Public Health Study Committee Wraps Up Summer Work

Oct 26, 2017

A legislative study committee on public health issues voted Thursday to recommend the General Assembly take action on diabetes and the state’s nursing shortage as it wrapped up its work ahead of the next legislative session.

In recent years diabetes action plans have failed at the Statehouse. But this year’s study committee showed momentum.

Eskenazi pharmacist Jasmine Gonzolva, a non-legislative member of the committee, says much of the focus is on screening and prevention.

“Targeting effective programs and interventions to make sure that we are also helping our people with diabetes,” says Gonzolva.

The committee also adopted a draft to address the issue of healthcare workforce shortage aimed at nurses.

During their final meeting legislators received an update about state programs that may be impacted by federal policies, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program and HIP 2.0.

Allison Taylor with Family And Social Services Administration says Indiana is ready to collaborate.

“The concept of having that conversation about how can we make things better? That’s great, that’s right up our alley. Indiana is not scared of that and wants to have that conversation,” says Taylor.

The committee also examined the opioid epidemic this year. Rep. Charlie Brown (D-Gary) says Indiana’s progress on issues like opioids could be limited.

“I just hope we don’t get stymied by what the federal government is talking about that has tremendous impact in terms of how far we can go,” says Brown.