Center for Health Equity Announcements
Announcing the new cohort of Community Solutions Fund grantees
We are thrilled to announce the incoming cohort of Community Solutions Fund grantees for the 2020-2023 grant period:
- African Community Services
- Centro Tyrone Guzman
- Children’s Dental Services
- Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio
- Division of Indian Work
- Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
- Fond du Lac Tribal College
- Hallie Q. Brown Community Center
- Hmong Early Childhood Coalition
- Indigenous Visioning
- Korean Service Center
- La Red de Educacion Temprana
- Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
- Minnesota CarePartner
- Montessori American Indian Childcare
- Multicultural Autism Action Network
- Network for the Development of Children of African Descent
- Northwest Indian Community Development Center
- Parents in Community Action, Inc
- Red Lake Comprehensive Services
- Roots Community Birth Center
- Tserha Aryam Kidist Selassie Church (TAKS)
- Wicoie Nandagikendan
Out of 46 applications, the Community Solutions Advisory Council funded 23 applicants. For more information on the review process, please reference the Community Solutions Fund Grantee Selection Process Summary (PDF).
We are looking forward to working with the new cohort of grantees and will be sharing more information about their programs on the Community Solutions for Healthy Child Development Grants webpage soon.
Message from the Center for Health Equity in response to the killing of George Floyd
We at the Center for Health Equity wanted to send a message to all of our partners, grantees, and fellow community members to acknowledge the painful and traumatic events in our community over the past week. Our nation has watched as George Floyd was killed in police custody a week ago on our very own streets of Minneapolis. Mr. Floyd’s death was disturbing, heartbreaking, and yet more evidence of systemic oppression of people of color and other marginalized groups in our state. Adding to the trauma, many of us have also had our buildings, places of work, community landmarks, and other places damaged or burned to the ground.
In this time of pain, we wanted to share our solidarity with those who demand racial justice and reform and to all experiencing loss and trauma. We would like to reiterate this message from our Commissioner of Health, Jan Malcolm:
“This week’s events have generated great sadness and anger in many Minnesotans, and I share their emotions. Our society’s continued struggle with violence and racism – particularly structural racism is not an isolated problem of a specific place or time. It is a fundamental public health challenge that expresses itself in many ways, from negative impacts on the lives of individuals and families to persistent community-level health disparities. We must continue our work to address this long-standing stain on our communities, our state and our country.
As Minnesota’s health commissioner, I am mindful of my responsibility to help address these societal challenges and also to provide specific health guidance and recommendations for the protection of all Minnesotans. Over the next few days, we know there may be people in our communities coming together to give voice to their concerns and demands. As they do, those of us in public health are reminding everyone involved that they need to take steps to limit the risk of COVID-19 spread. This is essential not only to protect themselves but also to protect their loved ones and the larger community. This includes wearing masks when in public and maintaining social distancing as much as possible.
The Twin Cities remain a hotspot for COVID-19 spread. In fact, nationwide, we are one of the communities most vulnerable to rapid increases in the spread of the virus, given where we are in the course of the epidemic. We are particularly concerned about people coming into the metro area from other parts of the state and from outside Minnesota who may not be aware of this. We are also concerned about the continued disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on people of color in our state. We need the help of everyone involved to prevent additional suffering and preventable death by following the public health guidelines to limit COVID-19 spread.
These are hard days. In times of pain and grief, we want to come together – both to comfort each other and to demand a better future. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic makes this more difficult. As Minnesotans find peaceful ways to express themselves and speak their truths, please help us protect our most vulnerable neighbors from additional suffering and pain.”
The MDH Center for Health Equity
Message from the Center for Health Equity in response to COVID-19
We at the Center for Health Equity acknowledge that we are in a time where many people are concerned, fearful and on edge. We’d like to recognize the tremendous work being done by frontline healthcare and social service providers and those caring for others. We’d also like to recognize the many MDH and public health folks working around the clock to monitor and slow the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
MDH has developed resources and guidance for community members, healthcare providers and more on our MDH Coronavirus webpage. In addition to the precautions we should be taking, we also recognize the heavy toll this is taking on communities that are already significantly impacted by health inequities. We know that beyond COVID-19, communities are also worried about the public charge rule, deportations, discrimination and accessibility. As we move quickly to slow the spread of the disease, we must work together to ensure we are not further harming communities.
Here are our “4 Cs” – recommended practices to embed equity into responses to COVID-19 and several resources to accompany them:
- Center Community - As we practice social distancing (keeping at least 6 feet of distance between people) or enter self-quarantine, be mindful of the ways we can continue supporting community members who need us most: those with unstable housing, those over 60, those with certain chronic diseases (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease), those who cannot afford to stay home and have no paid sick leave, those who are undocumented, those who are low-income, those in rural communities who are hours from the nearest clinic or grocery store, those whose disabilities or language barriers make accessing information or resources more difficult.
