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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Eskenazi Health and the Indiana Diaper Bank Partnership Assist Families in Need

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Broderick Rhyant, M.D.,
chief physician executive,
Eskenazi Health Center Forest Manor

Diapers are expensive and too often parents do not have the adequate number of diapers to properly care for their babies and toddlers. To bridge that gap, diaper banks try to aid parents who are struggling.

Since 2016, the Indiana Diaper Bank has been collecting and distributing diapers throughout the state, and recently the organization joined forces with Eskenazi Health in launching the Eskenazi Health Diaper program that provides Marion County families with diapers for their children. Since the Indiana Diaper Bank started collecting and distributing diapers, the organization has grown substantially over time and now disperses approximately 40,000 diapers each month.

Unfortunately, Indiana ranks higher than the national average for children living in poverty, and those children are at the greatest risk of experiencing the harmful effects of dirty diapers, which makes the efforts of the Indiana Diaper Bank and the Eskenazi Health Diaper program all the more important. Parents dealing with financial difficulties at times might have to choose among buying food, paying bills, or buying diapers, which can be very stressful.

An American Academy of Pediatrics study states that a baby needs between 6 and 12 diapers each day, possibly more in the early weeks, causing families to spend close to $936 on disposable diapers in the first year (about $18 per week). This cost can be a strain on families and even lead to practices like less frequent changing, which can cause diaper rashes and other health issues.

According to the Indiana Diaper Bank, one in three Indiana families struggle to afford diapers for their children. The Indiana Diaper Bank collects diapers and distributes them through community partners like Eskenazi Health, to the parents and their children who are in need of them.

Eskenazi Health patients are screened for social factors such as food, housing and transportation insecurities. With the addition of the Eskenazi Health Diaper Program, patients at birth to three years of age will now be screened for diaper needs. Similar to how Eskenazi Health supports patients with housing, food and transportation necessities, qualifying patients will now receive diapers for their children.

Diapers are available at Eskenazi Health Center locations to Eskenazi Health patients through the partnership with the Indiana Diaper Bank and direct donations received from the community. Individuals interested in learning more or becoming involved in the Eskenazi Health Diaper Program or the Indiana Diaper Bank may visit the Indiana Diaper Bank website at https://www.indianadiaperbank.org/give-diapers or speak with a health care provider at an Eskenazi Health Center location. Please visit https://www.eskenazihealth.edu/locations/primary-care-sites for a list of Eskenazi Health Center locations.

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