Frequently Asked Questions - 2012 EHDI Community Grants RFP

Last updated April 5

1. What is the Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative Grants Program? (p. 5)
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/African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Hispanics/Latinos as compared with Whites in Minnesota 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

2. Who is the target population? (p. 5)
African Americans/Africans, Latino/Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and American Indians in Minnesota compared with Whites.

3. What is a Health Disparity? (p. B-3)
A gap in health status between a population of color or American Indians and the White population.

4. What is the available funding, and where does the funding come from? (p.5)
The 2012 RFP makes available $4,027,808 in state general funds and $2,787,500 in federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) funding for EHDI grants in fiscal year 2013, which begins July 1, 2012 and ends June 30, 2013.  Future appropriations are subject to amendment by the 2012 Legislature.

4. What are the funds for? (p.6)
2012 EHDI funds will support two types of grants: priority health area implementation grants and community primary prevention grants. You should consider the requirements for the two 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? (p. 9)
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, MDH grant agreements can not be processed unless the applicant agency provides a Federal Tax ID number.  If you have not received your Federal Tax ID number before grants are awarded you will not be able to receive funds.

6. How will your application be reviewed? (p.17)
Applications will be reviewed and assigned preliminary scores by review teams that include content experts in the priority health areas and community primary prevention, as well as volunteers who represent the diversity of Minnesota’s communities.
However, grants will not be awarded based 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 community primary prevention), the identified priority areas of disparities (see Appendix C), the four racial/ethnic groups, geography, and organization capabilities. A review will also include an applicant’s history as a state grantee and capacity to perform the work. The decisions on grant awards made by the Commissioner of Health will be final. There will be no appeal process.

7. I’m not able to download the RFP.  Do you have it in an earlier version of Adobe?
You can download the current version of Adobe Acrobat Reader from our Web site before you download the RFP.

8. 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.

9. Can a lead agency apply for more than one of the two types of grants?
A lead agency can only propose one of the two types of grants: priority health area or community primary prevention implementation grant.

10. 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.

11. Do applications for the community primary prevention grant need to name and describe a relationship to at least one of the eight priority health areas? (p. 8)
Applicants will be expected to identify the racial/ethnic population(s) you plan to address in your activities, and how your activities will reduce the health disparity in one of the EDHI priority health areas.

12. Why is the new RFP only for one year instead of two?
We are in the second year of the biennium.  The new biennium will begin July 2013.

13. We are looking at submitting a 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. It may qualify 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 two types of grants: a priority health area grant or a community primary prevention grant.

14. Who should apply for community primary prevention grants?
The CPP grant will be awarded to proposals with innovative ideas, concepts and approaches in creating partnerships and collaboration among entities that have the potential to impact the conditions that eliminate or reduce disparities in the EHDI PHAs between populations of color and American Indians and the White population.  More details are provided beginning on p. 7 of the RFP.

15. Can we apply for a priority health area grant in a racial/ethnic population that is not listed as a priority in Appendix C? (p.18)
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 a health disparity between the target racial/ethnic group(s) and the White population as indicated in Appendix C OR documented by the applicant, and the extent of the disparity justifies the need for intervention.

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. Can I provide individual one-on-one services with patients using TANF funds? (p.13)
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.

19. 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 HIV/STD education programs. To determine this, please look at Douglas Kirby’s "Tool to Assess the Characteristics of Effective Sex and STD/HIV Education Programs"

20. Can you apply for more than $180,000 if you are addressing several priority health areas?
No. The chart on page 1 and 2 in the RFP shows that $180,000 is the maximum you can apply for.

21. 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.

22. 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.

23. 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.? (p. 13)
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.

24. 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.

25. If I am applying for priority health area 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.

26. 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.

27. 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.

28.  I was unable to attend the new EHDI RFP training on March 2, 2012. Where can I find the presentation materials?
All the PowerPoint presentation handouts from March 2 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.

29. 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 22 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.

30. We are an organization applying for priority health 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 for one type of grant as a lead organization, or serve as a fiscal agent on one application.

31. 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.)

32. 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 be completed by the lead organization. The “Background Information Form” should describe the lead organization.

