STATEHOUSE (Feb. 5, 2019) – A bill authored by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) that would begin addressing Indiana’s high infant mortality rate today passed the Senate unanimously.
Senate Bill 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 is a first step, but, if passed, it would help provide our state with the information we need to begin addressing this issue.”
Under SB 278, any Fetal-Infant Mortality Review Team created would be overseen by a fetal-infant mortality review coordinator at the ISDH.
SB 278 will now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.
For a high-resolution photo of Sen. Leising, click here.