I-HOPE: Ensuring more equitable access to health services

The Indiana Healthy Opportunities for People Everywhere, or I-HOPE, initiative is deploying teams across the state to facilitate community-level conversations, resulting in strategies to address the factors that prevent people from living their healthiest lives. The work will examine longstanding risk factors, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Hoosiers’ health. The effort is being funded by a $34.8 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is a collaboration between the Indiana Department of Health, Purdue University, Indiana University, and dozens of other organizations across the state.

I-HOPE initiatives at Indiana University

The IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, the Center for Rural Engagement, and Sustainable Food Systems Science are collaborating on a set of key initiatives designed to address health disparities and the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community Health Improvement Planning and Implementation

Community health improvement planning and implementation addresses COVID-19 health disparities and improves and increases access to testing, preventative and lifestyle physical health, mental health, and social support services, as well as resources to address basic needs. I-HOPE is expanding these opportunities in Daviess, Greene, Jackson, and Martin counties, led by Priscilla Barnes, Ph.D., School of Public Health-Bloomington. This initiative will:

  • Build resilient, coordinated rural networks that respond quickly and efficiently to public health emergencies;
  • Strengthen rural infrastructure through training and expansion of community navigators;
  • Improve communication and coordination through visible “on the ground” connectors and navigators;
  • Empower underserved and higher-risk populations to access a user-friendly and personable navigation system in times of emergency, crisis, or for general information at HoosierHelp.org.

Smoking Cessation Programming

Indiana University is expanding a program to reduce smoking in rural Indiana as a part of I-HOPE. The initiative supports Hoosiers as they reduce and quit smoking in collaboration with local healthcare providers with a focus on Crawford, Dubois, Jackson, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington counties, led by Jon Macy, Ph.D., School of Public Health-Bloomington.

Kicking the habit

A new smoking cessation initiative in rural Indiana helps moms quit to improve their health and the health of their babies.

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Nutrition Prescription to Increase Health

Already successful nutrition prescription programs and nutrition interventions are harnessing a food-as-medicine approach to strengthen local food systems and increase health and wellbeing across the Indiana Uplands region, led by Julia Valliant, Ph.D., Sustainable Food Systems Science and The Ostrom Workshop. 

This initiative is expanding from Orange County, in collaboration with Lost River Market and Deli, Purdue Extension, and Southern Indiana Community Health Care, to include Crawford, Lawrence, and Washington counties. Three new food-as-medicine models will be piloted in Daviess, Greene, and Jackson counties.

Responding to Racial Disparities in Health

A collaborative, community-directed project which aims to reduce racial disparities in health in Dubois County is hosting community-led educational workshops and deploying a comprehensive and locally adapted communications and outreach plan to increase awareness of COVID-19 resources and critical public health information. 

This initiative is led by Gabriel Piser, Ph.D., Center for Rural Engagement, in partnership with ALASI, a diverse organization that improves the lives of Latinx people in Southern Indiana and promotes civic engagement by motivating and helping them access trustworthy support systems.

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This webpage was supported by funds made available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, under NH75OT000073. The content of this webpage are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of or endorsement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.