The Muscogee (Creek) Nation announced the opening of its new Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program building on August 25.
The WIC building on the MCN campus in Okmulgee, Oklahoma will be an energy-saving Structural Insulated Panels, or SIPs, project – the first of its kind on the campus. “The Muscogee (Creek) National Council appropriated funds for the half-million dollar facility located on the MCN campus in Okmulgee,” according to a Muscogee Nation release.
The American Indian and Alaska Native population who used WIC programs according to a USDA 2012 report was 12.2 percent – up 1.9 percent from 2010. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation currently accounts for .03 percent of the American Indian and Alaska Native total, but the number is growing.
The tribal WIC program was established in 1995 and has seen its client base grow to 3,000 with more than half being served from the Okmulgee agency. This new facility will help accommodate the client base while meeting the USDA’s 2020 mandate of switching to an Electronic Benefit Transfer (debit card) for transactions. The facility is fully equipped with the latest Information Technology to fulfill the transition.
“Our new space was built with the future in mind, “ MCN WIC Director Katura Bunner said. “We are set up to better serve our participants. The MCN has already begun the planning stages of our EBT project and the new building having the latest technology and equipment to eliminate technological barriers we once faced. We are now better equipped to support that conversion when that time comes.”
The national WIC program has shown to improve immunization rates, cognitive development, nutritional status, birth outcomes, and health care costs, according to nativehealthphoenix.org.
The facility will be holding an open house today, August 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Oklahoma Caring Van will be on site and Principal Chief George Tiger will be making the opening remarks. The facility is located at 2507 Raccoon Drive, Okmulgee, Oklahoma.