Indiana's infant mortality rate is higher than the national average, and parts of Allen County are home to the worst rates in the state.
Congressman Jim Banks helped organize a discussion on infant mortality with healthcare representatives and community leaders. Banks says he learned a lot about the high rates of infant mortality. But he’s not sure what he will do yet with the information.
“I look forward to learning more in the months and years to come and doing what I can to address the issue at the federal level,” Banks said.
But Fort Wayne City Councilman Glynn Hines says the budget is something Banks can start on immediately.
“Well he can fund. That is, fund more programs for women, infant and children and not provide tax cuts to the billionaires, and take those dollars away from the babies who are dying,” Hines said.
Hines represents the district with the worst infant mortality rate in the state. For every thousand births in that zip code, 15 babies die before their first birthday. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that number is more than double the national average of six deaths for every thousand live births.
Hines says on a local level, he’d like to see better healthcare for low-income families, and greater access to healthy food options.