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Holcomb Signs Bill To Reduce Infant Mortality, Standardize Care

Lauren Chapman
IPB News

Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill into law Thursday standardizing perinatal care in the state to lower Indiana’s infant mortality rate. The new law creates a system to help expecting mothers identify the facility that can best deliver the level of care that they need.

“When you think about the 623 babies that didn’t make it past their first year in the state of Indiana, it’s clear that we have work to do,” Holcomb says.

The bill was one of the governor's legislative priorities this year. Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) says he wrote the legislation in response to the state’s high infant mortality rate.

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“Very rarely to you get the opportunity to be the author of a piece of legislation that you know is going to save lives,” Charbonneau says.

According to the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention, Indiana has the seventh highest infant mortality rate in the country, and the fifth highest maternal mortality rate.

State Health Commissioner Kristina Box says this legislation will save lives.

“The levels of care bill is an example of what we can accomplish by knocking down silos and building partnerships with a common goal,” Box says.

The legislation passed both the Indiana House and Senate unanimously, and goes into effect July 1.