2018 EHDI Request for Proposals - Minnesota Dept. of Health

2018 EHDI RFP Questions and Answers

MDH staff will post all submitted questions and answers within seven business days. Questions will generally be posted on Mondays.

Topics:

General
Funding and Project Dates
Eligible Applicants
Collaborations
Information and Skill-building Sessions
Eligible Projects
Project Requirements and Deliverables
Eligible and Ineligible Expenses
Notice of Intent
Application Review and Selection Process
Application Instructions and Submission
Grant Responsibilities and Provisions

General

There are several different Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative grants at the Minnesota Department of Health. Please contact your grant manager if you have questions about your award or reapplying for your grant.
Applicants may choose to address mental health awareness and wellness, which would fall under the Unintentional Injuries and Violence category.
If a single project reaches multiple populations, the applicant should only submit one application. However, applicants should submit separate applications for each unrelated project.
The values and approaches that are represented in the CHE tree are woven throughout the application questions. Therefore, applicants may want to familiarize themselves with these concepts through the handout and webinar on the EHDI RFP webpage.
There were 106 complete applications that were reviewed in response to the 2015 RFP. There were 32 awards made.
There is no limit. An organization can submit more than one application if they have distinct projects, or they can submit one application if they are addressing more than one PHA through related activities. However, please note that applicants will not get more points for addressing multiple PHAs.
Applicants will not be given extra points during the review process for being a previous grantee. Reviewers will score applicants solely based on the information in the application submitted, so applicants should be sure to answer each question completely and include all the important information about your organization and project that reviewers need to know. In response to last EHDI RFP in 2015, 12 of the 32 organizations selected for funding were new grantees.
For questions related to the RFP, applicants should not contact grant managers directly. Please use the online Question Submission Form and we will post an answer to your question within seven business days on this page.

If you want more information on a PHA – for example, more data specific to your community or more information on best practices or national indicators – the contact information for Priority Health Area Specialists are in each of the PHA appendices (Appendices C-J). PHA Specialists cannot help in the preparation of your application but they can be a source of technical information related to the PHAs.
For other questions not related to this RFP, our staff contact information is on our Contact Us webpage.
There will be a report template, we but cannot say at this point whether it will be online or in Microsoft Word or PDF format. It will not be rigorous, and it will provide a platform for you to tell your stories.
The state does not provide grant writing assistance, but there are nonprofits in the state that offer it. It is also not required to have a grant writer to apply. All applicants – regardless of previous experience – should be sure to carefully follow the instructions in the RFP and answer all questions completely.
In the optional table on page 1 of the application form, please describe the racial/ethnic make-up of your current staff, leadership and board. Please note that this table is not applicable for tribal government applicants.

For Question 4 of the application form, applicants can describe how their current staff, leadership and board reflect the population served. If key staff on the project have not been hired, applicants may describe the qualifications and/or lived experiences they will look for in the new hires.
No, an applicant may submit more than one proposal if they have more than one distinct project.
We do not know how many applications we will receive in response to this RFP, so we cannot estimate a rate of success. In response to last EHDI RFP in 2015, 33 out of 106 applications were funded (31 percent). Five additional applications were incomplete and were not reviewed.
A P.O. Box number is acceptable for the application if that is your legal address. If you are funded, however, we will need to conduct a site visit at a physical location where work/programming takes place during the grant period.
The EHDI grant program is statewide; we fund projects throughout Minnesota.
Grantees are required to assign one person (at least 0.5 FTE dedicated to the project) to serve as the primary liaison between MDH and the grantee organization. There are no requirements for this position other than serving as the primary liaison.
Yes, organizations may submit more than one application if they have more than one distinct project. No, the number of applications an organization submits will not affect scoring.
It depends. If the two priority health areas are part of one cohesive project, then you should submit one application. If the activities are significantly different, then you should submit two separate applications. Each application should show how the project’s objectives, strategies and activities relate to each other, so that can be a good test for whether your activities form one cohesive project or more than one distinct project.
Salary and fringe benefits are at the discretion of the applicant.
There is no predetermined amount that will be given to tribes or to applicants outside the metro area. Final funding decisions will depend on the quantity and quality of applications received and will take into account balancing funds among the priority health areas, the diversity of populations of color and American Indians, the geographic spread throughout Minnesota and the three EHDI levels of change.

