Group aims to improve Indiana health ranking through ‘Road Show’

Local News

Recent reports show Indiana ranks in the bottom half of states when it comes to overall health. According to the America’s Health Rankings 2017 Annual Report, Indiana ranks 38th out of 50 states.

Now a group of doctors, community leaders, and public health officials is trying to turn things around through a traveling “State of Our Health Road Show.” Fort Wayne will host one of the events Tuesday morning at Fort Wayne’s Ivy Tech South Campus at 7602 Patriot Crossing.

The Alliance for a Healthier Indiana is hosting the event. 

The group started in November 2016 with  the Indiana Hospital Association, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Indiana State Medical Association, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana, and the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI. Since then, dozens of other health care professionals, advocates,a nd community and business leaders have joined the effort.

According to the organization, they aim to educate the public, grow grassroots engagement around the state, increase local support for public health initiatives, raise awareness of Indiana’s poor health rankings, and share ideas about ways to work together to improve Hoosier health.

The four main priority issues the group focuses on are tobacco use, obesity, infant mortality, and opioid abuse. 

Organizers say those issues negatively impact more than just the individuals directly involved. They also impact the state’s overall economy. 

According to the alliance, an unhealthy workforce negatively impacts Indiana’s ability to attract quality employers, increases health care costs for everyone, and harms the state’s national reputation.

More than a dozen speakers from various health-related fields will speak about Indiana’s public health issues during the road show event.

List of Speakers:

  • Nancy Cripe, Executive Director, Tobacco Free Allen County
  • Sue Ehinger, Ph.D., Chief Experience Officer, Parkview Health
  • Palermo Galindo, Community Liaison for the City of Fort Wayne
  • Dr. Sarah GiaQuinta, Program Director, Allen County Community Health Improvement Plan for Children
  • Dr. Tony GiaQuinta, Pediatrician, Parkview Health, and Vice President, Indiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Marcia Haaff, CEO, The Lutheran Foundation
  • Royal Jordan, Director of Urban Youth Empowerment Program, Fort Wayne Urban League, Smoking Survivor
  • Katie Kincaid, Data and Research Manager, Indiana Youth Institute
  • Dr. Deborah McMahan, Allen County Health Commissioner
  • Ben Miles, President, Parkview Regional Medical Center & Affiliates
  • Jerrilee K. Mosier, Ed.D., Chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College Northeast
  • Mike Ripley, Employee Benefits Consultant, Gibson
  • Lorenzo Suter, D.H.A., CEO, Dupont Hospital, Lutheran Health Network
  • Renetta Williams, Executive Director, HealthVisions of Fort Wayne

Attendees will also have a chance to ask questions during the presentations. 

The town hall meeting runs from 7:30-11 a.m. at Fort Wayne’s Ivy Tech South Campus. 

To learn more about the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana, and to see how your county ranks compared to the rest of the state, click here.

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