CONYERS, GA– A new partnership between Piedmont Rockdale Hospital and the federal WIC program is assisting eligible mothers of babies in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)obtain the nutrition they through a coordinated application process. The new process is designed to save moms from having to make a trip to a government office to apply for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
Information about the program will be presented at a virtual NICU parent support group meeting, hosted by the local health department on the first and third Wednesday of every month. Then, on the first and third Thursday of every month, a WIC representative will visit the Piedmont Rockdale campus in a mobile van to provide services such as printing vouchers, to complete enrollment and start benefits.
These precautions are being taken to avoid exposure to germs, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, hospital officials stated in a news release.
“We are excited for the opportunity to make WIC easier to access for our patients,” said Leigha Fallis, chief nursing officer at Piedmont Rockdale.
In addition to income and state residency requirements, eligibility for WIC rests on an individual’s “nutrition risk” and pregnancy complications and poor pregnancy outcomes qualify as risk factors. So, this program can be especially beneficial to mothers who have premature newborns.
“We hope that by connecting more moms in need to these nutritional resources, babies will leave our NICU healthier and go on to become healthy children,” said Dana Mizell, clinical manager of the NICU at Piedmont Rockdale.
WIC may also be available to any pregnant, postpartum, and/or breastfeeding woman, infant or child up to age 5 who meets certain criteria. Participants receive funds to purchase nutritious foods, like iron-fortified cereal, fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk, and peanut butter.
For more information about the Level III NICU at Piedmont Rockdale, visit piedmont.org.
Pictured L-R in above photo: Deshelia Harris, peer counselor supervisor for Gwinnett, Newton & Rockdale County Health Departments; Dannah Burch, deputy nutrition services director for Gwinnett, Newton & Rockdale County Health Departments; Carmen Henderson, Labor & Delivery clinical manager at Piedmont Rockdale Hospital; Dana Mizell, NICU clinical manager at Piedmont Rockdale Hospital; Cathy Harris, director of Women’s Services at Piedmont Rockdale Hospital; Leigha Fallis, chief nursing officer at Piedmont Rockdale Hospital; and Marilyn Beard, lactation consultant at Piedmont Rockdale Hospital.