WIC in Vermont

Welcome to Vermont WIC!

MIS/EBT Project

Vermont WIC has initiated an implementation project to bring WIC services up to 21st century standards.  Following  a multi-year planning process, Vermont WIC will transfer and install the Mountain Plains State Consortium (MPSC) management information system (MIS) to replace the current 35-year-old mainframe MIS.  Vermont WIC will also phase out home delivery of WIC food benefits and implement online electronic benefits transfer (EBT), allowing WIC families to shop for their food benefits in WIC authorized retail grocery stores.

This page is a resource for WIC staff, WIC families, retail grocers and the public to learn more about this exciting project. Visit us often as updates and new information will be posted regularly.

Project Updates

August-September 2014 Update

The project continues to move forward as scheduled. State IT team members from DII, AHS and the Health Department worked through September to stand up the servers that will host the Ceres MIS, and “talk” with the Xerox EBT host system. Preparation also commenced for loading the Ceres application for testing. Most of the new hardware (PCs, laptops, etc) that will be needed in the District Offices has been delivered, and IT staff is busy readying it for use by WIC staff.

As announced last month, Rutland District Office will serve as the pilot site for Ceres and eWIC. Following a three month pilot, an evaluation, and upon receipt of a “Go” from USDA/FNS, rollout is scheduled to being in October 2015, with each of the eleven remaining offices rolled out in a two-week cycle. The tentative roll-out schedule is:

Order

Month/Year

Local Agency

Pilot

May 2015

Rutland

2

October 2015

Bennington

3

October 2015

Springfield

4

November 2015

Brattleboro

5

November 2015

White River

6

December 2015

St. Johnsbury

7

January 2016

Newport

8

January 2016

Morrisville

9

February 2016

St. Albans

10

February 2016

Burlington

11

March 2016

Barre

12

March 2016

Middlebury

The conversation plan for legacy clinic data has been completed and test runs completed as well. Data on current participants will be pre-loaded for each District Office the week before their “go live.” All data on WIC retail vendors is already in Ceres, and ready for use in testing.

The User Acceptance Testing (UAT) plan is nearly complete, and much of the work of the state staff and our Ceres and eWIC contractors is gearing up for the testing phase.  UAT will extend from January through March 2015, and the core testing team will be representatives from the District Offices, who will then become the DO Ceres “SuperUsers,” providing support for their colleagues during roll-out and into ongoing operation.

State staff and the Ceres contractor, Ciber, worked diligently in August and September to finalize the Training Plan and Training Materials for Ceres. Staff staff, UAT testers, and state Help Desk staff will undergo the one-week intensive training for Ceres users the first week in January. During roll-out, the first week of the roll-out cycle will include this intensive training for each DO.

Planning is also taking shape for how participants will be introduced to retail shopping (instead of home delivery) for their WIC food benefits, and using an eWIC card. Rutland DO will begin to implement the pilot participant education materials and plans in January 2015, allowing a six-month education period before Rutland WIC participants’ cards become active for their July 2016 food benefits.

Project Schedule

Technical Information

Information for Retail Grocers

General Information for Grocers

Technical Information for Grocers

WIC EBT Seminars for Vermont Grocers

Seminars are in WMV format

Other Information

Questions and Answers

Readiness Coordinator Network

The Readiness Coordinator Network are WIC staff members from each District Health Office who have volunteered to help their colleagues and WIC participants understand and prepare for the changes that will come with the new WIC information system and the migration from home delivery to WIC EBT. If you want to learn more about these changes and help spread the word, contact your RCN member.

Information about the Readiness Coordinator Network (RCN)

Change Management

Link to Readiness Coordinator Webpage

Barre Courtney Pletzer (802) 479-8564
Bennington Sheilah Printz (802) 447-6411
Brattleboro Dawn Gragen (802) 251-2103
Burlington Wendy Needham (802) 951-0060
Middlebury Jeffrey Heath (802) 388-5740
Morrisville Lynne Bortree (802) 888-1356
Newport Lorri Lepage (802) 334-4389
Newport Betty Trucott (802) 334-3321
Rutland Bonny Lee (802) 786-5105
St. Albans Andrea Miller (802) 527-5588
St. Albans Gillian Marchessault (802) 524-7971
St. Johnsbury Nicole Churchill (802) 748-0172
Springfield Deanna Wilbur (802) 885-8929
White River Jct Maria Ahearn-Hutchinson (802) 281-5022
WIC Central Lynne Bortree (802) 652-4186

 

Information about the Readiness Coordinator Network (RCN)

What is the Readiness Coordinator Network (RCN)?

It is a network of people from each District Office (DO) that serve as a conduit of information to and from their colleagues and the project team. The RCN is a critical component for readying WIC staff and participants for the changes that will be taking place in WIC clinics and WIC food delivery when Vermont WIC implements a new Management Information System (MIS) and Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT).

Who are Readiness Coordinators (RC)?

RCs are people who are respected within their department, effective in executing assignments, motivators for people around them, and positive about change. RCs also have excellent communication skills and access to all District Office WIC employees including the DO management team.

How many RCs are there?

Every District Office has at least one RC.

How will RCs get information about the project?

The RCN will meet by webinar once a month for 30 minutes to one hour. This webpage is the site for RCN news, tools and messages, and the materials from the webinars are posted here. We’ll use the DO Facebook pages, blogs, texting, email blasts, posters and other strategies for communicating with RCN members, their colleagues, WIC participants and other stakeholders.

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Change Management

When the usual way of “doing business” changes, it’s sometimes hard for people to adjust. They may be skeptical about the reasons, or worried they can’t adapt. Change Management is an approach to implementing changes in a way that supports the people on the front line of change. The goal is to help them adapt without stress and be ready to take full advantage of the change that is presented to them.

The Vermont WIC Program, following the lead of the Vermont Department of Information and Innovation (VT DII), has adopted the ADKAR® model for change management. This model has been derived from the study of successful programs to implement major changes in businesses, schools, and government, and approaches change on the level of each individual affected by the change. There are five building blocks; each is a stage over the course of an implementation where communication, training, and leadership is focused to support the individual.

    • Awareness of the need for change
    • Desire to participate and support the change
    • Knowledge on how to change
    • Ability to implement the required skills and behaviors
    • Reinforcement to sustain the change

The Readiness Coordinator Network is a key resource for carrying the change management model into the WIC staff in District Offices, and through the DO staff to the WIC participants as well.

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Page updated11/18/2014