Over the past year, the Governor’s Public Health Commission documented that many of our dedicated public health professionals across the state are stretched beyond their limits, which impacts a whole spectrum of public health issues like food safety, water quality, public hygiene, child welfare and more. We as a state also face a range of issues in emergency care, adolescent and child care, and more, including the fact that many Hoosiers must deal with a variety of personal health issues that rank our state toward the bottom of health standards.
With that in mind, here’s a critical consideration: Access to quality health care is closely linked to the requirements for a growing economy.
It was encouraging to read recent IBJ coverage about the new $300 million semiconductor campus and facilities to be developed at the WestGate@Crane Technology Park. WestGateOne will be built in a rural area 34 miles from Bloomington and will ultimately create more than 500 jobs.
Fortunately, in the case of the WestGate and NSWC Crane region, access to exceptional high-quality health care is already readily available to those technology workers and their families. But a significant challenge remains for much of Indiana. Many areas of rural Indiana need help. The hope for this small step is to spark a bigger change across all of Indiana.
The good news is that momentum is building to address the issues identified in the Governor’s Public Health Commission. As we advance as a state, that will help attract and sustain economic and workforce development across the board, and particularly in promoting healthy rural communities.
Both as a longtime health care professional and as CEO of the Indiana Rural Health Association, I look forward to working with former Sen. Luke Kenley, Sen. Ed Charbonneau and many other supporters of quality health care in Indiana to right this ship and encourage all to come together for a healthy Indiana.•
Indiana Rural Health Association CEO
Governor’s Public Health Commission member