Center for Health Equity Announcements

Center for Health Equity Announcements

You're invited! Join the conversation on LGBTQ Health in Minnesota

image of people with thought bubblesThe Center for Health Equity invites you to join LGBTQ community members and organizations to discuss and inform LGBTQ health priorities within the Minnesota Department of Health and the community. Come and share your perspectives on how we can work together to advance LGBTQ health across the state of Minnesota. Light refreshments provided.

WHAT
LGBTQ Health: Minnesota’s Road Ahead

WHEN
Thursday, November 15, 2018
6:30 PM- 8:30 PM

WHERE
Anderson Center - Hamline University
774 Snelling Avenue North, Saint Paul, MN 55104

REGISTRATION
Please register by November 8 on the LGBTQ Health: Minnesota's Road Ahead registration page to allow enough time to secure accessibility accommodations.

If you have questions, or interpreting or ASL requests, contact Christy Nguyen by calling 651-201-5813 or emailing christy.nguyen@state.mn.us.

Seeking 100+ volunteers to participate in EHDI grant review process

October 2018

image of reviewerThe Center for Health Equity is seeking more than 100 volunteers to participate in the Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative (EHDI) grant review process in January-February 2019. The community review process will support MDH in selecting the best applications for funding in response to the EHDI Request for Proposals, which was released on September 6, 2018.

We are especially seeking volunteers who:

  • Identify as people of color or American Indians
  • Come from across Minnesota’s urban and rural communities
  • Have lived experience with and/or knowledge of health inequities
  • Have been a participant or staff of a previously-funded EHDI project or similar program

Community reviewers will receive a small stipend for their participation. Financial support will also be available to offset travel costs for those coming from outside the metro area.

To learn more about volunteer roles and responsibilities and to apply, visit our EHDI Community Review Process page.

Now accepting applications for the Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative (EHDI) grant program

September 2018

A new EHDI Request for Proposals (RFP) has been released and we are now accepting applications! The EHDI grant program was created to address health inequities for populations of color and American Indians across 8 different priority health areas :

    image of nurses
  • breast and cervical cancer
  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes
  • HIV/AIDS and STIs
  • immunizations for adults and children
  • infant mortality
  • teen pregnancy prevention
  • unintentional injuries and violence

Eligible applicants may include, but are not limited to, faith-based organizations, social service organizations, community nonprofit organizations, tribal governments, community health boards and community clinics. We expect to award between 25 to 35 grants ranging from $100,000 to $250,000 annually. Grants are expected to begin on July 1, 2019 and end on June 30, 2023 (a 4-year grant period).

The last day to submit a proposal is December 10, 2018. More information - including how to submit a question, how to submit a notice of intent to apply and information sessions details - can be found on the EHDI RFP webpage.

EHDI Request for Proposals
Information & Skill-Building Sessions: Save the Date!

August 2018info sessions

We are excited to announce that a new Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative (EHDI) Request for Proposals (RFP) will be released next month. This RFP will make approximately $5 million available annually in grants to organizations focused on improving the health and well-being of American Indians and people of color.

The RFP will be released in September through our biweekly bulletin (sign up to receive our email updates if you don't already receive them). Interested applicants can learn more about the EHDI program, including current grantee projects, through the EHDI webpage.

In the meantime, please save the dates for the following information and skill-building sessions! More information and session registration to come.

Date Time Topic and Location
September 13 10-11 am Webinar Information Session (will be recorded and posted)
September 14 2-3:30 pm In-Person Information Session, Duluth, MN
October 2 6-8 pm In-Person Information Session, Saint Paul, MN
October 17 6-8 pm In-Person Skill-Building Session, Saint Paul, MN
October 24 1-3 pm In-Person Information Session, Minneapolis, MN
October 25 6-7:30 pm In-Person Information Session, Bemidji, MN
October 30 2-4 pm In-Person Skill-Building Session, Minneapolis, MN

Prospective applicants are encouraged to participate in at least one information session or watch a recorded video of the webinar. Questions and answers from the in-person information sessions will be posted on our wesbite after each session.

