalence of sugary beverages in the WIC community in favor of water, plain milk, herbal and traditional teas. They also seek to improve breastfeeding acceptance by employers in the community. 

Sustainability success stories like these are a true testament to the passion and perseverance put forth by the sub-recipients in the CPHMC project. We look forward to more success stories such as these!!!