State Health Department launches new bid to curb infant mortality

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) held the first of a series of community road shows Wednesday at Ivy Tech Community College to discuss Indiana’s new OB Navigator Program, which is aimed at reducing the state’s infant mortality rate. Indiana currently ranks 7th in the nation for infant mortality, which is defined as the death of a baby before his or her first birthday.

Governor Eric Holcomb has tasked ISDH, in partnership with the Family and Social Services Administration and Department of Child Services, to reduce Indiana’s infant mortality rate to the lowest in the Midwest by 2024. As part of that effort, he signed House Enrolled Act 1007 into law to create the OB Navigator Program. The program will connect expectant mothers throughout the state to prenatal care and provide referrals for wraparound services and home visiting programs, starting with the state’s highest-risk areas. A total of 13 public events will be held around the state to highlight the program.

“Every Indiana baby deserves to celebrate a first birthday, and we are working with community partners, healthcare providers and the public to help make that happen through the OB Navigator Program,” said Indiana State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG. “I am encouraged by the support from Allen County today and look forward to continuing the conversation about how we can save 200 babies throughout the state by 2024.”

Additional road shows will be scheduled for the following counties in the coming months:
Grant, Delaware, Madison and Henry
Martin, Dubois and Crawford
St. Joseph
La Porte
Blackford, Jay and Randolph

To learn more about the OB Navigator Program, visit the ISDH website for more information.