From left, WIC Director Marcia Tate, Award-Winner Martinez, and Regional Consultant Amy Evans

WIC employee Martinez wins state award


Maria Martinez, a Processing Assistant with the Haywood County Health Department for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), has been named the WIC Management Support Person of the Year by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.


Martinez was nominated for the award by her supervisor, Marcia Tate. In her nomination letter, Tate called Martinez the “magic” for the WIC department.

“She can make things happen that nobody else seems able to do and she inspires others to ‘give it a try’ when one more change comes along,” Tate wrote.  “We all know that flexibility and team work are the life-breath of WIC.  She has taught all our staff many things, including me, her WIC Director.”


Tate credited Martinez with her service to the Latino community and with mastering the nuances of the WIC computer database, especially in relation to the special situations presented by WIC clients. She praised Martinez for using the available data to generate reports helpful to their section, the health director, and elected officials.  She also credited Martinez with implementing and helping train staff members work through several new changes in the past year including the Health Information System, an automated state patient management software system, and a new WIC Food Package.


“Maria went out of her way to study the changes and approach the new work with a very “can-do” and positive attitude that made our staff feel more confident when implementation began,” Tate wrote. “She has learned how to serve our clients with special needs in ways we did not think possible.” 


The award was announced during the annual NC WIC Conference held in Oct. 27-29 in Raleigh. While Martinez was not able to attend the conference, she was presented with a plaque from Amy Evans, Regional Nutrition Consultant for the NCDHHS, at the Haywood County Health Department on Nov. 15 and recognized by health department staff during a luncheon at the health department on Nov. 16.


Martinez has worked at the Haywood County Health Department since 2008. For more information on WIC and other health department programs, call 452-6675.