Schaibley: Bill to improve public health passes out of key committee

Posted by: Andi Sommers  | Wednesday, February 3, 2021 8:57 am

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 3, 2021) – The House Public Health Committee voted unanimously in support of legislation State Rep. Donna Schaibley (R-Carmel) co-authored that would establish a new public health grant program.

Schaibley 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.

"Tackling Indiana's public health disparities has become an important priority as we continue fighting a virus that has proven to impact those with underlying health conditions," Schaibley said. "This grant program could help address our state's main health issues, so we can focus on the wellbeing of Hoosiers and get our state back on track."

According to Schaibley, 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. She 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 House Ways and Means Committee for further consideration. To learn more about House Bill 1007 and watch legislative proceedings online, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Donna Schaibley (R-Carmel) represents House District 24,
which includes portions of Boone and Hamilton counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.