Please note that staff will not be able to help with the actual writing of applications or critiques of drafts, but can answer general questions about the process and requirements. There will also be time set aside at each of the in-person sessions for participants to network with each other with the goal of encouraging collaborative applications.

If you have questions or interpreting or ASL requests for these sessions, please contact Christy Nguyen by calling 651-201-5652 or emailing christy.nguyen@state.mn.us.

Envisioning Health Equity: 2018 and Beyond - Webinar Recording and Slides

April 2018CHE core functions

The Center for Health Equity (CHE) celebrated National Minority Health month with a webinar on April 25 to unveil our new CHE vision, values and approaches to our work.

The webinar slides (PDF) and webinar video recording are now available.

Now accepting applications for MN Health Equity Leadership Network at bushCONNECT

April 2018bushCONNECT logo

Our mission at the Center for Health Equity is to connect, strengthen, and amplify health equity efforts within MDH and across the state of Minnesota. We believe that leadership comes from within and across communities and that we are stronger when we bridge differences and unite around commonalities. We are excited to announce that we are partnering with the Bush Foundation to bring a cohort of leaders to bushCONNECT (bushCON) in October 2018. These individuals will help MDH to co-create and launch a statewide Health Equity Leadership Network. We are accepting applications for healthy equity leaders from across the state to join our MN Health Equity Leadership Network (HELN) at bushCONNECT.

For more information on who can apply, expectations for participation and more, please refer to the Call for Applications: MN Health Equity Leadership Network at bushCONNECT!

Timeline:

April 11, 2018 Applications available
May 2, 2018 Application deadline
May 28, 2018 Notification letters sent to applicants
August 16, 2018 MN Health Equity Leadership Network Convening (in-person in Saint Paul, MN)
September 30 and October 1, 2018 bushCON!
Welcome Reception - 5-7pm on September 30
bushCON - 7:30am - 6:00pm on October 1
October 4, 2018 bushCON Debrief (in-person or virtual)
January 2019 MN HELN launch (location and date to be determined)

How to Apply:

Please complete the online application form to apply to be a MN Health Equity Leader at BushCONN!

Join us for a webinar!
Envisioning Health Equity: 2018 and Beyond

April 2018

CHE core functionsJoin the Minnesota Department of Health Center for Health Equity (CHE) as we celebrate National Minority Health month and unveil our new CHE vision, values and approaches that guide our work. CHE undertook a yearlong strategic planning and visioning process, including community conversations with over 300 people around the state. During this webinar, we will share our process, our vision, and exciting new opportunities to partner with us as we work collectively to advance health equity in Minnesota in 2018 and beyond.

WHEN
April 25, 2018, 1:30-2:30 pm

REGISTRATION
The webinar is free but registration is required; please visit the webinar registration page and use the following event number and password:

Event number: 632 753 541
Event password: Start123!

AUDIO CONFERENCE INFORMATION
Dial In: 844-302-0362
Access code: 632 753 541

You're invited to the 2018 Health Equity Leadership Institute

April 2018

In celebration of National Minority Health Month, please join us for the 2018 Health Equity Leadership Institute, co-hosted by the MDH Center for Health Equity, the Department of Human Services and the University of Minnesota Program in Health Disparities Research.

The morning will include a panel of representatives from the sponsoring organizations sharing their work around equity and potential for collaboration, followed by a keynote speaker on intersectionality and equity and a facilitated discussion on how we can partner to move equity forward across sectors/issue areas.

WHEN2018 National Minority Health Month logo
Friday, April 27, 2018
9 am - 3 pm

WHERE
TIES Grand Hall
1644 Larpenteur Ave. West
Saint Paul, MN 55108

REGISTRATION
The event is free but registration is strongly encouraged; please visit the 2018 Health Equity Leadership Institute registration page to register and for more details.

