In 2018, the Fairbanks Foundation launched Prevention Matters, a four-year, $13.5 million grant initiative aimed at helping K-12 schools in Marion County identify, implement and sustain evidence-based substance use prevention programs. The Foundation commissioned RTI International to conduct an external evaluation of the initiative, and also created a “lessons learned” document for funders and schools seeking to implement and sustain successful prevention programs.
From extra absenteeism and unsanctioned smoking breaks to excess healthcare costs, employees who smoke cost Indiana employers $3.1 billion annually, which serves as an additional “tax” for Indiana businesses equaling 1.7% of total wages. In Marion County alone in 2022, businesses paid nearly $609 million in this hidden “smoking tax.”
To lessen these economic impacts, Indiana must decrease its smoking rate. The method proven most effective in reducing that rate – increasing Indiana’s cigarette tax – would improve public health outcomes, reduce healthcare costs by $795 million and generate $356 million in new annual revenue for the state.
Healthy students make better learners and are more likely to see positive academic outcomes. With calls for increased funding for health services provided in schools, we revisited our historical funding for school-based health services in Indianapolis and created a “lessons learned” document to guide future implementation efforts by schools and healthcare providers.
2022 data show academic achievement gaps between Black and Hispanic students and their white peers have grown, due in large part to the pandemic. This updated report includes relevant data, as well as specific, actionable recommendations stakeholders can implement to reduce disparities and improve education outcomes.
Modern Apprenticeship is designed to prepare Marion County high school students for the workforce with paid, hands-on experience while also broadening the workforce pipeline by offering employers a way to meet current and future staffing needs.
To provide students and adults from low-income households with low-to-no-cost access to high-speed internet, communities must implement robust outreach efforts to build credibility in the programs providing the access, and they must educate those with limited internet experience about how to use the technology.