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

December 2014 – January 2015 Update

December was spent by WIC Central staff and our contractors, Ciber and Xerox, making final plans for a month of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) in January.

Vermont WIC chose to use staff from our 12 District Offices to serve as testers during UAT. Volunteers were recruited to build a 12-member team, who would also serve as the District Office “SuperUsers” during DO conversion to Ceres, and in the Production phase. The UAT testers/Superusers received a full week of training in January, and then took part in three weeks of intensive testing of the Ceres application by following test scripts on every aspect of Ceres and eWIC. Two “mock stores” were set up in the testing room, complete with authorized products and an eWIC terminal and scanner, allowing testers to test the entire process from scheduling, enrolling and certifying a family, issuing their food benefits and eWIC card, through “shopping” using the card.

The WIC Central team on Retailer Enablement finalized the package of materials for retailer authorization. The package was sent to the statewide Large Chain peer group, and to all independent retailers in the Rutland region the first week in January, with a February 28th deadline for applications. Authorization must be completed for these retailers to qualify them for our Rutland pilot of eWIC. The stores in the rest of the state will receive the application package in mid-March for completion by the end of April.

Xerox continued work with Third Party Processors (TPPs) for our large chains, and also contacted Value Added Resellers (VARs) for independent stores, to enable them to set up and test their connection to the Xerox eWIC interface. Those retailers unable to integrate their POS systems with Xerox (either directly or through a TPP like First Data, or a VAR like Dumac) would have to let Xerox install a WIC-only “stand beside” terminal/card readers in lane, in order to participate in Vermont eWIC.  Vermont WIC and Xerox are strongly encouraging retailers to pursue the integration model.  (Retailers: Please contact Sylvia Mitchem – Xerox at  Sylvia.Mitchem@xerox.com for information and assistance, if you have not already made contact with her. There must be either a certified integration POS or a stand-beside in your store, if you want to continue to participate with Vermont WIC and accept our new eWIC card.)

The Rutland District Office WIC staff, in collaboration with WIC Central staff, is developing strategies and materials to begin notifying and educating WIC participants about the upcoming changes. This will include postcards, flyers, emails, a “WIC Fair,” and numerous “learning sessions” to prepare families for the new food package, shopping, and activating their eWIC cards.

Thanks to the diligence of our UAT testers, WIC Central staff, DII/AHS/VDH IT staff, Rutland pilot staff, and our contractors Ciber and Xerox, our MIS/EBT Implementation project is still on schedule for pilot start in Rutland in June 2015.

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 2/24/2015