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Clinic opens in South Jeffco to serve lower-income women

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By Deborah Swearingen

A new Jefferson County Public Health clinic in Littleton hopes to serve lower-income women, infants and children.

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The South Jeffco WIC clinic, which is hosting a grand opening celebration March 29 at 11139 Bradford Road in Littleton, will provide free nutrition education, health referrals, healthy food benefits and breastfeeding support to pregnant women, infants, children and their parents with the goal of keeping pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under age 5 healthy.

The clinic will be open weekdays Monday through Friday with hours varying from day to day.

Those at 185 percent of the poverty level or less qualify for WIC benefits. In 2017, 185 percent of poverty equated to $44,955 in income a year for a family of four.

Although there are three other WIC clinic locations across Jeffco, there were none in the southern part of the county until now.

“It’s about a 20-minute drive to the nearest WIC office and a 2-hour bus ride,” said Kelly Schossow, nutrition supervisor and Littleton clinic manager.

“Since a lot of our participants rely on public transportation, we thought that was just a little bit too far.”

Jeffco Public Health conducted a mapping project that concluded there were at least 250 families in the area that qualify for WIC but are not using the services.

Schossow hopes moving closer will help reduce barriers to participation. Furthermore, clinic employees feel the newest WIC location is in a prime spot for attracting newcomers, as it’s in the same building as the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office south precinct and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Fathers, grandparents and other caretakers in families that qualify for WIC benefits are welcome to bring their children to the clinic. However, only mothers and children can receive direct assistance.

What the clinic offers

When WIC educator Andrea Perez-Loza had her second daughter, Emmyrose, she also began utilizing resources at the WIC clinic.

“With my first daughter, I only breastfed for three months,” she said. “This time around … I really wanted to try it out. I knew all the people around that would be able to help me. They really did teach me a lot. She’s nine months and still breastfeeding.”

Overall, Perez-Loza said the clinic has helped her financially and taught her a lot. Last Wednesday, Emmyrose came in for a checkup, where the baby’s height and weight was analyzed.

At the end of the consultation, Perez-Loza left with a list of healthy foods and a card with the money to purchase it.

This encouragement and assistance are what the WIC clinic is all about, said dietitian Brenda Rodriguez.

“It’s like a support system,” Rodriguez said, adding that the clinic can provide tools to help parents’ succeed.

Want to go? The Littleton WIC Clinic is open weekdays:

  • Mondays and Wednesdays 8 a.m.-noon, 1-6 p.m.
  • Tuesdays and Fridays 7:30 a.m.-noon, 1-3:30 p.m.
  • Thursdays, 8 a.m.-noon, 1-5 p.m.

It is located at 11139 Bradford Road in Littleton near Chatfield Avenue and Kipling Parkway. Walk-ins are accepted, though scheduled appointments are recommended.

Those interested in participating in the WIC program at any location or who know a family or mom-to-be that could benefit from the services can call 303-239-5780 or visit jeffcowicsignup.com.
To learn more, visit bit.ly/JeffcoWIC. 

Contact reporter Deborah Swearingen at dswearingen@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1042. Follow her on Twitter @djswearingen.