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Davisson, Engleman support bill to improve public health

The Indiana House of Representatives voted recently in support of legislation establishing a new public health grant program, according to State Reps. Steve Davisson, R-Salem, and Karen Engleman, R-Georgetown.

“Indiana is consistently ranked in the lowest tiers for national health rankings,” said Davisson, vice chair of the House Public Health Committee. “This bill will help us be more strategic in addressing public health concerns affecting the daily lives of Hoosiers. A healthy Indiana is also vital to the success of our economy.”

Under the proposed legislation supported by Davisson and Engleman, the grant program would fund initiatives aimed at addressing the most challenging health issues in Indiana.

According to the United Health Foundation’s 2020 American Health Ranking, Indiana falls at the bottom of several categories, including smoking rates, obesity rates, physical inactivity and multiple chronic conditions.

“We must prioritize Hoosiers’ health to keep our workforce, schools and communities thriving,” Engleman said. “This grant program has a lot of potential and is geared toward funding local organizations with programs that work and help individuals pursue a healthier lifestyle.”

According to Engleman, the grant program is based on the state’s successful Safety PIN program, which provides funding to local health organizations to lower Indiana’s infant mortality rate. She said through Safety PIN and other targeted programs, Indiana reached a record-low infant mortality rate last year for the first time in the state’s history.

The Indiana Dept. of Health would administer the new grant program, giving preference to proposals seeking to focus on chronic health problems such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Grants could be used for both new and existing programs and initiatives.

House Bill 1007 moved to the Senate for further consideration.

To learn more and watch legislative proceedings online, visit iga.in.gov.

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