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Indiana health officials launch nonprofit foundation

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – State officials have launched a new nonprofit foundation that Indiana lawmakers created to raise money for efforts to combat the state’s high infant mortality rate and other health woes.

Health Commissioner Dr. Jerome Adams said Thursday the new Healthy Hoosiers Foundation will provide a way to increase initiatives that promote the health and well-being of Hoosiers, including steps increase childhood immunizations and reduce infant mortality and obesity and smoking rates.

The Indiana State Health Department says money raised by the foundation this year will support the Baby & Me Tobacco Free program that helps pregnant women quit smoking. It says smoking while pregnant is one of the main causes of low birth weight in newborns, which is a leading indicator of infant mortality.