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

March 2014 Update

The project’s leadership spent much of the time in March 2014 dealing with the JP Morgan Chase (JPMC) cancellation of our contract with them for implementation and hosting of online WIC EBT. Vermont WIC is attempting to exercise a section of the recent bid for SNAP EBT services, that included proposals for hosting WIC EBT as well. The winning bidder, Xerox, is one of the few WIC EBT vendors available, with the departure of JPMC from this market segment. Because SNAP and WIC EBT are so different, require separate cards and different retail vendor networks (WIC’s is far smaller), and because WIC and SNAP are operated by two different state agencies, there are many complexities to work through. We are still hopeful of replacing JPM with the new vendor quickly enough to avoid schedule slippage.  We will post any news about the contract on our Retail Vendor Blog: http://vermontwicebt.com 

Ciber set up a Ceres “Prep Site” for Vermont, allowing us to start working on the many configurations needed to “Vermontize” the system. One of the first big tasks was successfully completed in March: Retail Vendor Manager Patrick Henry worked with Ciber to create and convert the current retail vendor database, and upload it to the Ceres “Prep Site.” Ceres is now the “system of record” for our retail vendors, and replaces several spreadsheets and a drawer full of file folders. Congratulations, Patrick!

Our nutritionists and other state staff are beginning to tackle other configuration issues such as creation of security roles, nutrition prompts, lists of nutrition education materials, food rules and food packages, and risk factors.

Readiness Coordinators in the District Offices are conducting site surveys of all outreach clinics to help prepare for implementation of Ceres in this outlaying locations. We are assessing how of these clinics can be connected directly to Ceres via WI-FI, versus operate from the laptop in “disconnected mode,” with data collected at clinic uploaded upon return to the District Office.

Ciber presented Vermont WIC with amended Detailed Functional Design Documents (DFDDs) on schedule in March. The amended DFDDs reflect changes necessary to the MPSC MIS in order to interface with an online EBT Host, specifically, the Xerox “e-WIC” solution. Vermont and Ciber reviewed the documents in a series of meetings the last week in March. Because the MPSC code is governed by a multi-state User Group (the MPSC User Group), Ciber’s activities involved in changing the MPSC base code to enable interfacing with online WIC EBT have been established in a contract between the User Group and Ciber, and will be removed from the contract between Vermont and Ciber. The User Group will be responsible for approving the amended DFDDs before Ciber can begin development. (Vermont WIC belongs to the MPSC User Group, but under its charter provisions, is not a voting Board member until the system is rolled out.)

Project Schedule

Technical Information

Information for Retail 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 04/10/2014