The Arizona Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides nutrition education and breastfeeding support services, supplemental nutritious foods, and referrals to health and social services. WIC serves pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women; infants; and children under the age of five who are determined to be at nutritional risk.
Arizona WIC also leads a collaborative consortium whose partners and participants include America Samoa, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, and the Navajo Nation.
This consortium (partnering with CMA) implemented AIM , an Oracle-based system, in 2001.
AIM performed over 95% of the base functions detailed in the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) WIC Functional Requirements Document (FReD), and has proved to be an effective system for the AIM Consortium. Yet the system had challenges and shortcomings including:
Out-of-date design: Planned in 1998, AIM was missing key user interface functions common to web-based systems.
Dated technology: The Oracle Forms and Reports 6i program used to create screens in the AIM system was outdated technology and at end-of-life.
Costly to modify: Decreasing availability of technical expertise to modify and support an end-of-life technology like Oracle Forms and Reports will increase development costs.
Changes in program requirements: Due to changes in program requirements and the delivery of nutrition and breastfeeding education, specifically Value Enhancement Nutrition Assessment (VENA) and Participant Centered Education (PCE), modifications were necessary to meet current program requirements.
Health And Nutrition Delivery System (HANDS) is the upgraded WIC application that replaced AIM to provide participant services for WIC, Commodity Supplemental Food (CSF), Senior Farmers Market and Farmers Market programs.
HANDS is designed as a tool to support participant-centered services for WIC. HANDS is an integrated system provides services to four public health programs using the same process and flows. It is a flexible and customizable system that is operational in five state agencies.
HANDS design is compatible with modern architecture design features that enable the speed of implementing changes to be faster and more effective as program and operational rules evolve. HANDS uses Microsoft.NET MVC architecture using an Oracle database.
In addition to providing all the standard features (WIC certification and enrollment, finance data reconciliation, including the creation of the FNS-798, vendor and food management, nutrition education, and breastfeeding), HANDS has distinguished features to provide program service integrity and detect fraud.
HANDS will easily comply with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which mandates that states provide EBT to clients by Oct. 1, 2020.
Arizona started pilot operations of HANDS in June 2014 and completed the rollout in December 2014. HANDS went operational in Guam, American Samoa, and CNMI on October 1, 2014 and in Navajo Nation in December 2014.