Frequently Asked Questions - 2010 EHDI Community Grants

Last updated March 5

1. What is the Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative Grants Program?

The Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative (EHDI) grant program was created by the 2001 Minnesota Legislature in Minnesota Statutes 145.928. This competitive grant program provides funds to close the gap in the health status of African Americans/Africans, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Hispanics/Latinos in Minnesota compared with Whites in the following priority health areas:

  • breast and cervical cancer screening
  • diabetes
  • heart disease and stroke
  • HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases
  • immunizations for adults and children
  • infant mortality
  • teen pregnancy
  • unintentional injury and violence

These grants will provide an opportunity for you to mobilize and organize your community’s resources in effective and creative ways to:

  • implement effective activities that reduce racial/ethnic disparities
  • promote the health and quality of life of individuals and communities
  • build on your community’s strengths and assets to address health issues
  • build and strengthen partnerships and working relationships among community members, faith-based organizations, culturally-based organizations, social service organizations, community non-profit organizations, tribal governments, community health boards, community clinics and other health care providers, the Minnesota Department of Health, and other state agencies
  • support culturally-relevant activities
  • focus on prevention and early detection

2. What are health disparities?

Although Minnesota has long been noted as one of the healthiest states in the nation, minority populations in Minnesota tend to experience much worse health in several areas. Overall, populations of color and American Indians experience shorter life spans, higher rates of infant mortality, higher incidences of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other diseases and conditions, and poorer general health. These disparities also affect Minnesota's newly arrived immigrants and refugees. In some cases, the disparities are the highest in the nation. Populations of color and American Indians have pushed for increased attention to these issues. Improved data collection now is more accurately uncovering the breadth of health disparities in Minnesota.

3. Who is the target population?

This competitive grant program provides funds to close the gap in the health status of African Americans/Africans, Latino/Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and American Indians in Minnesota compared with whites.

4. What are the funds for?

2010 EHDI funds will support three types of grants: priority health area implementation grants, social determinants of health implementation grants, and social determinants of health planning grants. You should consider the requirements for all three types of grants to determine which type of grant is best suited to your community and how you want to work towards the elimination of health disparities. You are expected to develop your application collaboratively with your community partners.

5. Who can apply?

Eligible applicants for the EHDI grants program include, but are not limited to, faith-based organizations, social service organizations, community non-profit organizations, community health boards, tribal governments, and community clinics throughout Minnesota.

6. What is the available funding, and where does the funding come from?

The 2009 Legislature appropriated approximately $3 million in state general funds and $2 million in federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) funding for EHDI grants in fiscal year 2011, which begins July 1, 2010 and ends June 30, 2011. This appropriation is subject to amendment by the 2010 Legislature. Minnesota Statute 145.928 directs us to make these funds available for planning and implementation grants for local or regional projects and initiatives.

7. I do not have my Federal Exemption yet, but my agency is a non-profit. Are we eligible to apply?  

Yes. However, MDH grant agreements can not be processed unless the applicant agency provides a federal I.D. If you have not received your Federal ID before grants are awarded you will not be able to receive funds.

8. How will your application be reviewed?

Applications will be reviewed by teams that include content experts in the priority health areas and the social determinants of health, as well as volunteers who represent the diversity of Minnesota’s communities.

Grants will not be awarded solely on the scores assigned by the review teams. In addition to reviewer scores and recommendations, our ranking of applications recommended for funding will consider distribution across focus areas (the eight priority health areas and the social determinants of health), the four racial/ethnic groups, and geography, as well as objective levels (disease-specific and risk factors) and activity types (individual-based and policy, systems, and environmental change). The decisions on grant awards made by the Commissioner of Health will be final. There will be no appeal process.

9. I’m not able to download the RFP.  Do you have it in an earlier version of Adobe?

You can download Adobe from our Web site before you download the RFP.

10. Where can I find the Intent to Apply Form? Where are the forms located? 

All forms are located in Appendix N, in alphabetical order.  On Page N-1 is a list of the documents included in Appendix N.

11. Can a lead agency apply for more than one of the three types of grants?

A lead agency can only propose one of the three types of grants: Priority health area implementation grant, Social determinants of health planning grant, or Social determinants of health implementation grant.

12. Can an agency be a lead in more than one application?

No, your organization may submit only one application as the lead organization; but your organization may be included as a partner in more than one application.

13. Do applications for the two types of social determinants of health grants need to name and describe a relationship to at least one of the eight priority areas?

No. However, your activity must show how it is likely to contribute to a reduction in the identified health disparities. 

14. Is attendance at the training on February 22, 2010 required to apply for EHDI funds?

No, you do not have to attend the training to apply for funds.