Commissioner appoints first members of Health Equity Advisory and Leadership (HEAL) Council

November 2017

Commissioner Ehlinger appointed 25 Minnesotans to a newly created advisory council that will provide guidance on how to advance the health of communities across the state that are most impacted by persistent health inequities.

The Health Equity Advisory and Leadership (HEAL) Council was created as part of a broader effort by the Minnesota Department of Health to address Minnesota’s disparities in health status – particularly those persistent disparities across various ethnic, racial and regional groups. The HEAL Council represents the voices of many communities most severely impacted by health inequities across the state, including racial and ethnic minority groups, rural Minnesotans, Minnesotans with disabilities, American Indians, LGBTQ community members, refugees and immigrants.

For more information on the HEAL Council and for a list of members, please visit the Health Equity Advisory and Leadership Council page.

Join the conversation: Bemidji Community Conversation

August 2017image of hands

You're invited to join the conversation in Bemidji at an event hosted jointly by the Minnesota Department of Health Center for Health Equity and the Northwest Indian Community Development Center.

  • Meet Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger and new Center for Health Equity Director Bruce Thao
  • Hear updates on the Minnesota Department of Health’s progress in advancing health equity
  • Share your perspectives on how we can partner to advance health equity in the state of Minnesota

WHEN
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
3:00 PM- 5:30 PM

WHERE
Northwest Indian Community Development Center
1819 Bemidji Ave. N., Bemidji, MN 56601

RSVP
Please RSVP by Tuesday, September 5 by visiting the Bemidji Community Conversation Registration page.

If you have questions, or interpreting or ASL requests, contact Christy Nguyen by calling 651-201-5652 or emailing christy.nguyen@state.mn.us.

Now accepting applications for Health Equity Advisory & Leadership (HEAL) Council

August 2017

The Center for Health Equity is now accepting applications for the MDH Health Equity Advisory & Leadership (HEAL) Council. The HEAL Council will advise MDH and provide a forum for honest and constructive feedback on the strategic direction of the Center for Health Equity and the department as a whole in advancing health equity.

The application is a two-part process. You MUST complete both parts to be considered.

  • Part 1: Interested applicants must complete an electronic application through the MN Secretary of State’s (MNSOS) Boards and Commissions Open Positions portal. MNSOS applications will be open until Wednesday, September 20, 2017.
  • Part 2: Upon receipt of the Secretary of State’s application, MDH will email a supplemental application form to the email address listed on the MNSOS application. This supplemental MDH application must also be completed to be considered. The deadline to submit MDH supplemental application is Wednesday, September 27, 2017.

Once the application deadline has passed, a review committee comprised of MDH staff and external reviewers will review, rank and recommend candidates to the Commissioner of Health. The Commissioner of Health will make final decisions and appointments to the HEAL Council. Appointments will be made within 3 weeks of the close of the application process.  

For more information, please refer to the HEAL Council Frequently Asked Questions.

You're invited to a Community Conversation

June 2017CHE staff

Monday, June 26, 2017
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

1644 Larpenteur Avenue West
St. Paul, MN 55108

DINNER IS PROVIDED

  • Meet the new Center for Health Equity Director Bruce Thao and the entire Center for Health Equity staff
  • Hear updates on the department of health’s progress in advancing health equity
  • Engage with other community organizations and champions

RSVP by Wednesday, June 21 by visiting the Community Conversation Registration page. If you are not able to join us in person, tune into our Facebook livestream, where you’ll be able to virtually ask questions!

The night’s conversation will center on using collaboration and relationship building to advance health equity. If you have questions, or interpreting or ASL requests, contact Christy Nguyen by calling 651-201-5652 or emailing christy.nguyen@state.mn.us.

