Colorado WIC will test the effectiveness of the WIC text program with one of their regional WIC offices in Pueblo Colorado. They plan to use the program to provide breastfeeding education and two-way Peer Support as many other WIC are now doing nationwide. However, they have also stated that they plan to use the system in their outreach efforts as a way to attract more residents to their program. They feel young Gen-Y moms will feel more confident reaching out and asking questions about WIC through the sms channel. It's a medium they already use on a daily basis with friends and family. State officials are following the same logic behind recent research (that has shown texting to be a useful tool in eliminating barriers and eliciting more candid responses from participants); at year's end, they will determine whether this is a method they want to deploy statewide as a way to increase awareness and participation among all target groups.
Moms and families in Pueblo CO will be able to text their local WIC office and engage in a secure texting conversation with the hopes that this will help shift their perception about WIC and make these terrific services more accessible to those who need them the most.
In fact, this is precisely why we built the text platform. Projects like Pueblo are representative of how public health is pushing the limits of sms to make their texting more meaningful to their constituents.