National WIC Association

Maddie McKinney, Health Equity Champion

August 27, 2020
Categories: Health Equity Health Equity Champion Immigration LGBTQIA+

I am so excited to have the honor of being an AHEAD in WIC Health Equity Champion. Equity and inclusion work is something that has always been a particular passion for me, and I am so proud to be working for an organization that has equity work at the forefront. I have been working at my local WIC agency for the last 7 years, first as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, and then transitioning to WIC certifier. I am cross-trained with clerk/front desk skills as well so I can pitch in on my team wherever we need coverage. I speak English and Spanish and enjoy being able to provide direct clinic services, breastfeeding classes, and front desk services in both languages. I joined our county’s Equity and Inclusion task force this year and look forward to collaborating further with that workgroup as my work as a Health Equity Champion unfolds. 

I spent the last year earning a professional certificate in digital equity and bringing that lens to the work in our clinic. This effort focused mostly on monolingual Spanish speakers with a group nutrition education class around lifting digital skills to broaden access to our services, and it also included older family members who have custody of WIC-aged children through one-on-one teaching to help them use our app and online class portal. A professional goal for my work this year is to present my local staff with a series of diversity and inclusion in-services, focusing on serving ALL of our clients with compassion, respect, and care. BIPOC issues, language and immigration barriers, and LGBTQA+ concerns are among the areas I plan to open up a discussion with my staff and see how we can move our services forward. 

With all the national talk right now about equity, I feel like the time has never been better to dig into this work and see how we can bring our programs forward. People are listening now in a way I feel they haven’t been able to engage in the past, and I can’t wait to be a part of some truly monumental change to increase health equity in our communities.