Characterizing family, physician, and WIC staff experiences with the 2022 infant formula shortage in Oregon

Presenter Biography

Megha is a 3rd year MD-MPH student at OHSU School Medicine and OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. She is interested in pursuing OB-GYN, pediatrics, or family medicine.

Sarah is a 3rd year MD-MPH student at OHSU School Medicine and OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. She is interested in pursuing pediatrics or OB-GYN.

Institution

OHSU

Program/Major

Epidemiology

Degree

MD, MPH

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

4-4-2023 2:00 PM

End Date

4-4-2023 3:00 PM

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/40220

Keywords

infant formula, formula shortage, women infants and children, WIC, pediatrics

Abstract

Characterizing family, physician, and WIC staff experiences with the 2022 infant formula shortage in Oregon

Authors: Megha Arora BS 1; Sarah Dzubay BS 1; Alex Foster MD MPH 1; Julie Reeder PhD, MPH 2

Institutions: 1Oregon Health & Science University, 2Oregon Health Authority

Introduction: In 2022, infant formula shortages caused anxiety for families and health systems. No systematic studies have been done on the impact of shortages in Oregon. During this time, WIC staff and physicians have worked to provide information to families about the formula shortage; however, it is unclear to what extent the two groups collaborated around this issue.

Objective: To provide an evaluation of the impact of the formula shortage in Oregon and the response by physicians and WIC staff.

Methods: This is a mixed-methods study with two components. (1) The quantitative component is a retrospective analysis of formula issuance and redemption patterns for WIC participants in Oregon between January-July 2022 (shortage period) and January-July 2021 (control period). Issuance and redemption patterns between the time periods will be compared by race, language, education, and geography. (2) The qualitative component is a Qualtrics survey of Oregon physicians who care for infants and client-facing WIC staff about their patient interactions during the formula shortage, assessed thematically.

Results: Results are not available for this in-progress study. We hypothesize that WIC participants had significantly different formula issuance and redemption patterns during the shortage relative to the control period. From survey data we anticipate themes of uncertainty, inconsistent messaging, rationing, and disjointed communication between WIC and physicians.

Discussion: Understanding how disruptions in the infant formula supply impacted families, WIC, and physicians in Oregon is critical to improving the state’s response to future formula crises and could help improve collaboration between physicians and public health systems.

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Apr 4th, 2:00 PM Apr 4th, 3:00 PM

Characterizing family, physician, and WIC staff experiences with the 2022 infant formula shortage in Oregon

Characterizing family, physician, and WIC staff experiences with the 2022 infant formula shortage in Oregon

Authors: Megha Arora BS 1; Sarah Dzubay BS 1; Alex Foster MD MPH 1; Julie Reeder PhD, MPH 2

Institutions: 1Oregon Health & Science University, 2Oregon Health Authority

Introduction: In 2022, infant formula shortages caused anxiety for families and health systems. No systematic studies have been done on the impact of shortages in Oregon. During this time, WIC staff and physicians have worked to provide information to families about the formula shortage; however, it is unclear to what extent the two groups collaborated around this issue.

Objective: To provide an evaluation of the impact of the formula shortage in Oregon and the response by physicians and WIC staff.

Methods: This is a mixed-methods study with two components. (1) The quantitative component is a retrospective analysis of formula issuance and redemption patterns for WIC participants in Oregon between January-July 2022 (shortage period) and January-July 2021 (control period). Issuance and redemption patterns between the time periods will be compared by race, language, education, and geography. (2) The qualitative component is a Qualtrics survey of Oregon physicians who care for infants and client-facing WIC staff about their patient interactions during the formula shortage, assessed thematically.

Results: Results are not available for this in-progress study. We hypothesize that WIC participants had significantly different formula issuance and redemption patterns during the shortage relative to the control period. From survey data we anticipate themes of uncertainty, inconsistent messaging, rationing, and disjointed communication between WIC and physicians.

Discussion: Understanding how disruptions in the infant formula supply impacted families, WIC, and physicians in Oregon is critical to improving the state’s response to future formula crises and could help improve collaboration between physicians and public health systems.