SUSON Holds WIC Clinic

Dean of the Nursing School, Dr. Wanda Spurlock, explains how the WIC Clinic got started and how it is thriving today. (Isaac Armstrong/Digest)

The Southern University School of Nursing started off last week with their WIC Clinic, which assisted young and middle aged mothers with the needed necessities to care for their child/children in the proper manner. 

More than two decades ago, the School of Nursing vision, was spearheaded by the Dean of the Nursing School, Dr. Wanda Spurlock, who wanted to open a Women Infant and Children (WIC) clinic housed on a college campus. Back then it was supported and funded via a grant, now the WIC clinic is self-sufficient, with the clinic being paid for each person that they see.

To date, Southern University in Baton Rouge is the only WIC clinic on a college campus and has continued to serve the community, for Dr. Tonda Martin, who’s over the WIC clinic on campus, feels that the reward for her is “ being an integral part of this program is twofold” she went on to say that “ I have the opportunity to support the community by providing accessibility to health and referral services, and not only am I housed on a college campus  . . . it is a HBCU.” 

What goes into the clinic is a lot of marketing, dedication, manpower, and experience. Experience being registered nurses, the nursing students, registered dietician, and a social worker which is different from other clinics because other clinics don’t have social workers. 

The wealth of education and knowledge base that is had to provide for the participants, to have the accessibility to health care and social services  that the women would need. 

For a lot of young women around the Scotlandville area highly benefit from the clinic. With the area being such a vulnerable community the Scotlandville area, there is a bus route which is accessible for the people can’t get to and from as well as students.

The youngest female to come into the clinic to date was a thirteen year old, with the majority of women ranging in ages 15-23. The clinic typically services around 25-30 individuals a day.

The clinic fulfills several different functions with arguably the most important being educating. There are a lot of people who don’t know the importance of breastfeeding. The WIC clinic promotes breastfeeding and give breast pumps for free as well as providing general breastfeeding education. Breastfeeding is actually a requirement to be taught, before you talk about breastfeeding you’ll learn about formula first.

 For Registered Dietician Leticia Sarkodee- Adoo being able to help women in their motherhood, in making sure that they properly get the necessary nourishment for the infants goes a long way for her. “ I come from an area where we have a lot of young mothers with kids, and they don’t get a lot of these services so it gives me great pleasure”. Ms. Sarkodee-Adoo said that they give nutrienctaint education also in addition to what to get in order to prepare nutritious meals for the kids. 

WIC cereal is given which has a lot of iron, the main problem seen in the community is low iron in the kids. Times where children are in the clinic it is advised to the mothers to give children the WIC cereal or a snack if the mother doesn’t have anything to give to the kid. Sarah, who came into the clinic with her second baby, said “ I’d just graduated high school, so it was really helpful  to have the proper people to help you; given that the milk is so high”.  

For the participants who have Medicaid or Covat they’re eligible to receive WIC. Once you have Medicaid all a person would have to do is come in and make an appointment with your Medicaid card, picture I.D. to show proof of who you are, and fill out a small questionnaire; go from there depending on what the person needs are.   

The staff highly encourages anyone needing their services to come to the  3rd floor of the JK Haynes Building at the School of Nursing on the.campus of Southern University & A&M College between the hours of 9:00AM and 3:30PM, Monday through Friday or contact the clinic at 225-771-3324.

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