At a time when many of the messages we’re hearing from media are focused on the individual, let us not forget the importance of community. Let us find ways to continue to be guided by and rooted in our cultural knowledge and wisdom; let us remember our collective responsibility to care for those in most need; and let us choose compassion over fear.
- Care for Self and Others - As we ensure we have what we need to care for ourselves and loved ones, be mindful of the negative impact of stockpiling. CDC guidance recommends enough medication (if prescribed), food and cleanliness supplies for two weeks in case of the need to self-quarantine. Grocery stores and pharmacies continue to be open at this time. Fear and uncertainty can easily lead to taking more than we need; however, the result is that many others will be without. Already, friends and neighbors have shared that they cannot find diaper wipes for their babies because they’ve been cleared out at stores. We’ve heard from folks in rural Minnesota who had to drive two hours to find disinfectant wipes. We must be mindful and find the balance between preparing ourselves and leaving others in harm’s way.
At the same time, we need to remember to take the time for our mental, emotional and spiritual health. We should stay active when possible, and practice coping techniques such as meditation or deep breathing. Find creative ways to maintain social distance while engaging with a family member, friend or professional if you feel overwhelmed. Be sure to check-in with your loved ones and set up times to call, skype or video chat to maintain connectedness while staying safe. Also consider limiting the amount of media you consume each day; take time to disconnect from news and social media and try to maintain some normalcy in your day when possible.
- Challenge Bias and Racism - Remember that viruses don’t discriminate, and neither should we. Everyone is at risk, thus we should not discriminate against those of Asian descent. Hate crimes have been happening across the country towards Asian Americans. We do not tolerate any racism or discrimination against others. We are all on edge and concerned. That does not excuse violence or prejudice. CDC provides guidance on reducing stigma. MDH also has resources available such as the Viruses Don’t Discriminate flyer on the MDH Coronavirus Materials page.
If you see someone being mistreated, speak up if you feel safe doing so. If you have experienced discrimination from a business or organization, contact the Minnesota Department of Human Rights: call 651-539-1133 to speak with an investigator. The entire process is free. Interpretation and translation services are available.
- Continue Pushing for Systems Change - While we encourage everyone to stay home if they feel sick, let us remember those who have no stable home, can’t afford to stay home from work or have no paid sick leave. Let us think about the policies and systems in place which do not allow us these privileges and act to change them. We have already seen action to eliminate co-pays on COVID-19 tests. Many cities and states across the country are pushing for moratoriums on evictions, the shut-off of utilities, and the pay back of student loans during this time. Let us work together to continue creating systems that heal, rather than harm.
As we move forward together into this unprecedented situation, let us be guided by these four Cs – Center Community; Care for Self and Others; Challenge Bias and Racism; and Continue Pushing for Systems Change. Particularly in times like these, equity cannot be an afterthought. Our Minnesota community – indeed, our global community – will be better off if we stay calm, stay compassionate, and remember that we’re in this together.
- Disability: General Disability and Health Emergency Preparedness Tools and Resources are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Public Charge: The U.S. government encourages individuals with symptoms of coronavirus to seek medical treatment or preventive services and states that such treatment or preventive services will not negatively affect future Public Charge analysis for those seeking permanent resident status.
- Limited-English: MDH has resources, fact sheets and posters available in multiple languages, including ASL, on MDH Coronavirus Materials page.
- Internet: Many companies have pledged to help Keep Americans Connected by offering free internet to families with students or low-income households during this time.
- Food: There are many school districts and restaurants throughout Minnesota providing free lunches for students and food for those in need, such as St. Paul Public Schools and Minneapolis Public Schools.
- Mental Health: CDC and MDH have resources for Managing Stress and Anxiety during the pandemic, Taking Care of Your Emotional Health, and Behavioral Health and Emergency Preparedness for healthcare responders, parents/caregivers, teens, kids and families. There are also many free resources and apps available to guide us through healing meditation practices.
- Unemployment: For those whose employment has been affected by COVID-19, individuals can apply for unemployment benefits on the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance website.
- Workers’ Rights and Protections: Information and resources are available from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.
- How to Prepare: General recommendations from the CDC on how families can prepare.
MDH COVID-19 Hotlines (Language line interpreters are available):
- Community mitigation (schools, child care, business) questions: 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504
- Health questions: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903
- As of March 19, both lines open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
2020 Health Equity Summit postponed
Due to coronavirus, the 2020 Health Equity Summit has been postponed to a later date. Please subscribe to Health Equity Email Updates to be notified when the new date has been scheduled.
We invite you to submit an idea for 2020 Health Equity Summit Innovation Lab!
The 2020 Health Equity Summit will take place on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 from 8 am to 4 pm in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The 2020 summit will feature a health equity innovation lab, where participants will experiment with human-centered design to identify innovations to advance health equity.