Back to top

Funding and Project Dates

Yes, on page 2 of the application form please indicate your annual funding request (the amount you will receive each year throughout the four-year grant period). We recommend that your total annual funding request be between $100,000 and $250,000.
There is approximately $2 million available for teen pregnancy prevention, but there is no set amount for the other individual priority health areas. Final funding decisions will depend on the quantity and quality of applications received in each priority health area. Funding decisions will also take into account balancing funds among the diversity of populations of color and American Indians, the geographic spread throughout Minnesota and the three EHDI levels of change.
The $100,000 to $250,000 per year is our estimated range of annual (one-year) award amounts. While not required, we recommend that applicants request an amount within that range. Please note that this estimate is the annual amount of funding. An applicant selected for funding at $250,000 annually may receive $1,000,000 over the four-year grant period.
Grants may be partially funded depending on a number of factors including, but not limited to, the recommendation of the community review team and the availability of funding.
The estimated funding range is between $100,000 and $250,000 annually for each funded application. If you submit one application for a project – whether that project is addressing one PHA or more than one PHA – we recommend requesting funding within the funding range ($100,000 to $250,000 annually). If you submit more than one application because you have more than one distinct project, each application may request between $100,000 and $250,000 annually. Please note that funding requests should be proportional to the scope of the project.

Back to top

Eligible Applicants

Charter schools are eligible to apply. Minn. Stat §145.928, Subds. 7(c) and 8(c) defines eligible applicants as: “Eligible applicants may include, but are not limited to, faith-based organizations, social service organizations, community nonprofit organizations, community health boards, and community clinics.” Since the list of examples of eligible applicants as stated in the RFP is not exclusive, charter schools are eligible to apply.
Yes. The list of eligible applicants is not exclusive. Section 1 of the scoring criteria (page 34 of the RFP) lays out the criteria for how lead organizations will be scored.
Organizations who currently receive grants from the Minnesota Department of Health are eligible to apply for this EHDI grant as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.
If MN Doula Project is a formal organization (i.e. if it has a Federal Employer Identification Number or 501c3 or other nonprofit status), it is eligible to apply. If it is not a formal organization, it may work with a fiscal agent to apply. A fiscal agent is an organization that assumes full legal and contractual responsibility for the fiscal management and award conditions of the grant funds and has authority to sign the grant agreement. In this case, the fiscal agent would not be the operating organization (which performs the work).
Yes. However, applicants will be scored on how well the organization’s staff, leadership and board overall reflect the population(s) they propose to serve through their proposal.
Yes. However, please note that EHDI is designed to support projects intentionally targeted to communities of color and American Indian communities. Nonetheless, if funded, individuals do not have to be turned away from services.
Since the list of examples of eligible applicants as stated in the RFP (and EHDI statute) is not exclusive, local public health agencies are eligible to apply. In the last EHDI grant cycle, one community health board was funded as part of a partnership with a local nonprofit organization rooted in a cultural community. Please note that the EHDI approach is to support organizations and projects run by and for communities of color and American Indians to develop and implement strategies that are effective in reaching their communities.
No. Applicants must have state or federal recognition as a formal organization or entity, such as a Federal Employer Identification Number or 501c3 status. Organizations or groups that do not have state or federal recognition may apply with a fiscal agent.
Since the list of examples of eligible applicants as stated in the RFP (and EHDI statute) is not exclusive, the University of Minnesota is eligible to apply.
Yes. Since the list of examples of eligible applicants as stated in the RFP (and EHDI statute) is not exclusive, local public housing authorities are eligible to apply.
Since the list of examples of eligible applicants as stated in the RFP (and EHDI statute) is not exclusive, for-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Section 1 of the scoring criteria (page 34 of the RFP) lays out the criteria for how lead organizations will be scored.

