Meet Your Health Care Legislative Leaders

​The Indiana Hospital Association enjoyed a successful 2019 legislative session working closely with State Senator Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) and State Representative Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove), who play key leadership roles in health care legislation at the Indiana Statehouse. Sen. Charbonneau chairs the Senate Health & Provider Services Committee while Rep. Kirchhofer serves as the chairwoman of the House Public Health Committee. IHA is grateful for all their work to improve access to quality care and advance health care delivery across Indiana.​​​

Senator Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso)​

Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) was elected to the Indiana State Senate in 2007 and has chaired the Senate Health & Provider Services Committee since 2017. Prior to public service, Sen. Charbonneau held several leadership positions, including CEO and president of The Methodist Hospitals, Inc. In addition to representing all of Pulaski County and portions of surrounding counties in the Indiana legislature, he is an attorney and is licensed to practice in several states and Federal District Court.Official Charbonneau.jpg

Q: What are you most passionate about regarding health care?

A: I'm most passionate about ensuring accessible, quality, and affordable health care to all Hoosiers. In particular, I always advocate for health care coverage in rural and low-income areas of the state. I've also worked on legislation helping people have access to clean drinking water.

[Last session, Sen. Charbonneau authored legislation establishing a storm water management task force to study issues related to storm water management systems.]

Q: What issues are you looking forward to working on next session?

A: I think the next session will be known as the “health care session" due to the intense focus a lot of health care issues will receive. Topics in the upcoming summer study committees, such as health care costs and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), usually give a good idea of what to expect in the next session. I look forward to making sure we have all the data to make decisions about underlying issues.

Q: What health care accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: I'm most proud of the legislation to reduce infant mortality in Indiana. We've passed some great legislation in recent years, such as our perinatal levels of care bill a few years ago and establishing the navigator program last year. Infant mortality is an issue Gov. Eric Holcomb is focused on, and I look forward to working with the Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box and FSSA Secretary Dr. Jennifer Walthall to make Indiana the “Best in the Midwest" by 2024 when it comes to infant mortality.

Q: What would you say is the biggest challenge facing health care in Indiana?

A: Ensuring Hoosiers all around the state have access to affordable health care continues to be a challenge, especially in rural areas. In addition, we should keep encouraging personal responsibility and prevention so Hoosiers can live healthier lives.


Representative Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove)

Representing the southwest portion of Marion County since 2010, Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove) has chaired the House Public Health Committee since 2016. Rep. Kirchhofer entered the Indiana legislature with several years of experience in public service, including serving two terms as Chairperson of the Perry Township Government Board and Vice President of the Beech Grove Redevelopment Commission. Outside of the Statehouse, she works as a risk manager at Franciscan Health and is very active in her community.

Official Kirchhofer 2017.jpgQ: What are you most passionate about regarding health care?

A: Ensuring Hoosiers have access to high-quality health care is so critical for our state. In more rural areas, we are seeing communities rely on one hospital within the county for all their medical needs, while some must look outside their county for services, which can greatly impact the health of Hoosiers.

Q: What health care accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: In 2015, we established the Safety PIN (Protecting Indiana's Newborns) grant program to provide support and funding to health care organizations working to develop and implement services focused on addressing Indiana's infant mortality rate. This session, I worked with Gov. Eric Holcomb on legislation that builds off the Safety PIN grant program and establishes a perinatal navigator program to connect expectant mothers throughout the state to prenatal care and provides referrals for wrap-around services and home-visit programs in the 13 highest-risk counties.

Q: What would you say is the biggest challenge facing health care in Indiana?

A: Substance abuse and addiction is one of the biggest health challenges our state faces. Whether you struggle with addiction or know someone who does, this disease touches so many lives. I have worked on several laws over the years to ensure Hoosiers struggling with addiction are no more than an hour away from a treatment center, and they can seek out the treatment option that best fits their needs.

Q: What issues are you looking forward to working on next session?

A: I am looking at additional ways to ensure Hoosiers have access to quality health care that meets their needs. While we have taken significant steps to provide expectant mothers with critical prenatal care and ensure Hoosiers who struggle with substance abuse receive treatment, Indiana must continue to expand health care access.