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

May 2015 Update

Vermont WIC is proud and excited to announce that USDA-Food and Nutrition Service has given us “Go to Pilot” approval for our migration from 35-year old computer mainframe-based record-keeping to a new “paperless” WIC management information system, and our migration from home delivery of WIC foods to a retail grocery store EBT, or “eWIC” system. The pilot of both systems will take place in the Rutland District Office of the Vermont Department of Health, with the support of retail grocers in that region.

Planning for the project began in 2010. With USDA-FNS in 2012, VT WIC launched planning, procurement, design, development, and testing phases. Hard work by WIC staff, contractors Ciber (for transfer of the WIC MIS developed by the Mountain Plains States WIC Consortium) and Xerox (for eWIC) culminated in User Acceptance Testing from January through April of this year.

At the end of testing, a “Go to Pilot” request was filed with USDA-FNS. The response came May 8th, with an unconditional “Go!”

WIC staffs in the Central Office and the Rutland District Office have been preparing the WIC clinic and WIC participants for the launch since January.  Announcements and educational materials were prepared, a “WIC Carnival” and “eWIC Learning Sessions” are being held to introduce families to the changes. The new eWIC system brings profound changes for WIC families, who instead of getting two home deliveries of WIC foods each month, will be able to shop for the foods in any of the major chains stores and many of the independent grocery retailers in the region. There will be significantly more food choices, and the purchases can be made when the family needs the food, rather than receiving foods on a fixed delivery schedule. More choice, more convenience.

Retailers have also been busy preparing. New agreements between WIC and the retailers needed to be executed; site visits are necessary to confirm the necessary inventory of WIC foods are stocked; WIC needs to confirm that the store is ready for the WIC families’ eWIC cards. All of this will also be completed by the end of May.

It’s important to note that from the start, this combined MIS/EBT project has been:

  • On time
  • Under budget
  • Within scope
  • Moreover, the most important stakeholders for this project - WIC participants, WIC staff, and WIC retail grocers --- all strongly support and are eager for pilot implementation.  .
  • The pilot will continue through July, August, and September. If pilot is successful, statewide rollout of Ceres and eWIC will commence in October 2015, starting with the Bennington and Springfield district offices, and continuing through the fall and winter.  Rollout will be complete by the end of March 2016.


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 updated 5/22/2015