infant mortality

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Community Health Network

The state has named an Indianapolis-based OB-GYN as Indiana’s next health commissioner.

Dr. Kristina Box will fill the position left vacant earlier this month when former health commissioner Jerome Adams became U.S. Surgeon General.

Unexpected Child Deaths Down In Tippecanoe County

Jan 24, 2017
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Numbers from Tippecanoe County’s Local Child Fatality Review Team show a steep drop-off in sudden, unexplained or unexpected deaths of children under 18 from 2015 to 2016. Total deaths fell from 13 to just five and none of the 2016 deaths has been attributed to parents sleeping in the same bed with their young children.

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The Indiana State Department of Health has announced the recipients of $13 million in grants aimed at stemming Indiana’s high infant mortality rate.

The money comes from the departments Safety PIN grant program, which the state legislature created in 2015 as a response to the concerning trend.

In, 2014, the state’s infant mortality rate was 7 per every 1000 births, compared with the national average of 5.8.

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The infant mortality rates among black babies in Indiana are more than twice the state’s average, according to data from the Indiana State Department of Health.

In 2014, 14.7 babies per every 1000 born to black mothers died before their first birthday. The state’s total infant mortality rate was a little over 7 per every 1000.

Additionally, the rate of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome—SUIDS—among black babies is getting exponentially higher. In 2014, 240 African-American babies per every 100,000 died from SUIDS, a 60 percent increase over the year before.

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Indiana health officials say the key to reducing the state's chronically high infant mortality rates is to improve infant death rates among minorities.

Indiana needs to cut its infant death rate by one-sixth in five years to reach a federal goal of holding the rate to six deaths for every thousand live births. The mortality rate among whites is already at that goal, but babies born to African-American Hoosiers are two-and-a-half times more likely to die before their first birthday.

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Legislators are crafting a grant program aimed at improving Indiana‘s sixth-worst in the nation infant mortality rate. Instead of state initiatives to address infant mortality, legislators are hoping local hospitals and doctors have better ideas.

The proposed "Safety PIN" grant gives preference to a handful of areas, including steering more women into prenatal care or getting pregnant women to quit smoking. The PIN in Safety PIN stands for Protecting Indiana‘s Newborns.

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The House unanimously passed legislation Tuesday it hopes will help reduce Indiana’s infant mortality rate, one of the worst in the country. 

It’s called the Safety PIN bill, standing for Protecting Indiana’s Newborns.  It creates a grant program, run by the State Department of Health, for organizations seeking to reduce the state’s infant mortality rate.  Evansville Republican Representative Holli Sullivan sponsored the bill, which she says is purposefully non-specific regarding what types of programs applicants must have.

The State Department of Health is spending the next year reaching out to new and expectant mothers in an effort to curb the state’s infant mortality rate. 

Indiana’s rate of infant deaths is one of the worst in the country.  First Lady Karen Pence says the Labor of Love campaign, meant to reduce that rate, will be carried on all major TV stations, at bus depots, in radio ads, and in a variety of publications.  She says messages will include everything from the importance of prenatal care and breastfeeding to safe sleep.