Telehealth Intervention Strategies for WIC (THIS-WIC)

The USDA/Tufts Telehealth Intervention Strategies for WIC (THIS-WIC) is a cooperative agreement between Tufts University and the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service. Led by Principal Investigator Erin Hennessy, PhD, MPH, Associate Director of ChildObesity180 and Assistant Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition, THIS-WIC will test and evaluate the use of telehealth innovations in delivery of USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

WIC provides supplemental food, nutrition education (including breastfeeding promotion and support), and referrals to health care and other social services to low-income, nutritionally at-risk women, infants, and children up to 5 years of age. On average, nearly half of all infants in the United States, over a quarter of all pregnant and postpartum women, and over a quarter of all children less than 5 years of age participate in the program.

The project’s goal is to develop and evaluate cutting-edge technology to improve delivery of nutrition education to pregnant women and caregivers of young children participating in WIC, particularly for those clients who have a hard time getting to WIC clinics, like those in rural areas. The evaluation will provide valuable insights about how to support cost-effective telehealth interventions in WIC, improve client outcomes, and increase client retention, and will provide evidence to inform future decisions about whether and how the USDA WIC program may scale telehealth projects in the future.

To learn more about THIS-WIC, including details about the projects that are being developed and evaluated, explore the THIS-WIC web site.