We are looking for ideas from anyone across the state and from any sector. Ideas that are a great fit for the innovation lab are ideas that…
- Address an ideology, barrier, AND contributor/indicator of health equity (all three)
- Engage (or want to engage) cross-sector partners
- Are a new idea OR have already been tested/piloted and want to be replicated or scaled up
Submissions are due no later than Monday, February 3, 11:59 PM CT.
Learn more and submit your idea on the Health Equity Summit page.
Now accepting applications for the Community Solutions for Healthy Child Development grants
The Center for Health Equity has released a new Request for Proposals (RFP) and is now accepting applications for the new Community Solutions for Healthy Child Development grants—funding that became a reality thanks to the tireless advocacy of community members and organizations.
The new program will award about $750,000 in grants each year for four years to fund community-based solutions for challenges that are identified by communities of color and American Indian communities.
Read the RFP and learn more about how to apply on the Center for Health Equity Funding Opportunities page. Applications are due February 7, 2020.
Interested applicants are encouraged to join an informational webinar about the funding opportunity on Wednesday, Dec. 18 from 9:30-11 am. Visit the Community Solutions RFP webpage to register.
COMING SOON: Community Solutions for Healthy Child Development Grants
The Center for Health Equity is pleased to announce the Community Solutions for Healthy Child Development grants—funding that became a reality thanks to the tireless advocacy of community members and organizations. The purposes of the grant program are to:
- Improve child development outcomes for children of color and American Indian children from prenatal to grade 3
- Reduce racial disparities in children’s health and development, from prenatal to grade 3
- Promote racial and geographic equity
We are in the process of creating the Request for Proposals in partnership with the Community Solutions Advisory Council—a group representing community voices that advises the Center for Health Equity on the grant program. The new program will award about $750,000 in grants each year for four years.
The Request for Proposals will be released in December 2019. Download and print the Community Solutions Grants Flyer to share with your networks.
Find out more information on our Community Solutions for Healthy Child Development Grants webpage.
Now accepting applications for the Health Equity Advisory and Leadership (HEAL) Council
Applications are now open for the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Health Equity Advisory and Leadership (HEAL) Council. HEAL was created as part of a broader effort by MDH to address Minnesota’s inequities in health status. HEAL represents the voices of many communities most impacted by health inequities across the state, including racial and ethnic minority groups, American Indians, rural Minnesotans, Minnesotans with disabilities, LGBTQ community members, and refugees and immigrants. The knowledge and wisdom of council members will enhance the work of MDH in advancing health equity for all communities in Minnesota.
The work of HEAL is predominantly internal facing to the agency and will provide guidance on implementation and alignment of health equity efforts across MDH systems and policies. HEAL is responsible for the following:
- Advise the Commissioner of Health on health equity issues and the health equity priorities and concerns of priority populations;
- Provide guidance to the agency in efforts to advance health equity, including consulting on specific agency policies and programs, providing ideas and input about potential budget and/or policy proposals, and recommending review of particular agency policies, standards or procedures that may create or perpetuate health inequities;
- Provide guidance to the agency in developing and monitoring meaningful performance measures related to 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 Minnesota Secretary of State’s (MNSOS) Boards and Commissions Open Positions portal. MNSOS applications will be open until Friday, October 25, 2019.
- 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 the MDH supplemental application is Friday, November 1, 2019.
To learn more about the HEAL Council and member expectations, please reference the HEAL Council Frequently Asked Questions (PDF). If you have questions, please contact Christy Nguyen at 651-201-5813 or email@example.com.
Now accepting applications for the Community Solutions Advisory Council
The Center for Health Equity invites community members to apply to join a new Community Solutions Advisory (CSA) Council. The CSA Council will play a key role in shaping the upcoming Community Solutions for Healthy Child Development grant program. The grant program will fund community-based initiatives to improve the well-being of children of color and American Indian children from prenatal to grade 3 and their families. The CSA Council will:
- Guide MDH in developing the request for proposals for the Community Solutions Healthy Child Development Grants
- Review grant applications and make funding recommendations to MDH
- Collaborate with MDH to create an accountability and evaluation process for the outcomes Community Solutions Healthy Child Development grantees are working to achieve
- Advise MDH on ongoing oversight of the grant program
- Support MDH on other racial equity and early childhood grant efforts as appropriate
The CSA Council will be a 12-member council with two representatives from each of these communities: African heritage, Latino / Hispanic, Asian-Pacific Islander, and American Indian. Two members will be parents of children under 9 years of age who are American Indian or children of color. One member will have research or academic expertise in racial equity and healthy child development. One member will represent an organization that advocates on behalf of communities of color or American Indians. At least three of the 12 CSA Council members will come from outside the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area.
