State grant aids with local health challenges


By Chris Bavender 

A new state grant could help Hamilton County and other municipalities across Indiana address health challenges such as diabetes and obesity. The Indiana Health Issues and Challenges Grants will award $50 million to local and statewide service providers, along with planning organizations, to address long-standing problems.

Donna Schaibley

State Rep. Donna Schaibley (R-Carmel) co-authored the legislation. She said Indiana is doing well in many ways, but there is a “need to improve the overall health of Hoosiers.”

“With this grant program, local and statewide service providers can receive funds to develop programs to improve health outcomes in specific areas and based on the needs of the community,” Schaibley said. “Funding can be used to prevent or reduce mental and physical health issues for Hoosiers, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and asthma. The pandemic shined a bright light on the need to tackle these chronic health issues.”

Schaibley said Indiana is a national leader in many areas and often noted for low taxes, low unemployment rate, new business developments, job commitments and investments in infrastructure.

“Unfortunately, we are also a national leader when looking at some negative health indicators like smoking rates and obesity,” she said. “This targeted grant program is an important step in improving the health of Hoosiers by encouraging the development of programs to address specific health concerns in Indiana with the funding to back those efforts.”

With the grants, organizations can pinpoint specific health concerns in their community and develop programs targeting those areas.

“This program is results driven with attainable goals, and we expect the funds to net positive outcomes for Hoosiers,” Schaibley said.

The Indiana Dept. of Health is accepting grant applications through March 31 and are expected to award grants based on the proposal and need within the communities. Award notices will be issued by the Indiana Dept. of Health by July 1.

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