The monthly newsletter of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation
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Marion County eLearning Network Pilot Aims
to Close the "Homework Gap"

School curriculum increasingly requires computer-based learning, which is why internet access is critically important to students in the 21st century. But research from 2019 found that many school facilities and students lacked access to broadband, and this longstanding “homework gap” widened further due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, over 25% of students in Marion County did not have access to high-speed internet in April 2020, leaving many struggling to continue their education when Indianapolis schools shifted to remote learning. Now, as schools return to in-person instruction, the need to close the homework gap remains a priority, especially as some form of digital instruction will remain the new normal.

To that end, Marion County leaders launched the Marion County Dedicated eLearning Network Pilot, to ensure K-12 and higher education students from low-income households can access the internet and learn to their full potential.

Learn more about the pilot here.


Highlighting Key Statistics on Hepatitis C and HIV

A person dies every 30 seconds from a hepatitis-related illness, which is why the 2021 theme of World Hepatitis Day, observed July 28th, is "Hepatitis Can't Wait." Additionally, June 27th marked the day of observance for National HIV Testing Day to raise awareness about the importance of testing and early diagnosis of HIV.

In this month’s issue of our newsletter, we highlight Hepatitis C and HIV data from the Health section of our Community Data Snapshot:

  • In 2019, there were 6,058 cases of Hepatitis C in the state of Indiana, with 935 cases in Marion County.
  • There were 512 confirmed diagnoses of HIV in Indiana in 2018, 40 percent of which were in Marion County.

Vitality Magazine Features Marion County Syringe Service Program

In 2019, the Fairbanks Foundation awarded a 3-year, $1.45 million grant to the Marion County Public Health Department to help fund Marion County's first syringe service program. The Safe Syringe Access and Support (SSAS) Program was launched to help reduce the growing number of Hepatitis C infections in the county and prevent an HIV outbreak.

Visit our Vitality Magazine to learn more.

Launch of Indiana Pregnancy Promise Program

The Indiana Department of Health launched a free, voluntary program – called the Indiana Pregnancy Promise Program – for pregnant Medicaid members who use opioids or have used opioids in the past. It connects individuals to prenatal and postpartum care, other physical and mental health care, and treatment for opioid use disorder. Read more here.

Commission for Higher Education Releases 2021 Indiana College Equity Report

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education recently released its 2021 Indiana College Equity Report, which highlights a decline in college-going rates from 65 percent in 2015 to 59 percent in 2019, as well as disparities by race, ethnicity and family income in college preparedness and enrollment.

Read the full report here.

We Need to Support Syringe-Exchange Programs
Claire Fiddian-Green in IBJ Forefront

A spike in fatal drug overdoses in 2020 paints a clear, yet grim, picture: America's substance use crisis worsened substantially during the pandemic. Effectively combatting this crisis will require a multifaceted approach encompassing prevention, treatment and harm-reduction efforts.

Copyright © 2021 Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, Inc., All rights reserved.

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