Health First Steuben County

Health First logo_stacked_full color_Steuben - Copy

Health First Steuben County is part of a statewide initiative to ensure that every Hoosier has access to the core public health services that allow them to achieve their optimal health and wellbeing. Health First Indiana is an initiative created by Senate Enrolled Act 4, legislation passed by the 2023 Indiana General Assembly that transforms public health. The legislation provides funding so counties can determine the health needs of their community and implement evidence-based programs focused on prevention.

Health First Indiana establishes a public health infrastructure through a state and local partnership where services are delivered at the county level. Counties decide whether to opt-in to the new funding and providing the core public health services, including trauma and injury prevention, chronic disease prevention, maternal and child health and more.

Quick Facts about Health First Steuben County

  • $348,509.43 in fiscal year 2024; Match of $518,840.00 in County Health Fund,
  • Investment in prevention leads to healthier communities and workforce, which  attracts businesses and benefits the economy,
  • Brings together local elected officials, public health, clinical health and community partners,
  • Partnerships allow us to identify gaps and reduce duplication to ensure the efficient delivery of services.

Background on Health First Indiana Initiative 

It began as recognition after the COVID pandemic that the State of Indiana had to improve it's population-based health outcomes. The COVID pandemic shone a light on how local health departments were on the frontline to assist their local partners in Hospitals, Emergency Services, Nursing Homes, Home Healthcare Agencies, Mental Health Services, as well as, other service agencies. The Governor's Public Health Commission developed a comprehensive report displaying what the State of Indiana excelled at and where attention and funding would assist in improving health outcomes. The Governor's Public Health Commission report can be found here.

On June 19, 2023, the Steuben County Board of Commissioners signed Resolution No. 06-2023-02 for the Commissioners to accept state public health funding while recognizing the importance of public health to support a healthier community and create a better quality of life for Steuben County's residents.


The Steuben County Health Department was eligible to receive between $335,741.25 to $447,655.00 for fiscal year 2024. The final amount was based on the overall number of counties that signed resolutions to participate in the State of Indiana public health funding. In Indiana, 84 out of 92 local health departments opted into the funding for 2024. Steuben County became eligible to receive $348,509.43 for fiscal year 2024. 

Steuben County Topic Rankings - 2023 - Copy
County Health Scorecard

All counties in Indiana are scored on different topics including: adult obesity, children completing recommended vaccine series, infant mortality rate, life expectancy, smoking rate, suicide rate, and the years of life lost due to injury. The Indiana Department of Health created a comparison of all counties and ranked each county based on how health each county is.

Steuben County is ranked 6th in the State of Indiana based on health related topics. The Steuben County Health Department is proud of holding the overall 6th ranking, but there is room for improvement.

Please see the breakdown to the right on areas where improvement can be made.

  • Steuben County reports 38% for adult obesity; ranking 79th across the State of Indiana 
  • Steuben County reports 21.3 suicides, much higher than the Indiana average of 17.2; ranking 79th across the State of Indiana
  • Steuben County reports 56.6% of children are completing the recommended vaccine series; ranking 61st across the State of Indiana
  • Steuben County reports 21.6% for the rate of smoking; ranking as 40th across the State of Indiana

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