15. If I don’t register for the training can I still attend?

No. Registration is required to ensure adequate materials and food is available for all in attendance. Please note space is limited at all sites, and if registration is closed all seats are filled.

16. Why is the new RFP only for one year instead of two?

The intention is to align the EHDI grant cycle to the state fiscal cycle which begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.

17. Do we need to register to attend the EHDI training on Feb. 22, 2010Will the webinar really run 8 hours?  

Yes, you need to register in order to attend the training. The training on Feb. 22 is not a webinar. It is a one-day workshop, which will be held at Snelling Office Park, 1645 Energy Park Drive, St. Paul, MN 55108 and video conferenced to multiple video conference sites in greater Minnesota. Information about training registration, the agenda, and time is posted on our Web site at www.health.state.mn.us/ommh/.

18. What time is the training on February 22 scheduled?

The RFP training is scheduled to begin at 8:00 and end at 4:00 pm.

19. We are looking at submitting a planning proposal for Mental Health Services. Could you define whether mental health service area would fall into the EHDI requirements?

It depends on the activities you are proposing. If your proposed activities are likely to lead a reduction of the identified health disparities and as long as your proposed activities fall under either one of the three types of grants: a health priority grant --social determinants of health planning grant and social determinants of health implementation grant.

20. Who should apply for social determinant grants?

Social determinants of health grants (planning or implementation) are for applicants who are ready to ‘move upstream’ and collaboratively develop or implement an initiative to address social determinants of health in their communities.  More details are provided beginning on p. 8 of the RFP.

21. We are an organization providing financial assistance to Minnesota homeowners with seriously ill or critically injured children by making a mortgage payment on the family’s behalf to prevent foreclose during a medical crisis. Would our focus qualify submission of an RFP?

Yes. The RFP states: “Eligible applicants for the EHDI grants program include, but are not limited to, faith-based organizations, social service organizations, community non-profit organizations, community health boards, tribal governments, and community clinics throughout Minnesota.” However, the strongest applications will have a long-term sustainability strategy, which may involve the development of a larger vision with critical partners that prevents or minimizes the need for such direct services.

22. Can you tell me or provide me with a link to where the videoconference locations will be held in greater Minnesota on February 22 for the EHDI RFP training

  • MDH, St. Cloud District Office
  • MDH, Bemidji District Office
  • MDH, Duluth District Office
  • MDH, Fergus Falls Office
  • MDH, Mankato District Office
  • MDH, Marshall District Office
  • MDH, Rochester District Office

For locations and directions, please see http://www.health.state.mn.us/about/dist.html

23. Can we apply for a health priority area grant in a racial/ethnic population that is not listed as a priority in Appendix C?

Appendix C doesn't have a check for diabetes in Hispanics/Latinos, because we used years of potential lives lost as our measure, and there isn't a disparity by that measurement. There are disparities by other measurements; some of them are identified in Appendix E. Applicants may identify and document disparities that are not indicated in Appendix C. The review criteria give points to priority health area applications that propose to address priority health areas in populations of color and American Indians with disparities, whether the disparity is indicated in Appendix C or documented it an application. Alternatively, applicants may apply for priority health areas/populations of color without a "checked" disparity - they just won't get the extra points.

24. Will applicants receive technical assistance from the MDH during the RFP process?

Yes. Questions regarding this RFP may be submitted by phone or email to the contact people listed on page 2 of the RFP. Frequently-asked questions (FAQs) will be posted on our web site at www.health.state.mn.us/ommh. The training on February 22 also will provide some technical assistance. 

25. I’m not exactly sure what to do with the resources.  Do the resources have to be cited in the grant proposal?

The resources provide information about the activities listed in the menus.  They don't have to be cited in the application.

26. Can I provide individual one-on-one services with patients using TANF funds?

No. There are certain restrictions with TANF dollars. You cannot use TANF dollars for one-on-one services, only for group services. While there may be some individual level interactions happening within a group level intervention, the main purpose of the intervention cannot be to fund one-on-one interactions.

27. Is there some flexibility in the Menu of Interventions?

Yes, there is some flexibility. While we would like you to choose one of the interventions listed, we understand that there may be certain adaptations due to your unique community circumstances. We ask that when considering a teen pregnancy prevention intervention, and it is not listed in the Menu of Interventions, make sure that it demonstrates characteristics of effective sex and STD/HIV education programs. To determine this, please look at Douglas Kirby’s “Tool to Assess the Characteristics of Effective Sex and STD/HIV Education Programs” found at: http://programservices.etr.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=pubProds.prodsummary&ProductID=13

28. Can you apply for more than $250,000 if you are addressing several priority health areas?

No. The chart on page 1 and 2 in the RFP shows that $250,000 is the maximum you can apply for.

29. In terms of social determinants of health-Are social and recreational activities considered a "resource" that communities of color lack that may increase the risk factors for priority health areas, including teens at risk of becoming pregnant?

