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Bill to combat Indiana’s public health disparities now law

Bill to combat Indiana’s public health disparities now law Bill to combat Indiana’s public health disparities now law

Legislation establishing a state health improvement plan and a $50 million grant program targeting Hoosiers’ most critical health challenges is now law, according to State Reps. Steve Davisson, R-Salem, and Karen Engleman, R-Georgetown.

Under the new law supported by Davisson and Engleman, the Indiana Dept. of Health and the Family and Social Services Administration will prepare a plan on how to best improve the physical and behavioral health of Hoosiers.

Davisson said the grant program will help improve Indiana’s declining public health by allocating $50 million over two years to initiatives addressing health disparities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the need to take a closer look at the health disparities across the state,” said Davisson, vice chair of the House Public Health Committee. “We must invest in the well-being of all Hoosiers, and these grants will provide additional tools for our communities to address common health issues.”

Engleman said the grant program will give preference to proposals focused on improving chronic health problems such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Grants could be used for both new and existing programs and initiatives.

“Local health organizations can partner and target the health issues Hoosiers in our communities are struggling with most,” she said. “By dedicating funds to invest in these programs, more individuals can get the help they need to live long and healthy lives.”

The grant program will be modeled after Indiana’s successful Safety PIN program, which helped lower the state’s infant mortality rate through providing funding to local health organizations. After the Safety PIN program was implemented, Indiana reached a record-low infant mortality rate last year for the first time in the state’s history.

House Enrolled Act 1007 will take effect July 1.

For more information about this new law, visit iga.in.gov.

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