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July 24, 2014

Public Health WIC staff are ready to assist clients through the North Carolina Crossroads SystemCatawba County Public Health’s Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC) is set to begin use of the North Carolina Crossroads WIC System July 28.

Crossroads is an information management system that manages data for all aspects of WIC operations, including client and vendor services. Currently being launched in phases across the state, Crossroads replaces the automated client data processing system used by the North Carolina WIC program for the past 30 years.

Benefits of the new Crossroads system include easier appointment scheduling, quicker client appointments, and a more streamlined application process. For example, the old system required separate applications for individual family members even if most of the required information was identical for each applicant. Using Crossroads, WIC staff can enter duplicate information once and share it across all eligible family members.

“By simplifying and reducing paperwork, Crossroads will save time for our clients during the application process and routine appointments,” said Julie Byrd, WIC director, Catawba County Public Health. “These efficiencies will also give our staff more time to focus on the more essential parts of our program, such as nutrition education, nutrition voucher distribution, and breastfeeding peer counseling, for our clients.”

Implementing the new system has required significant off-site training for WIC staff to ensure they will be prepared for the program’s roll-out next week.

“Because training has reduced staff availability during regular program hours, we have worked hard to maintain the same level of service our clients expect during this transition,” said Byrd. This has included notifying clients about the changes, scheduling evening appointments, and mailing WIC nutritional vouchers to clients. “We will continue to monitor and adjust our services to meet the needs of our clients as we bring the Crossroads system into operation.”

WIC is a federal supplemental nutrition program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women and children up to age five. The goal of the program is to help prevent nutrition-related problems in pregnancy, infancy and early childhood. WIC food vouchers are redeemable at participating food stores and farmers’ markets for nutritional foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, milk, juice, eggs, cheese and cereal. WIC also provides nutrition and breastfeeding counseling. The Catawba County WIC office serves more than 4,000 participants a month.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

Located off Fairgrove Church Road behind Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory, N.C., Catawba County Public Health provides health and education services to eligible men, women, and children in the community. For more information, please call (828) 695-5800 or visit