Please refer to the RFP application starting on page 8 which provides an overview of the social determinants of health grants. In both planning and implementation grants we are asking for applicants to identify social determinants of health in your community. Also refer to “Promoting Health Equity” at www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dach/chaps/

30. Can social determinants of health grant be connected to one priority health area or must it be tied to all? For example, can you work on a social determinants of health grant tied to teen pregnancy alone?  (The choices included on the cover sheet and intent to apply form seem to rule that possibility out.)

No. However, your activity must show how it is likely to contribute to a reduction in the identified health disparities. Please note on the cover sheet it instructs to choose only one type of application, by typing an X. This is also explained in the instruction page for the cover sheet. 

31. Is there a total page number required for the entire grant? 

No. However, there are page limitations for each form submitted. Anything that exceeds the page limits or is not requested will be discarded and not reviewed.

32. Can binders be used for the bound copies instead of staples if the copies are too thick to staple?

Yes, please make sure copies are securely bound.

33. Although there is a $50 incentive limit for TANF grants, can other items be purchased as incentives such as backpacks, books, movie tickets, social outings, refreshments, gift cards, etc.?

The incentive for TANF can not be in cash or gift cards. Any incentive cannot exceed a total cost of $50 per person, per year.

34. Barring reimbursement for child care, transportation, etc., can child care be included in the budget if it is provided by a staff person?  If an agency has vans that will be used for transportation, can there be a transportation line item to pay for associated costs as long as participants are not reimbursed directly?
 
Yes.

35. If your project is targeted towards social determinants of health (SDOH) specifically for teenage pregnancy prevention, are planning grants available?  If so, do they come out of the TANF funds?  What is the likelihood of program implementation funding being available after the planning period?

SDOH grants do not require addressing a specific health priority area; and planning grants will not be funded through TANF funds. All planning grantees will be eligible to apply for implementation grants at the end of the 1 year grant cycle. However, we can not guarantee availability of funding after the planning period ends. 

36. If I am applying for health priority grants, do we have to pick activities from the menu listed or can we propose our own activities that are promising practices?

You are required to pick a goal and an objective from the menu of activities. However, you are not required to pick an activity listed in the menu. You can propose your own activities and provide support on why you believe this is a best or promising practice.

37. We are a community health board. Does the initiative prohibit lead agencies, in our case a community health board, from delivering services through subcontract with community agencies or clinics, or does the initiative prefer that lead deliver services directly?

EHDI does not prohibit lead agencies from delivering services through subcontract with community agencies or clinics. However, whether you provide services directly or subcontract to other agencies, we highly recommend that the lead agency and the community agencies or clinics with which it subcontracts have the capability to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services to the target populations: African Americans/Africans, Latino/Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and American Indians.

38. What kind of outcomes are you looking for? Are the outcomes different from the previous EHDI grants?

No, they are the same as stated in 2001 Minnesota Legislature in Minnesota Statutes 145.928 (see Appendix A) in the EHDI RFP.

39I was unable to attend the new EHDI RFP training on February 22, 2010. Where can I find the presentation materials?

All the PowerPoint presentation handouts from Feb. 22 are posted on our website www.health.state.mn.us/ommh. Follow “Conferences and workshops” link on the left side of the website and look under Past Events.

40. We noticed that the lead organization can be different from the fiscal agent. Could we be the fiscal agent on more than one proposal?

No. you can only serve as a fiscal agent on one application. Please note on page 24 of the RFP Application Instructions your organization can submit only one application as the lead organization, but your organization can be included as a partner in more than one application.

41. We are an organization applying for health priority area implementation grant, can we also serve as the fiscal agent for a coalition that does not have a 501 c (3)?

No, your organization can only apply one type of grants as a lead organization or serve as a fiscal agent on one application.

42. On the Financial Capacity form, under “Application Information” it asks: “How many different funding sources does the total revenue come from?” Are you talking in general terms (i.e. government, foundation, individuals) or are you looking for specific numbers such as how many foundations, how many government grants and contracts?

We are looking for the number of funding sources you receive. (For example, 6 foundations, 2 government contracts and list the names and amounts on the form.)

43. On the background information sheet for the proposal, do we provide background information for the lead organization or for the fiscal host or both?

Fiscal Agents should be described in the “Fiscal Agent for the Application Form” and the “Financial Capacity and Review Form.”

Most of the forms should describe and probably be completed by the lead organization. The “Background Information Form” should describe the lead organization.

44. Where should supervisor expenses be included?

Supervisor expenses are to be included in the administrative costs, unless they are participating in program services.

45. Looking at the budget narrative instructions I see Evaluation as an expense sub-set of each line item.  Would the appropriate place to itemize evaluation-related supervisor expenses be in Other in the Evaluation subset?

