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Local health departments receive $75 million in first round of public health funding

The Indiana Department of Health logo on a plain white background.
Courtesy of the Indiana Department of Health
The Indiana Department of Health said a key component of the initiative is to allow local health departments to determine how the funding is spent since they have insight on what their communities need.

Eighty-six Indiana counties recently received the first round of public health funding to come from the state’s Health First Indiana initiative. Local health departments that opted into the funding have since received a total of $75 million from the state.

County elected officials were in charge of the decision to take Health First Indiana funding to provide additional core public health services. All but six local health departments opted to receive the funding in September 2023.

To receive money, counties had to agree to use at least 60 percent of the funding on “core preventative services” such as immunizations, chronic disease prevention, and maternal and child health. The Indiana Department of Health said a key component of the initiative is to allow local health departments to determine how the funding is spent since they have insight on what their communities need.

READ MORE: How the public health system overhaul came to be – and what’s still left to do

Find more answers on engaging with state government by visiting our project: Civically, Indiana.

The Health First Indiana initiative was a result of 2023 legislation that overhauled the state’s public health system. Local health departments that opted in will receive an additional $150 million next fiscal year.

Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at aruhman@wboi.org.

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Abigail Ruhman covers statewide health issues. Previously, they were a reporter for KBIA, the public radio station in Columbia, Missouri. Ruhman graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.