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

May 2014 Update

At month’s close, the contracting process with Xerox is almost concluded. As previously noted, as soon as Xerox is on board, their first task is to review the interface design plans from our MIS contractor, Ciber, to connect our MIS system Ceres with the Xerox EBT Host. Xerox also will begin working with our retailers to ready them for connecting to Xerox for online EBT transactions.

Through the dogged persistence of the project leadership and state team, our MIS EBT project is still on time, despite the delays over the change in EBT contractor and the second procurement process. The original projected schedule (set over a year ago) named June 1, 2014 as the beginning of the next phase (Development/Implementation), and we will be holding our first Implementation Meeting with the full project management team the first week in June.

There is actually relatively little “development” involved in the project, as Ceres (Vermont’s system name) is an MIS already in operation for several years in three Mountain Plains WIC state agencies.  The MIS will be transferred to Vermont and operated on state servers by state IT staff. The only development work of note is the adjustments necessary to use Ceres for online EBT, as the Mountain Plains states currently use either paper vouchers (UT, CO) or offline EBT (WY).

State WIC staff have begun the process of configuring Ceres for our WIC operations, a process we call “Vermontizing” the MIS. This involves reviewing all the pulldown menus, checklists, interview prompts, food packages, printouts and other user interfaces, to make sure they reflect our WIC program.

Information on all our current WIC vendors  has already been uploaded, and work has begun to convert existing WIC participant information from our mainframe database to Ceres specs, allowing for upload of each District Office’s caseload prior to rollout.

The Readiness Coordinator Network (RCN), our cadre of representatives from each District Office, continues to meet monthly, communicate project news to local WIC staff, and provide feedback to the project team. RCN members have also taken on projects that are part of our “Clinic Enablement” subproject. They are currently concluding their site surveys of all main and outreach clinics, documenting important information about power sources and internet and wireless access; this information will help the state team plan and implement the necessary network and other modifications necessary for clinic access to Ceres. Procurement orders have been issued for computers, screens, signature pads and other equipment for clinics, also.

The state team wants to thank everyone involved for their persistence and determination to successfully complete tasks and stay on schedule. On to the next phase!

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 06/17/2014