Beginning in October, residents of Montezuma Creek and Monument Valley, who participate in the Utah Women Infants & Children program (WIC), can meet with San Juan Public Health WIC nurses at the local UNHS Community Health Centers.
Utah Navajo Health System, Inc. is working with San Juan Public Health to bring this service to county residents, rather than have them travel to Blanding every three months, or more often, to see WIC nurses and pick up their WIC vouchers. When San Juan Public Health was created earlier this year, one of the goals was to take the various programs offered by Public Health to local communities as a convenience and service to county residents. This is part of that commitment.
Beginning October 5, San Juan Public Health WIC Director, Katie Knight, will be in Montezuma Creek to meet with WIC recipients, and those applying for the program. She will be at the UNHS Montezuma Creek Community Health Center on the first and fourth Mondays of each month, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. She will normally be at the UNHS Monument Valley Community Health Center on the second Monday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. In October, however, she will be there on October 19 (the third Monday).
According to San Juan Public Health Director of Nursing, Brittney Carlson, she and Knight will see WIC participants, and those applying for the program, on a first come first serve walk-in basis each month at the two UNHS locations. To apply for the program, applicants must provide:
Proof of Identity for Each Participant. This can include:
Picture ID (Drivers License), or Birth Certificate, or Medicaid Card. Infants under 1 may use hospital bracelet, crib card or immunization card, or a Photo ID.
Proof of Income – All household paycheck stubs for the last 30 days, or Other Proof of Income.
Proof of Residency – A current utility bill (etc.) or rent or lease agreement, or Other Proof.
PHYSICAL ADDRESS MUST BE IN UTAH! YOU CANNOT USE A
POST OFFICE BOX FOR AN ADDRESS
Participants – Infants and Children Being Seen, as well as the Parent or Guardian, Must Be Present!
CLIENTS WILL NOT BE SEEN WITHOUT ALL PROOFS AS LISTED, CLIENTS WILL BE SEEN ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVE BASIS.
**Applicants also need to meet the income requirements and qualifications listed on the card shown to the right on this page.
Carlson stressed that a participant's physical residence must be in Utah.
"We have a problem with people having a Post Office Box in Utah but they live in Arizona. It's hard to have proof without a street address. A utility bill should have the physical address listed," she said. She also stressed that if someone comes in and says, 'I want an appointment,' I say okay have you got all your proofs? And if they don't, they have to go home and get them or they can't be seen."
According to Knight, when people come in to apply the first time, the children are weighed and measured and checked for iron levels. A nutrition interview is conducted and the clients' questions are answered. WIC counselors only need these proofs every six months, but participants need to report income and other changes as they occur. Participants are seen three months after the initial visit for a nutrition class that can now be taken online or in person during the visit. Children are weighed and measured again at the next visit three months later.
Knight explained that during the initial visit, if the client brings the right proofs and qualifies for WIC, "We print vouchers like checks. On the checks it specifically says 'so many gallons of milk, whole wheat bread or whole wheat tortillas or brown rice, beans, peanut butter, fruits and vegetables. A cash value for fruits and vegetables has gone up to $11 for women in October and $8 for kids. Participants have to get whatever the voucher specifically says they have to get, eggs, milk, etc."
The stores where the vouchers can be used include Blue Mountain Foods, Clarks Market, stores in Aneth and Montezuma Creek, and Gouldings. They cannot be used in Bluff, and they can only be used in Utah. Knight also noted that since the WIC program is being taken to local UNHS clinics, it is going to be a walk-in service and those wishing to see WIC nurses should go to the clinic in the specific area where they live, on the days the nurses are there.
For more information about the WIC program and meeting with WIC nurses in Montezuma Creek and Monument Valley, call Katie Knight or Brittney Carlson at San Juan Public Health 435-678-2723.