Indiana State Health Commissioner Speaks On Health First Indiana Initiative In Clinton County

The Clinton County community learns more about Health First Indiana with Dr. Lindsay Weaver.
– Photo by Patty Parks

Indiana State Health Commissioner Lindsay Weaver visited the Clinton County community to speak about the Health First Indiana initiative and funding available at the state level.

The discussion attracted community members from across Clinton County with 23 agencies, two county officials, 11 Healthy Communities of Clinton County employees, 14 Health Department employees and three representatives from the state attending to learn more about the initiative and the funding intended to improve the health opportunities across the state, including Clinton County. Clinton County stood as the 65th county to be visited on the Health Department tour by Weaver.

Weaver expressed that her travels across the state to discuss Health First Indiana and the opportunities that the funding is expected to bring to different community across the 92 counties have been fruitful with the information that she has been able to gather to continue the mission of the state to begin working toward bringing Indiana higher on the list of states with outstanding health statistics, and Weaver stated that meeting the communities and working alongside her team has proven to her that her role as State Health Commissioner is important and satisfying since she assumed the role on June 1, 2023.

“It was just really important for us to come and meet with you all in your community on your own soil to hear from you what you’re worried about, what you’re excited about, what this money means to you,” Weaver said. “This has really been the best job I could’ve ever imagined to be able to work with all you amazing people and the amazing team at the Department of Health.”

The initiative hosts a goal of ensuring that every Hoosier has access to the core public health services that allow them to achieve their optimal health and wellbeing, focusing upon tobacco and vaping prevention and cessation, chronic disease prevention and trauma and injury prevention.

“Coming out of the pandemic, there was a recognition that there was a lot of opportunity when it comes to public health in Indiana,” Weaver said. “Indiana regularly finds ourselves on the bottom of health metrics when you look nationwide.”

According to the initiative, the state intends to partner with local nonprofit organizations to succeed in its tobacco and vaping prevention and cessation program, partner with Healthy Communities to address chronic disease, partner with local hospitals and urgent care facilities to also address chronic disease prevention and partner with Health Communities to address trauma and injury prevention.

“If we want to continue to have a healthy economy, if we want to promote education in the state of Indiana, health is at the forefront of all of that,” Weaver said. “A healthy workforce makes all the difference.”

The initiative saw $53,312.89 in funding for 2023, which has grown to $374,667.78 for 2024. Health First Indiana is expecting the funding to double in 2025 with $721,882.50.

“When it comes to those health outcomes, I’m absolutely thrilled that in 2022, our legislators recognized that there was an opportunity to change the tide and do something different, and that is Health First Indiana,” Weaver said. “Health First Indiana of course if the funding that was made available to all of our counties, which we had 86 counties opt in for this year. We’re excited that all 92 counties opted for ’25, so that’s really good news.”

According to the Health First Indiana statistics, children below the age of 3-years-old who experience adult obesity is 48% in Clinton County, which compares unfavorably to the Indiana average of 43.6%, ranking Clinton County as 74th in the state.

The rate for children under 3-years-old who have completed the recommended vaccine series is 67.4%, which compares to 59.1%, which ranks Clinton County as 29th in state.

The infant mortality rate was reported as 6.10, which compares to the Indiana rate of 6.8, ranking Clinton County as 30th in the state.

The life expectancy for for Clinton County was reported at 75.2, which compares to the life expectancy of Indiana at 75.6, ranking Clinton County 53rd in the state.

The opioid overdose rate was reported at 17.8, which compares to the Indiana rate of 25.07, ranking Clinton County at 43rd in the state.

The smoking rate in Clinton County was reported as 15.6%, which compares to the Indiana rate of 21%, ranking Clinton County as 9th in the state.

The smoking rate during pregnancy was reported as 6.4% for Clinton County, which compares to the Indiana rate of 6.6%, ranking Clinton County 17th in the state.

The social vulnerability index for the county was reported at 0.7691, and a rate was not reported for Indiana, ranking Clinton County 71st in the state.

The suicide rate for the county was reported at 20.8, which compares to the Indiana rate of 15.77, ranking Clinton County 74th in the state.

The years of potential life lost due to injury ability index was reported at 2,556.1 for the county, which compares to the Indiana rate of 2,527.14, ranking Clinton County as 59th in the state.

Dr. Lindsay Weaver