Back to top

Collaborations

Proposals are not required to focus on a single cultural or ethnic community. Collaborations serving multiple communities are eligible to apply.
Please refer to the detailed budget instructions in the RFP on pages 21-23. In general, funds paid to partners should go under Contractual Services.
It depends on scope of your project. Applicants should submit separate applications for each unrelated project.
An applicant may design their program to complement/align with/build off an MDH program and describe their intended partnership in their application. Applicants may ask PHA Specialists and other MDH staff questions about MDH programs in order to understand how programs or services can be woven together. However, applicants may not ask any MDH staff to help with or consult on an application.
Both are acceptable. We do not require or accept letters of support, but we strongly encourage you to engage with community in designing your project and preparing your application to make sure it is rooted in community.

Back to top

Information and Skill-building Sessions

Yes. Both a recording of the webinar and the slides will be posted on the EHDI RFP webpage once they are ADA compliant (made accessible to people with a range of abilities).
The PowerPoint and recording from the webinar version of the information session will be available on the EHDI RFP webpage. Questions and answers from the in-person information sessions will be posted to the website as well.

Back to top

Eligible Projects

If a project contributes to eliminating disparities in one of the eight priority health areas for populations of color and American Indians, it is an eligible project. Please refer to Appendices C-J for more information on the eight priority health areas.
Yes. The priority health area appendices (Appendices C-J) are not complete lists of best practices for applicants to choose from. They simply provide background information on each health area and examples of the types of activities in each level of change that applicants could choose to employ. Youth of color and American Indian youth may be a target population of any priority health area that affects youth.
Yes. Any project that addresses an inequity in unintentional injuries or violence in a community of color or American Indian community is an eligible project under Unintentional Injury and Violence.
Yes. Any project that addresses an inequity in unintentional injuries or violence in a community of color or American Indian community is an eligible project under Unintentional Injury and Violence.
Mental health can be addressed under the unintentional injury and violence priority health area.
If you are providing direct services to individuals, you are likely working in level of change 1. Level of change 3 generally involves changing local, regional, tribal or state policy, changing the way systems work or changing the natural or built environment to address the root causes of health disparities or the social determinants of health.
If an organization is providing one-on-one or group counseling/classes/lessons/etc., that would generally be considered direct service under level of change 1 regardless of the PHA addressed.

Please note that during the application review process, reviewers will be instructed that the content of an applicant’s response regarding their project’s level is change is more important than identifying the “correct” level of change. We view change on a continuum, and projects do not have to fit perfectly inside one of these three levels of change.
Any project that addresses an inequity in unintentional injuries or violence in a community of color or American Indian community is an eligible project under unintentional injury and violence.
In general, any project that works to eliminate disparities in populations of color and American Indians in one of the eight priority health areas is an eligible project.
Mental health falls under Unintentional Injury and Violence. Please refer to Appendix J of the RFP for more information on this priority health area.
The RFP states on page 15 that “each funded grantee will specify its own outcomes related to reducing disparities in the PHAs it works to address.” Whether an applicant is directly measuring changes in the disparities in the PHA(s) or proxies for those disparities, all applicants must make a strong case that their activities will ultimately reduce disparities in the PHA in their application. Please note that the rating criteria for applicants’ outcomes can be found on pages 35-36 of the RFP. An applicant’s proposed measures and outcomes will not make them ineligible to apply.

Back to top

Project Requirements and Deliverables

If you already have a logic model and/or evaluation plan that fits your current project, you may use and/or update that to meet grant requirements. However, please note that this is not an application requirement; this will be done after the grant period begins.

Overall, evaluation is a required component of being an EHDI grantee and all grantees will be required to conduct evaluations of their projects. For more information about evaluation requirements, please refer to pages 14-15 of the RFP.
Yes. We also offer evaluation technical assistance to grantees, so if you have limited in-house evaluation resources but want to increase your organization’s evaluation capacity then you can take advantage of those assistance opportunities.
One of the core EHDI principles is that organizations that reflect the populations served are more likely to understand community experiences, connect with community and effectively support community solutions. Applicants will be scored on how well the organization’s staff, leadership and board overall reflect the population(s) they propose to serve through their proposal. Refer to Appendix B of the RFP for scoring criteria.
It is based on the total annual award amount. Indirect costs are part of the total annual award.