33. Where should supervisor expenses be included?
Supervisor expenses are to be included in the administrative costs, unless they are participating in program services.

34. 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?
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.

35. 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.

36. For the budget, is there a maximum allowable indirect rate which can be applied?
Yes, 15%

37. Does the maximum allowed $180,000 per year include indirect costs or direct costs only?

Yes, it includes indirect costs.

38. We missed the deadline of March 12 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.?
No. Submission of a letter of intent is required.

39. 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. 17-21 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.

40. 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.

41. 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.”

42. Are letters of support required for the EHDI grant application?
No, we have not requested letters of support.

43. 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.

44. 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.

45. How many copies of the “Financial Capacity Review Form” should be included in the application?
We only require 1 Financial Capacity Review Form in the original Application. You do not have to include it in the 7 copies.

46. We submitted an LOI, can we still change the focus of our proposal?
Yes, you may submit a different type of application. On p. 3 of the RFP it states: "Your Intent to Apply Form is not binding if you decide later not to submit an application, or if you decide to submit a different type of application."

47.  The last question on section one of the Background Information form reads: “Describe the racial/ethnic identity of the organization's staff in key program staff for this grant.” Do you want to know about the racial/ethnic identity of key staff associated with the EHDI grant only, and not for the whole organization?
We are asking for the racial/ethnic identity of the organization's staff in key program staff for this grant.

48.  Is there a preferred page limit for the work plan?
There is no page limit for the work plan

49. Is the 10% match part of our actual budget and, if so, related to the in-kind program expense, which is 10%? Or, is it in addition to the budget, i.e., “after the fact”?
The 10% is in addition to the actual budget. The budget you submit should only include the actual amount you are requesting.

50. In the work plan, does the "percentage of time spent on this activity" mean a percentage of the overall project time, or a percentage of the staff member's time?
The percentage of time spent on this activity refers to a percentage of the staff member’s time spent on this activity.

51. In the work plan, in the Timeline column, can we just put "for the duration of the project "? Some of our activities are ongoing, and it is hard to pinpoint a start or stop date.
The timeline should accurately reflect the start and stop dates for the activity.

52. Contractual services, per the EHDI materials, must be approved by MDH ahead of time. Who do I submit my list of contractors to?
Any subcontracts that you will enter into after the grant is awarded will need to be sent to the assigned grant manager for their review and approval. Once you have received approval, you can have the subcontractor sign the contract.

53. Do separate project narratives need to be completed for each priority health area we are applying for or just one project narrative for all priority health areas?
Only one project narrative should be filled out, and include all priority areas to be addressed.

54. Can screening expenses be paid for with EHDI funds? This could be contracting with a clinic to go out to a worksite or community setting and do screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, etc? Could funds be used for supplies such as gloves, lancets, etc? Could it be used for lab tests (cholesterol) and results for individuals?
The simple answer is yes. The information regarding that question can be found in the instructions for the budget narrative under “Other” it states: “You may use EHDI general funds to provide presentation or screening services, such as those included in menus of activities in Appendices D-K, including immunizations and disease management programs. You will not be able to use general funds for on-going medical care or treatment of disease or disability.”

55. What is the procedure for getting preapproval for administrative costs?
Administrative costs cannot exceed 15%, and you must include how they were calculated.  Administrative costs can be calculated in one of three ways:

  • Based on federally-negotiated indirect cost rate
  • Through a formally adopted agency-wide cost allocation plan, or
  • Through an informal plan for allocation to specific funding sources.

56. For the Contractual costs, should I attach each budget narrative from each different sub-contractor? For example, if one partner has $30,000 contract with us to provide prevention services on fall and home safety, should I attach their budget that shows how they will use $30,000?
Yes a budget narrative should be included for each partner. 

57. One of our partners (sub-contractor) is working on a needs assessment surveys throughout internationally adopted persons. With the results, they intend to publish a fact book. Can we use EHDI fund to publish this book?
You can use funds to publish, however, you should note in the grant agreement #12 Ownership of Materials and Intellectual Property Rights. The term of the grant agreement in which it states that any materials created with these funds will be owned by the State.

Updated Tuesday, 25-Feb-2014 15:52:36 CST