SELLERSBURG, IND. – The Alliance for a Healthier Indiana, a coalition of health care professionals, advocates, and community and business leaders from across the state, is stopping in Sellersburg on Friday, October 12, as part of its 2018 State of Our Health Road Show.
The Road Show is a series of regional town hall meetings around the state where community leaders, public safety workers, health care providers, employers, and elected officials can hear about the Alliance’s plans for 2018 and beyond, which include raising awareness of Indiana’s poor health rankings and sharing ideas about ways communities can work together to improve Hoosier health.
“The Alliance for a Healthier Indiana was created to tackle Indiana’s most pressing public health issues—smoking, obesity, infant mortality, and the opioid epidemic,” said Bryan Mills, president and CEO of Community Health Network and chair of the Alliance. “Because we are committed to improving the health of all Hoosiers, we’re taking our message on the road to build awareness and rally grassroots support for policy change at the Statehouse in 2019.”
Indiana is ranked 38th in the nation in overall health according to the 2017 America’s Health Rankings annual report. The Hoosier state also ranks among the worst in the nation in the following categories:
- 34th in drug deaths
- 40th in obesity
- 41st in percentage of smokers
- 42nd in infant mortality
- 49th in public health funding
The Alliance’s top policy priority is to reduce Indiana’s high smoking rate by raising the state’s cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack. Twenty-one percent of Hoosier adults smoke, costing the state billions of dollars in unnecessary health care costs. The state cigarette tax has not been raised since 2007 and is currently well below the national average at under $1.00 per pack. Raising the price of cigarettes is a proven solution that would help 50,000 Hoosier adults quit, prevent 40,000 Hoosier kids from starting, and protect 10,000 Hoosier babies from the effects of secondhand smoke. In addition, the increase would generate $315 million in its first year that could go toward local public health programs, including opioid prevention and treatment.
Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions from and share ideas with a number of expert presenters, including:
- Lacie M. Couzin, PhD, RN, Dean, School of Health Sciences, Ivy Tech Community College of Southern Indiana
- Dr. Ray Wallace, Chancellor, Indiana University Southeast
- Tiffany Sierota, COO of Clark Physician Group, Clark Memorial Health
- Julie Reed, Executive Vice President, Indiana State Medical Association
- Dr. Paul Halverson, Founding Dean, IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health
- Brandon George, Director, Indiana Addiction Issues Coalition
- Charlie Geier, Vice President of Impact and Data Solutions, Indiana Youth Institute
- MeriBeth Adams-Wolf, Executive Director, Our Place Drug & Alcohol Education Services, Inc.
- Annie Reiss, Clark County Tobacco Prevention Coordinator, Clark Memorial Health
- Bryan Hannon, Director of Indiana Government Relations, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
- Tracy Skaggs, Human Services Major, Ivy Tech Community College Sellersburg
- Betsy Delgado, VP for Mission and Education Initiatives, Goodwill Nurse-Family Partnership
The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
For more information on the Alliance and the health care issues facing the state, visit HealthierIndiana.org.
About the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana
The Alliance for a Healthier Indiana is a group of health care professionals, advocates, and community and business leaders from across the state who are committed to improving Hoosier health. For more information on the Alliance and the health care issues facing Indiana, visit HealthierIndiana.org.