Gillian MacKenzie, who has served as the interim manager of the City’s Women, Infants and Children’s program since May, has been hired to formally assume the post, effective immediately.
Women, Infants and Children is a City-administered nutrition program that helps pregnant women, new mothers, infants and young children eat well, learn about nutrition and stay healthy.
“I love this program, the good works it does and the clients we serve,” MacKenzie said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to lead and serve WIC because it means so much to me and to our community.”
MacKenzie replaces Gloria Hale, who retired April 30 after serving WIC for 22 years, the final nine as its lead administrator.
“Gillian has proven she has the wherewithal to very ably lead the WIC program,” said Bob Salas, director of the City’s Neighborhood and Family Services Department. “Her institutional knowledge is unparalleled and her leadership has been seamless. Gillian is going to be a top-notch manager. The excellent service for which our WIC program is known has not and will not miss a beat.”
MacKenzie, who completed her formal education in Scotland and immigrated to the United States in 1978, joined WIC in 1997 as an administrative assistant. She earned a promotion in 2013 to administrative coordinator after the scope of her responsibilities grew. She was responsible for the program’s accounts payable and receivable, purchasing, inventory, quality assurance and monthly reports to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
As WIC Division manager, she will be responsible for WIC’s nutrition and dietary services, an annual budget of $826,000, securing grants and ensuring compliance with state requirements, and implementation of policies and procedures.
Among WIC’s benefits, the program:
- Provides a major source of vital nutrients, such as folic acid, for the unborn that helps prevents birth defects.
- Educates families with infants and growing children about healthy food choices that increase children’s ability to learn in school.
- Provides referrals to local health-care providers for those without resources, yielding preventative care that averts disease and ultimately saves tax dollars.
- Helps mothers provide human milk for their young, yielding a lifetime of health benefits.