The Alliance for a Healthier Indiana is hosting a series of town hall meetings in 2018 to discuss public health issues plaguing the state. More than 400 people attended a kickoff event in Indianapolis earlier this month. Sixteen stops remain on the State of Our Health Road Show schedule:
- May: East Chicago (May 1), Gary (2) and South Bend (3)
- June: Fort Wayne (June 12), Muncie (13), Richmond (19) and Connersville (20)
- July: Lafayette (July 11) and Logansport (25)
- August: Evansville (August 1), Terre Haute (9) and Vincennes (10)
- September: Columbus (September 11) and Bloomington (12)
- October: Madison (October 11) and Sellersburg (12)
The Road Show will bring together local leaders, health care providers, and elected and other public officials for the purpose of sharing ideas to combat tobacco use, infant mortality, opioid abuse and obesity. The town hall meetings also offer attendees the opportunity to hear about the Alliance’s plans for 2018 and beyond, with a focus on tackling tobacco use, which is the leading cause of preventable death in Indiana and costs the state $7.6 billion annually.
“The Alliance and its partners are committed to improving Hoosier health, but we need support and engagement from concerned communities to achieve our goals,” says Bryan Mills, CEO of Community Health Network and chair of the Alliance. “Our hope is that by meeting citizens and community leaders where they live and work and providing a forum for sharing ideas, we will build significant grassroots support for the Alliance and its priorities heading into the 2019 legislative session.”
One of the ways that Indiana can improve its poor health rankings – and in turn, its economy – is by investing more in public health and adopting laws that encourage healthy behaviors. Indiana has consistently ranked at the bottom in public health funding and currently ranks 49th, and it’s taking its toll on Indiana businesses. Taken together, tobacco use, the opioid epidemic and obesity cost Indiana more than $10 billion in additional health care costs.
“Indiana’s poor health rankings and paltry funding for public health initiatives are detrimental to Hoosier health and the state’s economy,” says Kevin Brinegar, president and CEO of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. “Poor health rankings contribute to higher health care spending, which poses challenges in both expanding current businesses and recruiting new business to the state. We encourage anyone who is passionate about making Indiana a healthy place to live, work, and raise a family to show their support at a Road Show town hall.”
The State of Our Health Road Show meetings are free and open to the public. Space is limited, and registration is required.