Bruce Thao selected as the Director of the Center for Health Equity

May 2017

Bruce ThaoIt is my pleasure to announce that after a robust and community-engaged recruitment and interview process we have selected Mr. Bruce Thao, MA, MS to serve as the MDH director of the Center for Health Equity.

Bruce has a strong record of working to advance health equity. Most recently, he managed the Linking Leaders Initiative at the F.R. Bigelow Foundation, a cross-sector effort to advance racial equity in leadership. Prior to this role, as the former director of programs for Hmong American Partnership (HAP), Bruce managed a large staff, budget, and portfolio of projects. In this role, he oversaw many public health programs, among them an EHDI breast and cervical cancer grant.

He is also a skilled community organizer, having managed HAP’s MNSure outreach and enrollment effort in Minnesota, while working to expand Affordable Care Act outreach to rural and limited English communities in California, Arkansas, Missouri, and North Carolina. For these efforts, the White House honored Bruce as a Champion of Change for Healthcare.

As a 2013 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow, Bruce expanded upon his University of Chicago doctoral research on resilience, trauma, health and wellness across diverse communities. He is an expert and thought leader on historical trauma and holistic health and wellness.

Bruce’s extensive experience also includes policy work at the local and national levels, notably his advisory role to the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis on a Twin Cities initiative for boys and men of color, part of President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative.

Bruce has lived and worked in rural and urban communities across the United States, but now calls Minnesota home. He is deeply committed to ensuring that all Minnesotans are able to thrive and prosper. In his free time, Bruce enjoys running, biking, traveling and practicing mindfulness.

Sara Chute, who has been serving as the acting director of the Center for Health Equity since last fall, has accepted a position as the assistant director of Health Equity. I’d like to thank Sara for the extra responsibilities she took on over the past 8 months, and I’m glad to have her continued leadership and service.

Bruce’s first day at MDH will be May 22. Please join me in extending a warm welcome to him.

Sincerely,

Edward P. Ehlinger, MD, MSPH
Commissioner
Minnesota Department of Health

Findings from Community Conversation on Equity

January 2016Photo of CHE staff

On November 14, 2016, the Minnesota Department of Health held a Community Conversation to discuss progress toward health equity. More than 250 community members and MDH staff came together and shared their thoughts, experiences, and suggestions regarding advancing health equity in Minnesota. Discussions generated over 100 pages of notes that addressed a wide range of health equity issues, including suggestions for significant changes within MDH. Summaries of these notes can be found on the Community Conversation on Advancing Health Equity page.

Planning is underway for two additional Community Conversations in 2017. The exact content, dates and times have not been set; they will be determined by a planning group made up of community members who expressed interest at the event and MDH staff. Updates about the Community Conversations will be sent to event attendees and to the Center for Health Equity list serv. Sign up for Center for Health Equity updates including our quarterly newsletters in the Email Updates box on the right side of this page.

Save the Date: Community Conversation on Progress Toward Health Equity

October 2016

Community members are invited to a conversation on progress toward health equity in Minnesota hosted by Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Assistant Commissioner Jeanne Ayers, and Sara Chute, Acting Director of the Center for Health Equity.

Date: Monday, November 14, 2016
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: St. Mary’s Calhoun Event Center, 3450 Irving Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

The purpose of this event is threefold:

  1. To provide an update on MDH’s efforts to advance health equity since the 2014 Advancing Health Equity Report;
  2. To provide a forum for community-based organizations and other champions to share stories of their efforts to advance racial equity and health equity; and
  3. To continue a dialogue about the challenges facing our collective efforts, so we may engage in collaborative problem-solving.
This event is designed for health equity champions in MN, including but not limited to: community-based organizations including organizations led by people of color, American Indians and/or LGBTQ people, representatives of advocacy organizations, community-organizing groups, members of the Healthy Minnesota Partnership, tribal communities, local public health, and others. The program will include remarks from the Commissioner of Health, stories highlighting recent progress on advancing health equity shared by MDH staff and community partners, and facilitated small-group conversations focused on upcoming action needed to advance equity.

