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Purdue partners with the state to improve post-pandemic public health

Monday, November 22 2021 - West Lafayette,

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the toll it has taken on our communities, has underscored for public health the devastating social and racial inequities that exist within the state of Indiana and has made clear the need to remove obstacles to health for all Hoosiers.

Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering (RCHE) at Purdue University and the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) are partnering on a new initiative to ensure that all Hoosiers have better access to the resources needed to achieve better health. Through the Indiana Healthy Opportunities for People Everywhere (I-HOPE) initiative, Purdue will collaborate with almost 100 statewide partners to help tackle the obstacles that prevent people from living healthy lives.

“The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but it has hit some communities especially hard,” said Dr. Jerome Adams, Purdue executive director of health equity initiatives. Adams is an RCHE faculty member, Presidential Fellow, professor of practice in the Department of Pharmacy Practice in the College of Pharmacy and professor in the Department of Public Health in the College of Health and Human Sciences. “In a time when we are still coping with the direct effects of COVID-19, we also must factor in the secondary impact of the virus while better preparing Indiana for what the future may bring. I-HOPE offers a unique opportunity to make sure that everyone has access to the resources needed to better weather future health challenges.”

Funded for two years by a $34.8 million grant to the IDOH from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and led by the state in partnership with Purdue, I-HOPE aims to reduce systemic health and social inequities, with specific emphasis on the health disparities experienced by ethnic and minority groups and rural communities. The IDOH awarded Purdue $10.4 million to administer the initiative’s engagement and communication efforts in counties considered most vulnerable to pandemics based on national rankings for chronic disease, vaccination rates, substance use disorder, and other factors that lead to increased mortality rates. With priority going to the counties ranked highest on the 2021 COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index and the 2016 Social Vulnerability Index, Purdue will enage five counties before the end of the first grant year followed by an additional 25 counties in 2022.

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Writer: Jeanine Parsch, 765-337-7047, jeanine@purdue.edu

Tags: Health IT Security , Process & Cost Improvement (LEAN) , Quality Services , Announcement

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