Safety PIN bill

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ilyoungko/ / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ilyoungko/

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.

Jim Grey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilene/

Legislative leaders and the governor entered the 2015 Indiana General Assembly, declaring it an “education session” and saying there was work to be done addressing worrisome topics such as infant mortality rates.

Many of the education issues got buried under the political sparring between GOP leaders and Democratic state superintendent Glenda Ritz. And most other legislation missed out on coverage because of debate over the state’s so-called “religious freedom” bill.

Bradley Stemke / https://www.flickr.com/photos/detroitsunrise/

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.