Because space is limited to 150 participants, registration is required. To register to attend this free event, please follow this link: Community Conversation on Advancing Health Equity Event Registration.
If you have questions about this event, please call 651-201-3880.

 

MDH creates new organizational structure to boost health equity, community engagement

October 2016

A video message from the Commissioner:

Advancing health equity is especially powerful when the health equity lens is integrated into our day-to-day work. With that in mind, the Minnesota Department of Health is creating a new organizational structure that will strengthen the capacity of the department’s Center for Health Equity to serve as a resource for internal and external stakeholders looking to adopt a health equity lens.

This change will provide greater infrastructure support and governance capacity to the Center for Health Equity while reflecting an increased focus on integrating health equity into the daily work of MDH and partner organizations. MDH leadership is still working out the details of the new structure, tentatively called the Centers for Health Equity and Community Health. This structure will be led by Health Partnerships Division Director Deb Burns and will report directly to the Commissioner. Deb will support and coordinate the activities of the centers, which in addition to the elements of the Center for Health Equity will include the existing components of the Health Partnerships Division. The Center for Health Equity will be central to the organization and will continue under the leadership of acting director Sara Chute until a new director is in place.

In addition, Assistant Commissioner Jeanne Ayers will build upon the work she has been leading by adding to her existing duties the role of Chief Health Equity Strategist. In this capacity, she will work to advance health equity practices and concepts across the entire agency and with our partners.

 

Center for Health Equity Welcomes New Grantees

October 2016

2016-2017 EHDI grantees and staffThe Center for Health Equity has selected grantees to help MDH in its goal to advance health equity for Minnesotans. Two grant requests for proposals were issued by the center: Advancing Health Equity and Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative.

Grant dollars for Advancing Health Equity are for addressing measurable health inequities and identifying the social and economic conditions that contribute to the inequities, and for developing plans to address and improve these conditions. Two organizations were selected for these grants to begin in June:

  • Neighborhood Hub is focused on health inequities related to housing, employment and community health supports in three North Minneapolis neighborhoods.
  • Voices for Racial Justice is focused on the intersection of incarceration and health in three greater Minnesota prisons.

Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative grant dollars fund community initiatives that support improving the health status of people of color and American Indians in eight priority health areas. The center has named 32 grantees to share a pot of $5.142 million received from the legislature and from federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds. In response to the request for proposals, CHE received 111 applications requesting more than $17.5 million.

For more information on the newly selected EHDI grantees, visit the 2016-2017 EHDI Grantees page.

Please direct questions to grant managers Asma Bulale at asma.bulale@state.mn.us or Bridget Roby at bridget.roby@state.mn.us.

Center for Health Equity Staff Update

September 2016Photo of CHE staff

The work of advancing health equity is woven into every division and unit at MDH, but the important work of leadership, coordination and community engagement is performed by the Center for Health Equity. The center has had several staff changes and additions recently, including the departure last month of center director ThaoMee Xiong. We have started the process of finding a new director, and in the interim MDH international health coordinator and assistant section manager Sara Chute will serve as acting director of the center. Chute has worked at MDH for more than 10 years, most closely overseeing the work of the Refugee and International Health Program. Chute is excited about the opportunity to work with Minnesota’s diverse communities in a new capacity. 

In addition to Chute’s arrival, the Center for Health Equity has added several other staff to accelerate the work of advancing health equity: grant managers Asma Bulale and Bridget Roby, and community engagement planner Helen Jackson Lockett-El. For an updated list of center staff, please visit the center's Contact Us page.

Advancing Health Equity RFP Conference Call:
Wednesday, April 20

April 2016

The Center for Health Equity will host a conference call for potential applicants for the Advancing Health Equity Request for Proposals. Potential applicants are invited to ask questions related to the RFP, its requirements and process, and the expectations of applicants and grantees. Applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in the conference call, but attendance is not mandatory. Please note that staff will not be able to provide feedback on specific project ideas or the likelihood of receiving funding. Potential applicants may contact MDH at any time with questions related to the RFP.

