Local lawmakers: Bill to combat state's public health disparities now law

Posted by: Abrahm Hurt  | Friday, June 11, 2021

STATEHOUSE (June 11, 2021) – Legislation establishing a state health improvement plan and a $50 million grant program targeting Hoosiers' most critical health challenges is now law, according to local lawmakers.   

Under the new law, the Indiana Department 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. State Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville), a member of the House Public Health Committee, 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 pandemic shined a spotlight on Indiana's overall health, with the virus having devastating effects on those with underlying and pre-existing conditions," Ziemke said. "We are taking strategic steps to address health concerns affecting the daily lives of Hoosiers and improve our state's health as a whole." 

State Rep. Randy Lyness (R-West Harrison) 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. 

"This significant investment in improving Hoosiers' health will provide long-term benefits for all," Lyness said. "Local organizations will be able to apply for funding to develop programs that help Hoosiers pursue a healthier lifestyle." 

State Rep. Tom Saunders (R-Lewisville) said 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 our state's history. 

"Using a proven model that's already produced results will help us tackle health issues Hoosiers are facing across the state," Saunders said. "These are important investments in our communities, as well as our economy and future." 

House Enrolled Act 1007 takes effect July 1. For more information about this new law, visit iga.in.gov

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State Rep. Randy Lyness (R-West Harrison) represents House District 68, which includes
all of Union County and portions of Franklin and Dearborn counties.
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here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Tom Saunders (R-Lewisville) represents House District 54,
which includes Henry County and portions of Rush and Wayne counties.
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here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) represents House District 55, which includes
all of Fayette County and portions of Decatur, Franklin, Ripley and Rush counties.
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here to download a high-resolution photo.