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Aspire Awarded $697K Public Health Grant

Aspire Indiana Health has been awarded $697,743 from the Indiana State Department of Health through its Health Issues and Challenges Grant program, using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act passed last year in response to the COVID pandemic.

The grant will be used to address Indiana’s public health priorities in three critical areas: increased paramedicine infrastructure for Hoosiers with chronic health challenges; blood pressure monitoring for hypertension and cardiovascular disease among at-risk populations; and helping prevent people with prediabetes from developing full onset of the disease.

Approximately $469,000 will be spent in Madison County to create a paramedic task force to respond to non-emergency situations, working in partnership with county and municipal first responder agencies. The task force will consist of four paramedics and a supervisor in support of individuals identified as High Users of Multiple Systems (HUMS): people who have high engagement with emergency services driven by unmanaged, undertreated and/or undiagnosed chronic disease.

There is an increased prevalence of HUMS among individuals who have serious mental illness (SMI) or substance use disorder (SUD). They often lack access to consistent medical care and place a significant strain on emergency service providers. The goal of the task force is to work with these individuals to bring them the care they need to improve their health outcomes and decrease their reliance on emergency services.

The Madison paramedicine task force already has working agreements in place with Anderson Police Department, Office of the Sheriff of Madison County, Madison County Central Dispatch, East Madison Fire Territory and Community Hospital Anderson, and plans to pursue additional partnerships.

Approximately $127,000 will be spent in Boone, Hamilton, Madison and Marion counties to implement an at-home cardiovascular monitoring program for at-risk individuals, including those with SMI, who have hypertension and heart disease. Providing patients with the ability to monitor their blood pressure at home empowers them to take consistent readings, provides care providers with a better understanding of their health outlook and offsets the impact of transportation or care accessibility barriers.

Another $100,000 will go toward increasing the number of Hoosier adults who are prediabetic who have completed the National Prediabetes Prevention Program. Working with a trained Life Skills Coach, participants will undergo a year-long education and support program to form healthy habits related to nutrition, physical activity and more in order to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

“These innovative support programs are designed to serve some of the most vulnerable Hoosiers, who too often lack proper access to medical care. Aspire Indiana Health is dedicated to working with local and state agencies to find healthcare opportunities like these where we can partner to fill in some of the gaps in the state’s safety net,” said Jerry Landers, vice president of business and strategy development.

Aspire Indiana Health is a fully integrated nonprofit health system serving central Indiana that addresses behavioral health, primary medical care, substance use disorders, infectious diseases, deaf services, veteran programs, abused/neglected children and social drivers of health such as housing and employment. Aspire is supported by a strong network of community organizations, state/federal entities and generous benefactors. Those interested in partnering with Aspire in making health and well-being a reality in central Indiana are encouraged to contact them at info@aspireindi​ana.org.