WIC in Vermont
Welcome to Vermont WIC!
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
- Project Schedule
- Technical Information
- Information for Retail Grocers
- Questions and Answers
- Readiness Coordinator Network
December 2013/January 2014 Update
December and January were months of intensive planning activity for the project. Project teams and contractors work on at least thirty (30) specific project-related plans covering topics as diverse as Help Desk, Schedule Management, Procurement and Security. Our aggressive schedule of concluding the Planning Phase by January 30, 2014, a brief 2.5 months after the official Kick-Off meeting, was met. Many of the plans had already been drafted by the State Project Manager with input from the Steering Committee and other state team members. Contractors added to these plans, but in some cases were responsible for the initial drafts, that we were then reviewed and added to by the State Team. Our Quality Assurance Contractor reviewed all plans before they were officially accepted.
We are grateful to our state team members and contractors for the constructive, speedy and collegial work on these important planning documents.
January also saw two intensive weeks of face-to-face meetings as part of planning. One week involved Ciber staff and Vermont WIC staff engaging in a thorough orientation to the MSPC system (the Vermont version being called Ceres --- see the new logo with this document). Each screen was reviewed and functionality discussed. Ciber staff noted where Vermont WIC configurations would “Vermont-ize” the MIS.
Ciber and Vermont WIC were joined by representatives of JP Morgan Chace, the EBT Contractor, for the second week, for planning of the interface between Ceres and the EBT Host system. MPSC is currently set up for offline EBT and paper food instruments, and Vermont will likely be the first state to use MPSC MIS with online EBT. Therefore, Ciber and the EBT Contractor must understand each other’s systems and requirements in order for the two systems to work together.
Unfortunately, during this second week we received the news that JP Morgan Chase is trying to sell their EBT and debit card business, and that Vermont WIC would be receiving a notice of contract cancellation from JPMC. This notice was received subsequently, with the contract being cancelled effective February 28th, 2014. Vermont WIC is now working diligently to explore our options with other potential EBT contractors. We are still committed to implementing WIC EBT as soon as practicable.
Nevertheless, theweek of meetings was very productive for giving Ciber and Vermont WIC an understanding of the types of changes to the MPSC MIS, and the issues to be addressed in an interface, for Ceres to be ready for WIC EBT.
Readiness Network Coordinators met in January and discussed “clinic enablement,” the activities that will prepare clinic sites to be physically ready for the Ceres system. A first round of clinic site assessment checklists was distributed for RCN members to complete; this will help determine whether data ports and power outlets will be sufficient for the new system, and to provide an inventory of IT equipment currently assigned to WIC clinics. Outreach clinics (formerly known as outlying clinics) will be assessed for wireless signals and internet access.
A survey of District Office staff was conducted to assess the effectiveness of our Readiness Coordinator Network and communications with staff to create awareness of the implementation project, and to gauge acceptance. The results were very positive, with nearly 100% awareness of the coming MIS and EBT systems, and strong positive attitudes about the change to a paperless MIS and from home to retail/EBT delivery of food benefits. We’ll be doing some fine-tuning of the RCN webpages, and implementing other good ideas we received from the survey, in coming months.
If you have questions about the project, please be in touch with us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- December/January Update (pdf version)
- November Update
- October Update
- September Update
- August Update
- July Update
- June Update
- Glossary - updated December 2013
- Retailer Enablement Plan
- Feasibility Study & Alternatives Analysis - MIS
- Feasibility Study & Alternatives Analysis - EBT
- Implementation Advanced Planning Document - Combined MIS & EBT
- Implementation Task Matrix - SOV, QA, T&I, EBT
- MIS & EBT Security Document
- WIC MIS & EBT Functional Requirements - updated 7/24/2012
Technical Information for Grocers
- WIC EBT Techical Implementation Guide
- FNS Test Scripts for On-line WIC EBT
- ECR-POS Systems Certified for WIC EBT - updated November 2013
WIC EBT Seminars for Vermont Grocers
- What is WIC EBT?
- Online and Offline WIC EBT
- National UPC Database and WIC EBT
- Profile of Vermont WIC and Approved Products List
Seminars are in WMV format
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.
|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|
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.
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 02/13/2014