Payne supports bill to improve public health

Posted by: Abrahm Hurt  | Wednesday, February 17, 2021 8:57 am

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 17, 2021) – The Indiana House of Representatives voted on Tuesday in support of legislation establishing a new public health grant program, according to State Rep. Zach Payne (R-Charlestown).

Payne said the 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.

"The pandemic really highlighted the need to take a closer look at the health disparities across the state," Payne said. "It is important we invest in the wellbeing of all Hoosiers, and these grants will provide new tools for our communities to fight critical health issues and work to improve the quality of life in our state."

According to Payne, 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.

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. Zach Payne (R-Charlestown) represents House District 66, which includes
all of Scott County, most of Jefferson County and northeastern Clark County.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.