The Idaho WIC program would like to congratulate Central District Health Department and its Peer Counseling Program, which recently was awarded the Loving Support Gold Premiere Award of Excellence.
The award was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to recognize and celebrate local WIC agencies that provide exemplary breastfeeding programs and support services. The intent is to provide models and motivate other local agencies and clinics to strengthen their breastfeeding promotions and support activities and ultimately increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among WIC participants. Idaho WIC employees from the Department of Health and Welfare presented the award to the health district last week.
“Peer counselors are key to Idaho WIC’s breastfeeding success and continue to provide mother-to-mother breastfeeding support to WIC participants,” said Cristi Litzsinger, Idaho WIC program manager. “It’s exciting that the program at Central District Health has received this national recognition. We are thrilled to be continually recognized for our efforts in supporting breastfeeding.”
Local WIC agencies that have operated a peer counseling program for at least one year that meets all of the required core components of the FNS Loving Support© Model for a successful peer counseling program are eligible to apply. The award is available at three levels of performance: Gold, Gold Premiere, and Gold Elite. This approach recognizes three groups of agencies that include those that are demonstrating model practices, as well as those who are at varying stages of implementing exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support practices.
Last year the Western Region WIC, which includes Idaho and 10 other states and U.S. territories, had one recipient of the Gold Premiere Award. This year there are four recipients, including Central District Health Department. CDHD is the only one in Idaho.
In addition, Idaho WIC received a bonus in recognition of the state’s achievement in improving breastfeeding rates. The bonus award is $103,882 and will be spent on the continued support and promotion of breastfeeding. Idaho is the only state in the Western Region that received a bonus this year.
To learn more about the WIC Peer Counseling Program, please call the Idaho CareLine by dialing 2-1-1.