Pharos-Tribune

State News

November 4, 2013

'This is about reducing heartache'

Governor opens first infant mortality summit

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence told public health officials from around the state that the rising number of babies dying in Indiana before they reach their first birthday is “deplorable” and challenged them to think of new ways to combat the state’s worsening infant mortality rates.

“This is not about reducing numbers. This is about reducing heartache,” Pence said Friday, in his opening remarks at the state’s first-ever Infant Mortality Summit.

More than 500 people who attended the summit heard Indiana Health Commissioner Dr. William VanNess say it was “just not acceptable” that Indiana now has one of the worst infant mortality rates in the nation. The rate was 7.7 deaths out of every 1,000 babies born in 2011 (the latest numbers available) compared to the national rate of 6.05 deaths per 1,000 births. That's made Indiana’s infant mortality rate the sixth highest in the nation.

Cass County's is even higher, at 9.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, according to data gathered from 2011 through 2010, the latest available. It's the fourth highest rate in the state.

VanNess said the implications of those numbers are cause for alarm. “Infant mortality is the number one indicator of health status in the world,” said VanNess, an Anderson doctor who took on the role of the state’s top health officer earlier this year.

He also acknowledged that public health officials face a major challenge in bringing the infant death rate down since the causes are multiple and complex. There are a host of risk factors for pregnant women, including obesity, smoking and lack of prenatal care, that contribute to higher infant death rates.

Indiana doesn’t fare well: Almost one-third of pregnant women in Indiana don’t receive prenatal care in their first trimester; almost 17 percent of pregnant women are smokers, compared to the national rate of 9 percent; and the state ranks eighth in the number of obese citizens.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • Family: 2013 crash that killed 7 was preventable MUNSTER (AP) — An Indiana woman who lost seven family members in a fiery highway crash last year says more needs to be done to ensure truck drivers are operating safely. Judith Williams said she believes the accident that killed her two daughters, th

    August 15, 2014

  • Man sentenced to 8 years in Gary man's killing CROWN POINT (AP) — A Gary man whose murder confession was thrown out because a police detective had told him he might not get a fair trial because he is black has been sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to reckless homicide. The

    August 15, 2014

  • Prosecutors seek life without parole for skipping shooter INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors have requested life without parole for a murder defendant caught on surveillance video skipping away from the fatal shooting of an Indianapolis convenience store clerk. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced Th

    August 15, 2014

  • Suits in triple-slaying proceeds case move ahead NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) — A former Indiana state trooper shouldn't be allowed to claim all $626,000 in insurance and estate proceeds from the deaths of his wife and two children 14 years ago, even though he was acquitted of their murders, attorneys rep

    August 14, 2014

  • Indiana universities face cuts if tax intake lags INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's public universities could see their budgets cut another 2 percent if state tax collections continue lagging behind expectations. Gov. Mike Pence's budget director told members of the State Budget Committee Thursday that

    August 14, 2014

  • Purdue writing commercial dog breeding standards WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — The director of Purdue University's Center for Animal Welfare Science will lead a two-year research project to develop and test nationwide animal care standards for the commercial breeding and raising of dogs. Director Can

    August 14, 2014

  • No charges filed in deaths of Clydesdale horses HUNTINGTON (AP) — Northeastern Indiana prosecutors have decided not to file charges in a case where dead and malnourished Clydesdales were discovered on a horse farm. Huntington County Prosecutor Amy Richison says she could not file charges because n

    August 14, 2014

  • E. Indiana couple arrested for dealing steroids RUSHVILLE (AP) — An eastern Indiana couple are under arrest after what authorities broke up what they are calling the largest lab ever found in Indiana for producing anabolic steroids. Rushville Police Chief Craig Tucker says 39-year-old David Starke

    August 13, 2014

  • Judge: Indiana can sue IRS over health care rules INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge has ruled Indiana and nearly 40 state school districts can sue the Internal Revenue Service over rules it imposed to implement the federal health care overhaul. The judge on Tuesday declined an IRS request to dismi

    August 13, 2014

  • Indiana receives $475,000 for students' exams INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Department of Education is receiving nearly $475,000 from the federal government to help defray the costs of taking advanced placement tests for low-income students. The U.S. Department of Education announced the award

    August 13, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Arrests Witnessed in Ferguson Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Heavy Rains Flood Arizona Roads US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.