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Nutrition Training Offered to WIC Staff at UTTC
20 September 2004
Story by Wanda Agnew

BISMARCK, ND - USDA's Mountain Plains Regional Food and Nutrition Services (MPRFNS) contracts with twelve Native American Tribes to provide WIC services to families living in reservation communities. These Tribes are located in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Iowa and Nebraska. Until recently, nutrition education training offered to the Tribal staff was on a random basis, and to various entities who were not always culturally focused. Earlier this year, the staff in the UTTC Land Grant Programs were approached to begin conversation regarding provision of competency based training scheduled on a regular basis for these Tribal WIC programs.

Nutrition Training Group

      Negotiation led to an agreement where WIC staff will participate with nutrition education training on the UTTC campus. One time each year new staff will be invited to participate in a thirty-two hour WIC-101 training. The week ends with a competency based exam focusing on 13 areas. Some of the areas covered include federal WIC regulation; basic nutrition education for adolescents, pregnant and lactating women; infant and childhood nutrition issues such as obesity prevention and meal time and snack ideas. Nutrition education delivery techniques, communication skills, community helping programs, civil rights and alcohol and drug referral ideas were also included in the training sessions.

      Training will be offered to WIC staff annually. This training will allow UTTC to host advanced public health nutrition training for Tribal WIC program staff. The staff will be offered opportunties for continuing education credits, which could eventually lead to college credit. MPRFNS staff were very impressed with the Tribal WIC program staff participation in the training and expressed desire to make the training relationship on-going for several years. Kim Hinnenkamp was commended for her development and organizational skills to ensure the first project was ready for delivery August 9-13, 2004. Twenty-one staff members from Tribal WIC programs came to UTTC to learn how to empower families in their respective communities in an effort to reduce health disparities related to nutritional concerns in Indian Country.


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