Date: April 20, 2016
Time: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Toll-free dial-in number: (888) 742-5095
Conference code: 4943252716

Registration is requested but not required. Please RSVP to Christy Nguyen at Christy.Nguyen@state.mn.us.

Advancing Health Equity 2016 Request for Proposals

April 2016

The Minnesota Department of Health is seeking proposals from a non-profit agency (or group of non-profit agencies working as a consortium) to develop and implement an innovative, measurable process which engages communities experiencing health inequities to:

  • Conduct an assessment of a specified health inequity that will identify the structural inequities that have contributed to the resulting poor health outcomes
  • Identify the relationships between the health inequity and the structural inequities
  • Identify policy and systems changes needed to address one of the identified structural inequities
  • Develop an Advancing Health Equity plan to address the health inequity and the associated structural inequity
  • Implement the plan and identify measurable outcomes

Grantees must include individual and organization partners from the community experiencing the identified health inequity in all aspects of the proposal, including planning, project implementation, and evaluation. The grantee and partners must also engage with other relevant system, government and community stakeholders to identify necessary policy and system changes that can contribute to the elimination of the health inequity being addressed by the project.

Policy and systems changes out of the scope of this grant and the Advancing Health Equity Plan include:

  • Development of new direct services
  • Identification of new ways to seek reimbursement for existing services
  • Addressing access to health care

Important Deadlines:
Intent to Apply Form Due (REQUIRED): April 26, 2016
Applications Due: May 16, 2016
Grant Awards Announced: June 1, 2016
Contracts Signed and Projects Begin: June 14, 2016

Advancing Health Equity 2016 Request for Proposals

Working Group on Violence against Asian Women and Children

March 2016

During the 2015 Minnesota Legislative Session, funds were appropriated to establish the Working Group on Violence against Asian Women and Children. This working group will guide the collection of data from Minnesota Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities on violence against Asian women and children and produce a report for the legislature with recommendations on how to address violence against AAPI women and children. The Minnesota Department of Health Center for Health Equity is leading the effort in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Department of Public Safety and the Council on Asian and Pacific Minnesotans to address this serious public health issue.

On February 29, 2016, Commissioner Ehlinger appointed the following people to the Working Group on Violence against Asian Women and Children. The Center for Health Equity congratulates these individuals and looks forward to their contributions to the working group.

Name Appointment Date Term Ends
Crystal Brown February 29, 2016 December 31, 2016
Gail Chang Bohr February 29, 2016 December 31, 2016
Maytong Chang February 29, 2016 December 31, 2016
Raj Chaudhary February 29, 2016 December 31, 2016
Melissa Chiodo February 29, 2016 December 31, 2016
Dokor Dejvongsa February 29, 2016 December 31, 2016
Shellie Enright February 29, 2016 December 31, 2016
Veena Iyer February 29, 2016 December 31, 2016
Hannah Laniado February 29, 2016 December 31, 2016
Jewelly Lee February 29, 2016 December 31, 2016
Sushila Shah February 29, 2016 December 31, 2016
Jonathan Tran February 29, 2016 December 31, 2016
Claudia Waring (Chair) February 29, 2016 December 31, 2016
Zha Xiong February 29, 2016 December 31, 2016
Der Yang February 29, 2016 December 31, 2016

MDH seeks contractor for Working Group on Violence against Asian Women and Children project

March 2016

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS), Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), and the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans (CAPM) are creating a multidisciplinary working group to address violence against Asian women and children.

MDH is hiring a contractor who will work with MDH to serve as the main coordinator to be responsible for the working group activities and submitting a final report.

More information is available here at Professional/Technical Contract Request for Proposals for the Working Group on Violence against Asian Women and Children Project (PDF).

M