Local hospital tweaks program to make it easier for moms to grow healthy babies


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) —  Sometimes it’s not what you’re doing but how you’re doing it that makes a huge difference.

A government program aimed at helping new moms and babies called WIC has been seeing a drop off recently.

But one local hospital’s “ah-ha” moment is making a difference it says will benefit the whole community.

Kristen Thompson delivered a beautiful baby boy two days ago, two months early.

She wants the best for him, and they qualify for help, but it’s hard to get. She’s been through this before.

“I’ve had all my babies in the winter time and having to drag them out to the WIC office is a pain,” she said.

It’s a story the staff at Sentara Norfolk General hospital has heard from moms a million times.

“And so we dug a little bit deeper and found why is it so difficult to get a WIC appointment and all these barriers started to pop up…transportation being a large one.” said Family Maternity Center Director Misa Ewing.

They had an idea to bring WIC to the women…to literally just roll it right to their bedside.

10 On Your Side was there when two WIC workers pushed their computer carts into Thompson’s room.

Thompson’s wrist band served as her identification and all the health information WIC needed was right in her hospital records.

She received nutrition counseling, and in less than half an hour got a card good for three months of healthy food.

Norfolk District WIC coordinator, Ernest Flemings told WAVY.com that since September they have enrolled more than 70 women, “and we’re hoping to keep going higher,” he said.

WIC will now be in the hospital two days a week instead of just one.

“Uh — we are so excited! You know what we think? Why didn’t we do this before?” Ewing beamed.

Thompson is tickled at the time and trouble it saved her, but most of all for the help.

“It helps you get on a more healthier diet even if you don’t want to because you’re only able to get this, this, and that (food on the list).” she said.

Formula, fruit, and other foods that will help her preemie grow up big and strong.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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