WIC in Minnesota

Helping the Minnesota Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program transition to a participant-centered approach.

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Overview

In response to declining program participation, WIC agencies have been working to move toward a participant-centered model of service. Altarum worked with the Minnesota WIC program to make such a transition, retooling all aspects of their services, from policies to local program management, to make them responsive to participants' personal interests and motivations for change.

Our Approach

Following an in-depth assessment of state and local policies and practices, Altarum 1) provided technical assistance and training to state agency staff to help them guide local agencies through the implementation process; 2) developed curriculum for new staff trainings; 3) facilitated regional participant-centered service skills trainings; 4) implemented a system for ongoing staff development and mentoring, and; 5) helped integrate participant-centered services into management evaluation and local policy guidelines.

Results

Altarum provided training for over 650 state and local staff, mentors, and leaders, as well as the capacity-building and support necessary for the Minnesota WIC program to fully integrate participant-centered services into their program model. Our work in Minnesota led to an increase in staff focusing the conversation on participants needs/interests, and an increase in participant satisfaction with the Minnesota WIC program.

WIC in Minnesota Contact

Contact Us

Karah Mantinan

Karah Mantinan  - MPH, RD

Program Director, Food and Nutrition

Areas of Expertise
  • Food and Nutrition Programs
  • Mixed-Methods Evaluation Study Design and Implementation
  • Environmental Assessments and Literature Reviews

Karah oversees a portfolio of evaluation, training, and technical assistance initiatives designed to increase access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity. She has over 15 years of experience designing and leading mixed-methods evaluation studies, developing resources to support and improve project implementation, and effectively communicating results to stakeholders in ways that are meaningful and actionable. Karah is passionate about using data to inform decision-making and improve health equity, outcomes, and efficiency. She has a master of public health degree in nutrition from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a bachelor of science degree in nutritional sciences from Michigan State University, and is a registered dietitian.

Sheryl Mathis

Sheryl Mathis  - MSW, MPH

Senior Director, Community Health

Areas of Expertise
  • Maternal and Child Health 
  • Program Implementation and Technical Assistance  
  • Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methodologies 

Sheryl Mathis leads a portfolio of community health and well-being programs, from maternal and child health (MCH), behavioral health and substance use disorder, to food and nutrition and sexual health. Sheryl has 20 years of experience managing and advancing programs administered by HRSA, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and state health agencies, including multi-year, cross-disciplinary initiatives to strengthen the diversity and capacity of the MCH workforce; and strategic initiatives to maximize health improvements through cross-organization collaboration. Sheryl holds a MSW in program administration and an MPH in population and family health from Columbia University.