Vigo County lawmakers support bill establishing $50M grant program to improve Hoosier health

Posted by: Wade Coggeshall  | Wednesday, March 3, 2021

STATEHOUSE (March 3, 2021) The Indiana House of Representatives recently voted in support of legislation that would establish a new $50 million grant program targeting the state's most critical health challenges, according to Vigo County legislators.

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.

"Improving the health of Hoosiers is essential if we want Indiana to continue progressing socially and economically," said State Rep. Bob Heaton (R-Terre Haute). "These grants can help those struggling with some of the most common medical concerns and improve their quality of life."

State Rep. Alan Morrison (R-Brazil) 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.

"Unfortunately, too many Hoosiers lack access to resources that could improve their overall health," Morrison said. "Targeting our efforts toward improving health care access and addressing our top health challenges can help raise the quality of life for rural and urban residents alike."

According to State Rep. Bruce Borders (R-Jasonville), 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.

"Past attempts at improving some of our worst health problems by using targeted grant programs have shown success," Borders said. "We can continue that progress by supporting those who are already working on solutions or have ideas on how to help."

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. Bob Heaton (R-Terre Haute) represents House District 46,
which includes portions of Clay, Monroe, Owen and Vigo counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Alan Morrison (R-Brazil) represents House District 42,
which includes all of Vermillion County and portions of Clay,
Fountain, Parke, Vigo and Warren counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Bruce Borders (R-Jasonville) represents House District 45, which includes
all of Sullivan County and portions of Vigo, Greene, Knox and Daviess counties.
Click
here to download a high-resolution photo.