Community health conversation planned

A community conversation aimed at improving the state’s overall health rankings — 39th lowest in the nation — will be from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. March 6 at The Pines Evergreen Room.

The free community town hall breakfast is part of a series in early March that has been organized by Alliance for a Healthier Indiana. Raise It for Health, a campaign focused on raising the cigarette tax by $1.50, restoring tobacco prevention and cessation funding to $35 million and reducing health care costs for Hoosiers, is co-hosting the event.

Alliance for a Healthier Indiana consists of health care professionals, advocates and community and business leaders from across the state who have come together to improve the health of all Hoosiers.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the alliance’s key priorities, which include tackling tobacco use, battling opioid abuse, taking on obesity and reducing infant mortality.

Indiana is the 35th worst state in the nation in drug deaths, 36th worst for obesity, 39th worst in the number of smokers, 43rd worst in infant mortality and 49th worst in funding public health, according to the alliance.

Those in attendance also will have the opportunity to ask questions of local and state health care officials, including Warren Forgey, president and CEO of Schneck Medical Center; Dr. Doug Towriss, vice president and chief medical officer at Schneck; Doug Leonard, president of the Indiana Hospital Association; and Monique French with Raise It for Health.

A pharmacist from CVS Pharmacy also will talk about fighting prescription drug abuse.

The goal of the meeting is to raise awareness about the state’s poor health rankings and create an opportunity to network community leaders and elected officials to talk about ways of improving the health of Hoosiers.

Founding members of the alliance include the Indiana Hospital Association, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Indiana State Medical Association, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in Indiana and Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. Schneck Medical Center is a local partner of the alliance.

The Pines Evergreen Room is at 11034 E. County Road 400N, south of Seymour off U.S. 31.

Other community health conversations are planned for March 8 in Noblesville and March 10 in Fort Wayne.

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What: Community health conversation

When: 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. March 6

Where: The Pines Evergreen Room, 11034 E. County Road 400N, Seymour

Cost: Free (register online by Wednesday at–seymour/events)

Sponsors: Alliance for a Healthier Indiana and Raise It for Health