Saunders: House advances bill establishing $50M grant program to improve Hoosier health

Posted by: Lydia Kirschner  | Friday, March 12, 2021

STATEHOUSE (March 9, 2021) – The Indiana House of Representatives passed legislation establishing a new $50 million grant program targeting the state's most critical health challenges, according to State Rep. Tom Saunders (R-Lewisville).

According to the United Health Foundation, Indiana falls at the bottom of several health rankings, including being ranked as the 43rd state for physical inactivity, 41st for smoking rates and 40th for obesity rates.

"Indiana has struggled with improving public health, which makes this legislation so important especially as we continue to operate through a pandemic," Saunders said. "This bill would help improve Hoosiers' wellness by providing funding to programs that target critical health issues both on the state and local level."

Saunders said the grant program would be administered by the Indiana Department of Health. The proposals seeking to focus on chronic health problems such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease would be given preference. Grants could be used for both new and existing programs and initiatives.

The grant program is modeled after Indiana's successful Safety PIN program, which helps 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.

House Bill 1007 is now being considered by the Senate. To learn more about House Bill 1007 and watch legislative proceedings online, visit iga.in.gov.

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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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