Contact: Lindsey Ross, Senior Press Secretary
STATEHOUSE (April 2, 2019) – A bill authored by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) that would begin addressing Indiana’s high infant mortality rate today passed the House of Representatives unanimously.
Senate Enrolled Act 278 would allow a local health department, hospital, person or entity approved by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) to establish a local Fetal-Infant Mortality Review Team to review fetal and infant deaths that occur in the area. The information would be used to improve community resources and systems of care.
According to America’s Health Rankings by the United Health Foundation, in 2018, 7.4 infant deaths occurred per 1,000 live births in Indiana compared to 5.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births that occurred nationwide.
“The number of infants dying in our state is unacceptable,” Leising said. “We need to be doing all we can to ensure even our youngest children are healthy. This bill would be a first step in helping provide our state with the information we need to begin addressing this issue.”
Under SEA 278, any Fetal-Infant Mortality Review Team created would be overseen by a fetal-infant mortality review coordinator with the Indiana State Department of Health. The local teams would report outcomes to the ISDH.
SEA 278 will now be considered by the governor.
For a high-resolution photo of Sen. Leising, click here.