Georgia WIC Recognizes Champions for Women, Infants and Children

September 15, 2014

More than 400 county, district, state and federal WIC staff attended the Georgia WIC Customer Service Conference in Atlanta, where nationally renowned motivational speakers Adolph Brown, III, Ph.D and Kit Cummings were guest presenters.

Stefan Harvey, a national WIC champion who advocated for the program from 1973 until 2001, breathed life into conference theme, “40 Years of WIC—Valuing the Past, Embracing the Future.” Harvey presented Saving Our Children: The Story of WIC to highlight the program’s history and impact.

Nearly 200 Georgia WIC staff from across the state were recognized at the conference for providing exemplary service to women, infants and children. As champions for Georgia WIC, they were chosen for special recognition for years of service, Georgia WIC outreach, customer service, and leadership in WIC service delivery. 

Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), presented special awards honoring 19 district WIC staff, who were each named employee of the year for their respective districts.  

Commissioner Fitzgerald also presented the most coveted award to Virginia Simmons of the West Central Health District. Simmons was named the 2014 Georgia WIC Employee of the Year.

“She is a role model of excellence when reaching out to customers and reminding them to keep their WIC appointments,” said Brenda Forman, Nutrition Services Director of the West Central Health District. “Ms. Virginia knows all of her clients and when she sees them around town, she reminds them to come see her. She is a true ambassador.”

Simmons, age 74, has worked 25 years for the Macon County Health Department in Oglethorpe, Georgia, as a program assistant in the WIC clinic.

“I was totally shocked,” Simmons said. “I love my job and I love getting up and coming to work. This is an honor. There are a lot of people who work as hard as I do. I appreciate the recognition as the Georgia WIC Employee of the Year.”

Georgia WIC is the nutritional lifeline for Simmons’ neighbors in Macon County.

“I know that it is hard sometimes for them to get to the WIC clinic,” said Simmons. “I try to help each one as the need arises.”

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