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Hoosier Health Gap

March 23, 2009
by Editorial Staff
South Bend Tribune

How did Indiana come to rank dead last among the states in getting federal funds to prevent disease and injury? How is it that Indiana received the grade of D for its public mental health care?

Could it be because Hoosiers are healthier than the rest of the country? We don't think so.

Last year, Indiana collected $12.74 per person from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for prevention programs, according to a report released by the nonprofit Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The national average was $17.60.Indiana's problem is infrastructure, the inability for small health department staffs to carry out programs. That deters the CDC from giving us more funding.

We already have a higher rate of smoking than all but three states. We're 11th in obesity. Yet, Indiana spent only $44,021 on heart disease prevention; heart disease, of course, is related to smoking and obesity.

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