House supports legislation to provide perinatal care for at-risk mothers

Posted by: Victoria Klimczak  | Thursday, January 24, 2019 1:11 pm

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 24, 2019) – The Indiana House of Representatives today voted in favor of legislation co-authored by State Reps. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) and Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville) that would provide at-risk mothers with better access to health care and reduce Indiana’s infant mortality rate.

Under House Bill 1007, medical providers would check for signs of substance abuse in pregnant women through a consultation, referring women to substance abuse treatment programs as early as possible.

Sullivan said Indiana’s infant mortality rate is among the highest in the nation, and this legislation has the power to change that in supporting healthier mothers and babies.

“As author of the Safety PIN bill in 2015, I am thrilled to see that Evansville was a leader by participating in the grant program,” Sullivan said. “Southwest Indiana is now providing the state leadership in the innovative approach they fostered to help at-risk mothers, and are therefore helping reduce our state’s infant mortality rate.”

The proposal would also establish a perinatal navigator pilot program, which would help connect expecting mothers with prenatal care and wrap-around services. The pilot program would be based off of Vanderburgh County’s Pre to 3 program, which is one of the most successful Safety PIN grant programs in the state. This free program was designed to provide consistent care for families from pregnancy until the baby reaches age three.

“Vanderburgh County health officials have worked extremely hard to provide the best services to at-risk mothers,” McNamara said. “Expanding this program to areas of the state with the highest infant mortality rates and least access to perinatal care is a primary goal and reason for this legislation. Providing this care for expectant mothers and babies through proactive testing and treatments would decrease Hoosier infant mortality rates and potentially save lives.”

McNamara said Indiana is continuing to work for better perinatal care for mothers and children, especially improving patient care for those at-risk of substance use disorder. This legislation would connect at-risk pregnant women with more obtainable resources and health care providers.

House Bill 1007 now moves to the Senate for consideration. Visit to learn more.


State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) represents House District 76,
which includes portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville) represents House District 78,

which includes portions of Vanderburgh and Warrick counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.