By Mike Lynn
On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced the creation of the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Advisory Group to provide support to increase healthier pregnancies and postpartum care.
The WIC Advisory Group consists of 16 members and was formed to engage in efforts to improve the quality of services and support connections between WIC and other state services to address the social, health, and educational needs of pregnant individuals, mothers, infants, and children.
“From my work as an OBGYN physician, I know how important it is that women, children, and infants receive the right nutrition during pregnancy, post-pregnancy, and throughout the child’s development,” said Acting Secretary of Health and Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson. “The advisory group will make recommendations to connect resources to women, infants, and children across Pennsylvania to ensure the highest number of those eligible benefit from this program and are aware of the services available to them. I look forward to working with this group to identify solutions and positively impact Pennsylvania families for generations to come.”
The WIC Advisory Group members include:
- Theodore Deitman, District Manager, Maternal and Family Health Services, Towanda
- Gerria Coffee, Owner and Founder, Genesis Birth Services, Williamsport
- Melanie Readal, Public Health Administrator, Allegheny County Health Department, Pittsburgh
- Charlotte Dorsey, WIC Education Manager, York
- Cathy Moffit, WIC Director, Mon Valley Community Health Services Inc., Monessen
- Raeni Yock, WIC parent, Johnstown
- Katja Pigur, Senior Director of Programs and Business Development, Maternity Care Coalition, Philadelphia
- Carol Gerner, Food Equity Ambassador, Pittsburgh
- Danielle Morgan, Distribution Center Coordinator, Genesis of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh
- Kelly Kane, Lead Physician at UPMC CCP, Altoona
- Lisa Sanchez, CPA and medical liaison, Community Health Services, Linesville
- Mim Seidel, Assistant Professor, Chatham University, Pittsburgh
- Britney Zwergel, Senior Director of Nutrition Services, Adagio Health, Pittsburgh
- Brian Whorl, Division of Federal Programs Director, Department of Human Services, Office of Income Maintenance, Bureau of Policy, Harrisburg
- Alex Baloga, President and CEO, Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, Wormleysburg
- Michael Howells, Director of Research and Association Services, Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, Wormleysburg
According to the Department of Health, WIC provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum individuals as well as infants and children up to age 5, who are found to be at nutritional risk. The program, administered at the state level by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, has helped Pennsylvania families since 1974.
The WIC Advisory Group will hold its first meeting virtually next month.
Apply for WIC online: https://pawic.com/OnlineApplication.aspx