Back to top

Eligible and Ineligible Expenses

Yes. However, the amount spent has to be within the limits of allowable expenses as specified in the State of Minnesota Commissioner’s plan (page 22 of the RFP).
Grantees are required to assign one person (at least 0.5 FTE dedicated to the project) to serve as the primary liaison between MDH and the grantee organization. There are no requirements for this position other than serving as the primary liaison.

Back to top

Notice of Intent

No. The notice of intent forms will be used to help us prepare for the review process and anticipate the number and types of applications we will receive, and to help us compile and share a list of interested applicants.
No. The Notice of Intent does not get approved. An applicant may submit an application regardless of whether they submit a Notice of Intent.
The abstract is meant to help MDH to know what you plan to work on. It is a brief description of your proposed project. Please note that applicants are not bound by the details submitted in a notice of intent; an applicant may change the intended level(s) of change, PHA(s), target populations(s) and/or geographic area(s) served after the notice of intent is submitted.
No. Please submit one Notice of Intent per proposal.
You may mention the commitments from your partners in your project description if you choose, but it is not required. Do not send letters of commitment from your partners to MDH.
The notice of intent is not required. An applicant may submit an application even if they did not submit a notice of intent.

Back to top

Application Review and Selection Process

We recognize that policy, systems and environmental changes targeting conditions for health will likely have long-term outcomes beyond the grant period. Applicants may name those long-term outcomes and specify the time frame for achieving them, but if funded, grantees will only be expected to report on outcomes that they indicated would be achievable within the four-year time frame.

Please refer to the scoring criteria on pages 34-36 of the website to see how applicants will be scored. All applicants – regardless of which levels of change they pursue – will be scored on their evaluation plans in questions 14-17 of the application, which altogether account for 20 of the 150 possible points.
Reviewer recruitment will begin in October. Interested volunteers will be able to find more information and apply on our website. Reviewers may not have any conflicts of interest with the applications that they review but they may be associated with a proposal reviewed by another review team.
The Due Diligence Form score is not part of the 150 total points used to select grantees, and it is for internal use only. The score helps MDH better understand the capacity of applicants and identify opportunities for technical assistance to those that receive grant funds.
Reviewers will be instructed to base scores on the content of the proposal and the activities and not on the strength or quality of the writing. An applicant will not be scored lower for minor spelling and/or grammatical errors. However, we recommend having at least one colleague or partner review and proofread your application before submitting.
In response to the last EHDI RFP in 2015, 106 applications were scored and 33 applications received funding. More than 33 were recommended for funding by reviewers, but unfortunately there was not enough funding to fund all of them. Among the most highly scored applications, final funding decisions will take into account balancing funds among the eight priority health areas, the diversity of populations of color and American Indians, the geographic spread throughout Minnesota and the three EHDI levels of change.
According to Minnesota Statute Section 13.43, demographic information about individual reviewers is considered private data and therefore may not be released. However, we are committed to transparency in the review process, and therefore we intend to share aggregate demographic data about this cohort of reviewers as long as this data could not be used to identify any individual reviewer.
Yes, we would be happy to share the review team’s notes with you. Please email us at health.equity@state.mn.us with your request. However, please note that community reviewers scored your application; since CHE staff were not involved in scoring your application, we can only share with you the notes that the review team made. Also, it is important to keep in mind that the application questions have changed since the last RFP and there will be a new cohort of community reviewers for the upcoming RFP.
We recommend that applicants seek quality over quantity in designing their project. Applicants will not get more points for addressing multiple PHAs.
MDH does not provide feedback to applicants on their objectives and strategies. Applicants may request a copy of the notes from the community review team discussion related to their application once the evaluation process is complete.

If selected for funding, CHE staff may provide feedback and/or negotiate certain aspects of a grantee’s work plan and/or budget.