CSA Council members will be asked to serve a minimum of two years, and may serve up to two 2-year terms. Members will receive modest compensation for their time (the current rate is $55 per meeting). Members will be reimbursed for mileage, parking and childcare expenses incurred as a result of attending CSA Council meetings.
For more information, please reference the CSA Council Frequently Asked Questions (PDF).
To apply to join the CSA Council, complete BOTH parts of the application:
- Part 1: Interested applicants must submit an electronic application through the MN Secretary of State’s (MNSOS) Boards and Commissions Open Positions portal. MNSOS applications will be open until Friday, August 16, 2019.
- Part 2: MDH will email a supplemental application form to the email address listed on the MNSOS application. This supplemental MDH application must also be completed. The deadline to submit the MDH supplemental application is Friday, August 23, 2019 at 5:00 pm Central time.
Please feel free to contact Ann Linde at 651-201-5799 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Announcing the 2019-2023 Cohort of Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative (EHDI) Grantees
We are pleased to announce the incoming cohort of EHDI grantees for the 2019-2023 grant period:
- American Indian Family Center
- Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
- Casa de Esperanza
- Centro Tyrone Guzman
- Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES)
- Division of Indian Work
- Dream of Wild Health
- EMERGE Community Development
- Family Tree Clinic
- Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
- HealthFinders Collaborative, Inc.
- Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc. (Aqui Para Ti)
- High School for Recording Arts
- Hmong American Farmers Association
- Hmong American Partnership
- Karen Organization of Minnesota
- KIPP Minnesota
- Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota
- Minnesota Community Care
- Minnesota Immunization Networking Initiative (MINI)
- Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center
- Pillsbury United Communities
- Sub-Saharan African Youth and Family Services in MN
- The Bridge for Youth
- YWCA Minneapolis
We look forward to working with the new cohort of grantees and to sharing additional information about their programs on our EHDI webpage soon.In the meantime, all applicants who were not selected for funding can expect to receive feedback from the Center for Health Equity within the coming weeks, including lists of additional available resources to support and fund the important work applicants are doing across our state.
Message from the Director: Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative Grant Funding Decisions
We are excited to announce that funding decisions have been made for the 2019-2023 cycle of the Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative (EHDI) grant program. We took much time and intention to revise the request for proposals (RFP) and scoring criteria based upon the feedback we received over the years from multiple grantees, community partners and past applicants. This resulted in numerous changes to the RFP and the decision to extend the grant period to four years.
The memo to applicants and partners below describes the funding requests we received and the review process. We are in awe that the 130 applications we received requested over $27 million in annual funding. However, this only made the decision process that much harder given that the Center for Health Equity only has about $5 million to grant out annually.
More than 100 diverse community members from across the state came together to review and discuss the applications and were deeply impressed by the dedication and commitment to eliminating health disparities demonstrated in the proposals. Reviewers recommended that 62 percent of applications be fully or partially funded. This goes to show that the need for resources and support to address health inequities is great, and there are many organizations, networks and institutions that are ready and poised to lead this work. We look forward to partnering with these groups in multiple ways to advance health equity in Minnesota.
Bruce Thao, Director
Center for Health Equity
You're invited! Join the conversation on LGBTQ Health in Minnesota
The 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.
LGBTQ Health: Minnesota’s Road Ahead
Thursday, November 15, 2018
6:30 PM- 8:30 PM
Anderson Center - Hamline University
774 Snelling Avenue North, Saint Paul, MN 55104
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 email@example.com.
Seeking 100+ volunteers to participate in EHDI grant review process
The 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
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 :
- breast and cervical cancer
- cardiovascular disease
- 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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Envisioning Health Equity: 2018 and Beyond - Webinar Recording and Slides
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.
Now accepting applications for MN Health Equity Leadership Network at bushCONNECT
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!
|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
Join 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.
April 25, 2018, 1:30-2:30 pm
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
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.
Friday, April 27, 2018
9 am - 3 pm
TIES Grand Hall
1644 Larpenteur Ave. West
Saint Paul, MN 55108
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
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
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
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
3:00 PM- 5:30 PM
Northwest Indian Community Development Center
1819 Bemidji Ave. N., Bemidji, MN 56601
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 email@example.com.
Now accepting applications for Health Equity Advisory & Leadership (HEAL) Council
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bruce Thao selected as the Director of the Center for Health Equity
It 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.
Edward P. Ehlinger, MD, MSPH
Minnesota Department of Health
Findings from Community Conversation on Equity
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
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:
- To provide an update on MDH’s efforts to advance health equity since the 2014 Advancing Health Equity Report;
- 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
- To continue a dialogue about the challenges facing our collective efforts, so we may engage in collaborative problem-solving.
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
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
The 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.
Center for Health Equity Staff Update
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
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
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
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
Working Group on Violence against Asian Women and Children
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
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).