Safety P.I.N. grant program passes out of House
STATEHOUSE – State Representative Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville) authored House Bill (HB) 1004, creating the Safety P.I.N. (Protecting Indiana’s Newborns) grant program to combat infant mortality in Indiana. The bill was co-authored by House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis), State Rep. Hal Slager (R-Schererville) and State Rep. Dave Frizzell (R-Indianapolis) and passed unanimously out of the House today.
“HB 1004 takes a unique approach to combating infant mortality in Indiana,” said Rep. Sullivan. “By incentivizing private and public entities to form partnerships and develop innovative plans, the Safety P.I.N. grant program will create tangible results that protect our precious newborns, leading to more lives saved.”
As the fifth worst state in the nation for infant mortality, the House Republicans sought to address this issue, making it a top priority this session. Working towards this goal, HB 1004 would establish the Safety P.I.N. grant program which would allow groups to present their innovative solutions and apply for a grant to reduce infant mortality.
“Communities, who have pioneered great ideas to reduce infant mortality, deserve the flexibility to move forward with their solutions,” said Speaker Bosma. “This session, I was proud to make addressing infant mortality a priority and look forward to the positive impact the Safety P.I.N. grant program will have for Hoosier families.”
Administered by the Indiana State Department of Health, the groups applying for grants must include in their proposal; the targeted area, the amount they plan to reduce the infant mortality rate by and the timeframe in which they will achieve their goal. Preference would be given to groups that seek to combat primary drivers of infant mortality such as decreasing smoking rates among pregnant women.
“As the Family, Children and Human Affairs Chairman, working to address Indiana’s infant mortality rate, which impacts so many communities, continues to be my focus,” said Rep. Frizzell. “Through these grants, organizations can work to address some of the leading causes of infant mortality.”
In Indiana, nearly one-third of pregnant women do not receive prenatal care, and over 60 percent of infant deaths can be attributed to mothers that received fewer than 10 prenatal visits. Additionally, more than 16 percent of Indiana mothers smoked at some point during their pregnancy.
“The infant mortality rate is a growing concern in Indiana and I was proud to work with my colleagues on this legislation. It is my hope that this legislation will not just reduce infant mortality, but also raise awareness and create outlets for those with questions or concerns about proper prenatal care,” said Rep. Slager.
This bill will now go to the Senate for further discussion and debate. Visit iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills/house/1004 for more information about HB 1004.
Speaker Bosma (R-Indianapolis) represents portions of Marion, Hamilton and Hancock Counties.
Rep. Sullivan (R-Evansville) represents portions of Vanderburgh and Warrick counties.
Rep. Slager (R-Schererville) represents portions of Lake County. Rep. Slager serves on the Ways and Means Committee and the Public Health Committee.
Rep. Frizzell (R-Indianapolis) represents a portion of Marion and Johnson counties.
Note to the Editor: Pictured below and attached is the logo of the Safety P.I.N. (Protecting Indiana’s Newborns) grant program for your use.