If you are applying for an implementation grant, evaluation expenses should be identified in each line item. Provide a description of the cost related to evaluation included on this line item and indicate the cost of those expenses.

46. Is an individual budget form required for each year, and from each consortia site? Or should the consortia site costs only be included on the prime site budget page?  

Budget is for one year. All costs should be included in the lead agency budget form and provide your explanations for each budget line in the budget narrative.

47. For the budget, is there a maximum allowable indirect rate which can be applied?

Yes, 15%

48. Does the maximum allowed $250,000 per year include indirect costs or direct costs only?
Yes, it includes indirect costs.

49. Can more than one activity can be included in the same worksheet? In Box 1 of the Activity Worksheet, “1. Activity Identification,” it reads “Priority health area(s) and objective(s),” and “Activity(ies),” as if an applicant could use one worksheet for more than one activity.

It is correct you must submit an activity sheet for each activity. However, there are several activities in the Menu of Interventions that address more than one Priority Health Area and Objective. For example, if you were to address Diabetes, Objective A and Heart Disease, Objective A, you would put both down; if you then picked Diabetes Activity, A.2.1 and HDS Activity, A.2.1, you would enter both in the activity(ies) line. Note: they are the same activity so you would not have to do another activity sheet. You are encouraged to review the instructions for the Activity Sheet for additional information.

50. We missed the deadline of March 1 to submit a letter of intent to apply for the EHDI grant. Could we still submit a full proposal by March 25 at 4:30 p.m.?

Yes. Submission of a letter of intent is highly recommended, and still accepted, but not required. You can still submit your proposal by the deadline of 4:30 p.m. on March 25, 2010. However, for the proposal deadline, late proposals will not be accepted and there will be no extensions granted.

51. What is the MDH definition of community partner? And how important is it to have community partners for the EHDI grant proposal?

EHDI is focused on populations of color and American Indians (POC/AI). On pp. 18-23 of the RFP, there is detailed information on how applications will be reviewed. One set of criteria is, “With whom will you work?” In addition, it also states the importance of involving the target population in the proposed activities.

52. Page 8 of the RFP states "The review criteria give points to priority health area applications that propose activities that address more than one priority health area ....." Does an agency addressing the teen pregnancy disparity also needs to address another disparity, such as HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in order to score points? If it is, should the applicant also check HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases on the Application Cover Sheet and complete separate Focus Area Description and Menu of Activities forms for
HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancy?

In the Menu of Activities there are activities that address more than one health priority area. Therefore, if you choose one of those activities you will receive the points. To answer your second question, you may check another disease area but you are not required to.

53. On the Activity Worksheet for Priority Health Area Application, what kind of information should be included under #4?

On the Activity Worksheet under #4, please describe: what you have done to prepare to carry out this activity; include actions steps if you have done planning, or, if you have implemented this activity what steps you have taken.

54. Is there a narrative component to the EHDI application
or is it simply filling out all the forms (which include answering the brief narrative questions in the boxes/spaces provided)?

Only the forms need to be filled out. Please make sure to review the checklist for each grant; this will give you a list of everything to be included. There are a couple sections that do not have forms, just narratives. In those cases, please follow the instructions.

55. Do government agencies need to provide the documentation under #6 on “Financial Capacity and Review Form”?

No. “Financial Capacity and Review Form” Instructions state: “Government agencies and tribal governments do not need to complete this section or include (financial) documentation in their applications.”

56. Are more than one activity sheets needed if one of our program activities fulfill more than one of the priority objective activities?

Yes. If you are choosing an activity in one health priority area that does not overlap with the same activity in another health priority area, you need to fill out one activity sheet for each activity. Please also refer to the other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) listed on this Web site.

57. Are letters of support required for the EHDI grant application?

No, we have not requested letters of support.

58. The budget form says that all contracts must be approved by Minnesota Department of Health. Must the contracts be approved before we submit an application?

No. Only if you become a grantee.

59. We are required to set aside funds for evaluation. Is there a form to describe what we will evaluate? How will we evaluate it? Who will determine the evaluation process?

When you are completing the budget narrative, you are to identify the expenses from each line item that support evaluation. We are currently in the process of creating the evaluation process, and we will provide the information during the award process.

60. In addition to listing our partners on the form “Community Involvement, Collaboration, and Partnership Form”. Do you need a formal Memorandum of Agreement with signatures from each of the partners?

No, we only need to know if they are proposed or have agreed. If you are funded, formal agreements will be requested at that time.

61. How many copies of the “Financial Capacity Review Form” should be included in the application?

We only need 1 Financial Capacity Review Form in the original Application. You do not have to include in the 7 copies.

 

Updated Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 12:31PM