WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Purdue University is a part of a new, statewide program aimed at helping Hoosiers access resources needed to improve their health.
It's a partnership with the Indiana State Department of Health.
"Resources like this will help us to address those issues and save lives," said Purdue's I-HOPE Lead, Melanie Cline.
It's called Indiana Healthy Opportunities for People Everywhere.
For the next two years, I-HOPE will deploy teams to figure out what factors are affecting health across the state.
It's all thanks to a $34.8 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We need to dedicate resources for recovery and this is a huge effort and will fund the opportunity to do that," Cline said.
Teams from Purdue Healthcare Advisors at the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering will collaborate with I-HOPE partners working on projects statewide.
The work will examine longstanding risk factors, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Hoosiers' health.
"Really bring the full resources of Purdue to bear," said Purdue University Executive Director of Health Equity Initiatives, Dr. Jerome Adams. "The excellent researchers, the people working in agriculture and veterinary science and pharmacy and nursing and engineering to help create environments where the healthy choice is the easy choice."
The initiative includes 30 Indiana counties that have been most impacted by the pandemic.
"People are very vulnerable and we've not been able regain the momentum that we had before the pandemic," Cline explained.
Purdue will also poll communities and analyze that data to see what's most needed in under served communities.
"So we can focus the community and focus about where, perhaps, we should be intervening," Cline added. "So, it's information to guide and inform their decisions around priorities."
Purdue will engage five counties before the end of the first grant year followed by an additional 25 counties in 2022.
The first step is hosting listening sessions to get initial feedback on what resources are lacking in each community.