CMA has supported the WIC community for 30 years. This week, when a bill passed that includes $500 million in additional funding for WIC (among many other provisions/tactics) in response to COVID-19, our team knew it had to step up once again.
CMA developed and supports HANDS, the WIC system used in multiple state agencies. Changes had to be made to the HANDS system to allow for specific provisions in the bill. Expressly, the bill permits USDA to grant waivers of the physical presence requirement – allowing for remote certifications and the deferment of anthropometric and bloodwork requirements. CMA’s focus needed to immediately shift to support an emergency release of HANDS when this bill passes.
As social distancing measures encourage people to work remotely, local WIC agencies are challenged to maintain caseloads and do certifications remotely. Working with our clients, CMA implemented federal and state program requirements in HANDS to streamline benefit issuance.
The CMA team made these changes quickly. The functionality is built and currently in testing. We aim to provide the new HANDS release on Wednesday. When this relief bill passes, HANDS users will be able to start providing relief to their clients.
CMA remains ready to go above and beyond to help our clients meet their objectives, and pitch in where there may be an unmet need. We have a highly talented workforce that has been effectively mobilized to work remotely, extremely secure technology resources that are available to keep systems operating, our dedicated staff who want to be helpful in this time of crisis.