Bartels supports legislation improving public health

Posted by: Jordan Wallace  | Friday, February 19, 2021

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 19, 2021) – The Indiana House of Representatives recently voted in support of legislation establishing a new $50 million public health grant program, according to State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty).

Under the proposed legislation supported by Bartels, 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.

According to Bartels, 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. He said through Safety PIN and other targeted programs, Indiana reached a record-low infant mortality rate last year for the first time in our state's history.

"Improving Hoosiers' health is an important issue we must continue addressing," Bartels said. "Based on the results we have already seen from the Indiana Safety PIN program, I'm optimistic expanding the concept could have similar positive effects on other health issues."

The Indiana Department 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 now moves to the Senate for further consideration. To learn more and watch legislative proceedings online, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) represents House District 74,
which includes portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.
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