NYC WIC: Community Health Workers, Localized Data and the Path to Healthier Families
Across the country, eligible women and their children experience barriers to accessing the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) every day. Like most public benefit programs, WIC funding, staffing levels, and eligibility and documentation requirements can change over time. Language barriers and limited hours can make it difficult for new and working parents to make required in-person office visits. These challenges often make it difficult for eligible individuals to access services — and put WIC program staff in the difficult position of balancing compliance with supporting individuals in need.
This case study explores a New York City-based collaboration between NYC Health + Hospitals, New York State Department of Health, Health Leads and the Robin Hood Foundation. The joint effort empowered Community Health Workers (CHWs) to gather patient-level data, stories and feedback — and harness that information to drive site and system-wide improvements that streamline access to WIC benefits for eligible families.