This week, the Indiana State Department of Health announced a five-year plan aimed at helping Hoosiers become healthier. The plan names six top priorities that state officials believe have the most significant influence on health in Indiana. Can you guess what made the list?
- Increase Hoosiers at a healthy weight
- Decrease tobacco usage
- Reduce infant mortality
- Assure food safety
- Reduce health care-associated infections
- Reduce the burden of HIV, STD and Viral Hepatitis in Indiana
It’s no secret that Indiana ranks as one of the unhealthiest states in the nation. State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin acknowledged that implementing the state’s ambitious action plan will be no easy task. The only way to succeed will be if individuals and public, private, governmental, and nonprofit organizations passionately #giveacareabout our state and work together.
We applaud the Department of Health’s efforts to take a broad look at how to make Indiana a healthier place to live. If we were to add a goal, #7 would be to continue improving access to health care and support services in neighborhoods, right where people live.
Why? Because true health encompasses so much more than a once-a-year doctor’s visit. And, often the best people to figure how to make a community a healthier are the folks who actually live there.
For example, look at what’s been happening on the Far Eastside of Indianapolis. This month, residents there just embarked on a great adventure — developing a Quality of Life plan for their community. This plan will help outline the things the community believes should happen to improve the health and well-being of all residents. Not only do they intend to identify areas of need and concern, they also plan to work together to be the change they want to see in their community.
The success of this plan, too, will take a lot of local folks who #giveacareabout the Far Eastside and work tireless to make things happen. We look forward to being a part of it.
Last month, we became a Far Eastside neighbor! The new HealthNet Eastside Health Center opened at 38th Street and Post Road, and will serve more than 2,000 people each year — many living below the federal poverty level. It’s great to be neighbors with the Community Alliance of the Far Eastside (CAFE), LaPlaza, Goodwill Industries, Family Development Services, CICOA, Dream Academy, Women in Motion and other groups at the Far Eastside Neighborhood Center that are working together with residents to make the Far Eastside a healthier place to live.
What can you do? GET INVOLVED!
If you live on the Far Eastside, the Quality of Life Issue Group meetings are the third Tuesday of each month at the Far Eastside Neightborhood Center, 8902 E. 38th Street, at 6:00 p.m.
Interested in knowing more about the Far Eastside? Join us at today’s open house for the new Eastside Health Center at CAFE’s Annual Community Day!
If you were to add a goal to the state’s list, what do you think would be the most important health priority for your neighborhood?