DECEMBER 7, 2023

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County, State, and UPMC Highlight Innovative WIC Pilot Program

New Initiative Expects to Serve Up to 300 WIC Families Each Month

Pittsburgh (Dec. 7, 2023) – County Executive Rich Fitzgerald was joined today by Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Secretary Dr. Debra L. Bogen, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital President Richard Beigi, M.D., MSc, and Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) Deputy Director Community & Family Health Dannai Wilson, MS to highlight an innovative pilot program that puts the ACHD Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) staff in direct contact with prospective families. Partnering with UPMC, the county's WIC Program has two new offices—one at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital and the other at the UPMC General Academic Pediatrics (GAP) office.

"When I took office 12 years ago, I focused on making changes and bringing improvement to the Health Department. We've been extremely fortunate to have amazing leaders and staff who have reimagined the work being done by the department during that time," said Fitzgerald. "We have focused on creating a healthier county and the Health Department has been instrumental in that—from Live Well Allegheny, to Plan for a Healthier Allegheny, to dozens of programs across the spectrum of services, we have worked to ensure that we are connecting with those who call this county home and this pilot is just the latest step in that effort."

The Pennsylvania Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) has improved the nutrition and health of families in Pennsylvania since 1974. The idea to reach more pregnant women, mothers, and caregivers of infants and young children by embedding ACHD WIC offices where there is greater access to eligible participants came from Dr. Bogen when she served as ACHD Director. With UPMC's participation, appointments are available every weekday between the two sites. ACHD expects to serve up to 300 WIC families each month by providing an easier way for families to connect with the program.

"We understand that to reach more people we must look beyond providing PA WIC services the same way it has always been done," said Dr. Bogen. "We must engage with people where it is more convenient for them and we must take services into harder to reach communities to deliver nutrition and health benefits directly to the women, infants and children who need them. New locations and mobile clinics will help us serve people where they are."

Appointments at the two offices are coordinated between the clinical staff at UPMC Magee-Womens clinic and WIC staff. Participants can complete full WIC appointments along with benefits at both UPMC sites. The UPMC sites can be a one stop shop between doctor and WIC appointments.

WIC serves pregnant women, breastfeeding women for up to one year postpartum, women up to six months postpartum who are not breastfeeding, and infants and children under five (5) years old including foster children. Residents must also meet WIC income guidelines and have a medical or nutritional risk which is determined at the WIC certification appointment.

"At UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital and UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, we proudly care for thousands of women and children across the state and partnering with WIC is another vital resource to help us provide quality, comprehensive, and compassionate care to those who need it most," said Dr. Beigi.

The ACHD WIC Program is also taking services on the road. In addition to the nine (9) clinic locations throughout the county, and the two UPMC office sites, the program now has a WIC van. Funded by the Public Health Improvement Fund, the Ford 350 transit van will allow the program to serve participants at community partner sites and other locations, reducing transportation barriers in communities with lower rates of program utilization. A tenth clinic, the WIC van increase the program’s capacity and serves families with two additional full-time nutritionist positions. In its first few months, the WIC van has been used to conduct outreach and attend WIC store certifications but will soon be partnering with community-based programs that serve eligible families to manage appointments. The WIC program expects the van will be seen at many locations in 2024.

"The federal WIC program will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2024 and we're excited to be part of that commemoration," said Wilson. "These initiatives promise to continue our mission of providing high-quality nutrition services to pregnant people, new parents, grandparents, and other caregivers in the region. We know the impact proper nutrition has on health brain development in children and that it also reduces obesity and other chronic conditions later in life. With this pilot and the addition of the WIC van, we look forward to ensuring even more people have access to the resources they need for a healthier life."

The WIC program offers individualized nutrition education, supplemental nutritious foods and infant formula, breastfeeding support, referrals to health care and community services, and immunization screenings. New eWIC EBT cards can be used at participating grocery stores for infant formula, milk, eggs, cheese, cereal, juices, and other nutritious foods. For additional information on the ACHD WIC Program, visit,-Infants-and-Children/Women-Infants-and-Children-Program.aspx. Interested parties can also schedule an appointment at one of the county's nine clinics by calling 412-350-5801.


About UPMC

UPMC is a world-renowned, nonprofit health care provider and insurer committed to delivering exceptional, people-centered care and community services. Headquartered in Pittsburgh and affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC is shaping the future of health through clinical and technological innovation, research, and education. Dedicated to advancing the well-being of our diverse communities, we provide more than $1 billion every year in community benefits, more than any other health system in Pennsylvania. Our 95,000 employees - including more than 5,000 physicians - care for patients across 40 hospitals and 800 doctors' offices and outpatient sites in Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland, as well as overseas. UPMC Insurance Services covers 4.5 million members with a focus on providing the highest-quality care at the most affordable price. To learn more, visit

Media Contacts:

Amie Downs, Allegheny County
412.350.3711, 412.327.3700 (cell),

Jen Pajewski, Partner4Work

Denise R. Hughes, UPMC Health Plan
412.402.0426, 412.983.3836 (cell),