Back to top

Application Instructions and Submission

Yes, you should only submit budgets for the first two years. Fill in Tab 3 of the budget form with your budget for the first year (July 2019-June 2020) and Tab 4 of the budget form with your budget for the second year (July 2020-June 2021). Once you complete Tabs 3 and 4, Tab 5 will automatically create a two-year budget summary.
Yes, spending may vary from year to year (i.e. your budget line items do not have to be the same in Year 1 and Year 2). However, the total budget amount for each year should be the same. For example, if you request annual funding at $150,000 and are awarded funding, you will receive $150,000 each year throughout the four-year grant period.
No, subcontracts should not submit a budget form to MDH. Please refer to the detailed budget instructions in the RFP on pages 21-23 for details on what information to include for each subcontractor.
If the federal rate is in effect by the time the grant starts, then we will honor that rate; if not, you may use up to 10 percent of your award on indirect costs and we can do a budget revision to adjust your rate once your federal rate is approved.
If you have a fiscal agent, the fiscal agent should complete the Due Diligence Form.
Yes, under Objectives and/or under Activity Output (depending on your activity). The targets under Activity Output do not necessarily have to be quantitative, but if you choose to specify a quantitative target it can be a percentage or a number (refer to the Work Plan Example).
In general, EHDI grants are not evaluation grants. The evaluation portion of EHDI grants should be focused on the project that is funded by EHDI funds. The skills, resources and/or tools grantees gain through EHDI evaluation technical assistance may be applicable to the organization’s other projects but EHDI funds should not be used to evaluate projects not funded by EHDI.

Regarding levels of change, if you are looking at policies or practices within your institution, that would most likely fall within level 2. Please note that during the application review process, reviewers will be instructed that the content of an applicant’s response regarding their project’s level is change is more important than identifying the “correct” level of change. We view change on a continuum, and projects do not have to fit perfectly inside one of these three levels of change.
No. Per the instructions on page 18 of the RFP, please submit only the documents that are required.

If a non-tribal applicant proposes to work with a tribal government or tribal community, the applicant must be prepared to provide written verification that the tribal government approves of the project before a grant agreement can be made final. Written verification will be requested at the time an award is offered (do not send with your application). Please refer to page 6 of the RFP for more information.
Spending may vary from year to year (i.e. your budget line items – Salary and Fringe Benefits, Contractual Services, etc. – do not have to be the same in Year 1 as they are in Year 2). However, the total budget amount for each year should be the same (Annual Funding Request on page 2 in the application form). For example, if you request annual funding at $150,000 and are awarded that amount, you will receive $150,000 each year throughout the four-year grant period.
All non-Community Health Board applicants must complete the Due Diligence Review Form, including tribal governments. Section 4 of the Due Diligence Review Form should only be completed by nonprofit applicants. Please note that the Due Diligence Review Form score is not part of the 150 total points used to select grantees, and it is for internal use only. The score helps MDH better understand the capacity of applicants and identify opportunities for technical assistance to those that receive grant funds.

Back to top

Grant Responsibilities and Provisions

In general, EHDI grants are not research grants. However, grantees are encouraged to share their evaluation results with stakeholders and to help spread promising practices to other organizations serving communities of color and American Indians. A grantee organization should seek IRB approval if they might want to publish their evaluation results in a peer-reviewed journal or if they are collecting information that is not essential for evaluating grant activities but for research purposes only. Please note that grantees will be scored on how community voices are included in the evaluation of the project, which includes how data are collected and interpreted.
It will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
State policy allows advance payments to be made to grantees in certain exceptional situations. If a grantee requires advance payment to start up a program, negotiations will be made after a grant award is offered and before a grant agreement is executed.
The Minnesota Department of Health’s sample grant agreement can be found on the EHDI RFP webpage. If a tribal applicant is funded, the terms of the grant agreement will be negotiated between MDH and the tribe before the agreement is signed. The Minnesota Department of Health recognizes tribal sovereignty.

Back to top
Back to EHDI RFP page

Updated Monday, 19-Nov-2018 09:15:25 CST