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Anna Kanianthra who is an immigrant came to US about 50 years ago. She fulfilled her own dream and served the low-income multicultural community in Fairfax VA for 35 years. Fairfax county Women Infant and Children (WIC) program was one of the best social programs in the State. WIC participation grew by 76%; Clinic sites increased by 125%; WIC funding increased by 483%, and WIC staff increased by 225%. The success of this program was in a large measure due to her being a passionate and creative leader along with a dedicated, multicultural staff that served the multicultural community in Fairfax, VA. Her research showed that the Fairfax community is better off because of the service provided through the WIC program. The program evaluation showed that 32% of infants were breastfed in Fairfax compared to 26%, nationally. On average 67% of children achieved or maintained a healthy weight, and 89% of children maintained a healthy iron status. Due to this program, WIC families received over 10 million food dollars, annually. It is clear that Women Infant and Children program is an example of a "Community Based Participatory Model Intervention" program that made a long-term positive impact on families and children who lived in the Fairfax community.
Recipe For Success In WIC: Based on a Thirty-Five Year Life Story
Anna Kanianthra was born and brought up in a middle-class family of ten in the southern part of India. She and her family moved to the US for more than fifty years ago. She and her husband have been blessed with a son and a daughter and four beautiful grandchildren. Her dream as a teenager was to work with low-income families, especially, mothers and children. She has a master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Tennessee and she worked initially as a teaching dietitian at the Saint Mary’s Medical Center in Knoxville, Tenn. The family moved to Fairfax County VA in 1975. This opened up the door for her to get a position as the Women Infant and Children (WIC), Program Manager, with the Fairfax County Health Department. She completed her long journey of over 35 years in community service, where she fulfilled her dream for public service. She retired on January 1, 2016. Her motivation for “The Recipe for success in WIC–Based on a 35 Year Life Story”, is because of her strong belief that others involved in Community Programs may be helped through her experiences described in the book.