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  1. Gamble, Abigail PhD, MS
  2. Saulters, Mary Margaret MS
  3. Cranston, Katherine L. MPH
  4. Jones, Daniel W. MD, MACP, FAHA
  5. Herring, Sharon J. MD, MPH
  6. Beech, Bettina M. DrPH, MPH


Public health stakeholder engagement is integral to developing effective public health interventions. The perspectives of women enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) have often been sought when designing WIC-based interventions; however, the perspectives of WIC providers are underrepresented. The goal of this investigation was to explore the experiences of WIC providers who counsel adolescent clients and to identify strategies for recruitment, retention, and engagement of adolescents in an antenatal exercise intervention. Qualitative interviews were conducted with WIC providers (N = 9) in the Mississippi Delta, a rural, predominantly African American region in northwest Mississippi. From our data emerged 4 themes and 4 hypothesized strategies for recruitment, retention, and engagement of adolescent WIC clients and their parents in a future antenatal exercise intervention that will be implemented through WIC. Engaging the perspectives of WIC providers was a critical first step in understanding the context for this intervention.