Local health departments have received enhanced funding for the first time as a result of the Health First Indiana (HFI) initiative. HFI is a historic investment in public health made possible by legislation passed by the 2023 Indiana General Assembly. Eighty-six counties serving nearly 96% of Hoosiers opted to receive a total of $75 million in HFI funding. HFI is an unprecedented state investment to improve Indiana’s health outcomes.
Marshall County will receive $556,232.82 which will be used to improve the health of all citizens in the county. Priorities in Marshall County include partnering with the Breathe Easy Marshall County Alliance to provide tobacco/vaping education in schools. The County Health Department will also partner with Bowen Center’s federally qualified health center, Fitness Forum, and Marshall County Council on Aging
Other priorities in the county includeproviding substance use prevention programs and treatment options, and identifying disparities in birth outcomes by partnering with organizations to provide prenatal care along with tuberculosis prevention and case management with a new electronic system. The County Health Department will work on the emergency response plan, hire an additional public health nurse, create a plan to continue vital records services in case of an emergency, implement a swimming pool inspection program, and identify businesses that offer eyelash extension services.
All the counties surrounding Marshall County have opted into the program. Starke County will receive $263,825.27; Pulaski County’s portion is $170,318.12 while Fulton County $231,190.00. Kosciusko County will receive $968,263.83, with Elkhart County getting $2,498,456.15 and Saint Joseph County’s portion is $3,293,255.46.
HFI launched the groundbreaking effort to improve the health of all Hoosiers through guaranteed access to core public health services, including maternal and child health, tobacco and vaping cessation, chronic disease, trauma and injury prevention, and more. About 78% of the funding will support preventive and health outcome-related activities. A key component of Health First Indiana is that local health departments determine how the funding is spent as they know best how to improve the health of Hoosiers living in their communities.
“The work began in 2021 with the formation of the Governor’s Public Health Commission, the support for the passage of SEA 4 and the overwhelming county-level participation in Health First Indiana have brought us to this moment,” said State Health Commissioner Lindsay Weaver, M.D., FACEP. “As I have visited communities across the state, it is clear they are poised to address the most pressing health challenges they face through partnerships within those communities.”
More information about Health First Indiana, including a map of participating counties, a list of core public health services, and a breakdown of funding amounts by county can be found by visiting healthfirstindiana.in.gov.
Visit the Indiana Department of Health at www.StateHealth.in.gov for important health and safety information, or follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StateHealthIN.