Center for Health Equity Announcements

Center for Health Equity Announcements

Now accepting applications for a vacancy on the Community Solutions Advisory Council

Updated April 2021

The Center for Health Equity invites community members to apply to fill a vacancy on the Community Solutions Advisory (CSA) Council. The CSA Council plays a key role in shaping the Community Solutions for Healthy Child Development grant program. The grant program funds 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:

  • Guided the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) in developing the request for proposals for the Community Solutions Healthy Child Development Grants, considering how the grants can build on communities’ capacity to promote child and family well-being.
  • Reviewed applications for the Community Solutions Healthy Child Development grants and made recommendations to MDH about which applicants should be funded.
  • Collaborates with MDH to create a transparent and objective accountability and evaluation process focused on the outcomes Community Solutions Healthy Child Development grantees are working to achieve.
  • Advises MDH on ongoing oversight of the Community Solutions Healthy Child Development grant program.
  • Supports MDH on other racial equity and early childhood grant efforts as appropriate.

As outlined in Minnesota statutes, the CSA Council is a 12-member council with two members representing the African heritage community, two members representing the Latino / Hispanic community, two members representing the Asian-Pacific Islander community, and two members representing the American Indian community. Two members must be parents of children under 9 years of age who are American Indian or children of color. One member must have research or academic expertise in racial equity and healthy child development. One member must represent an organization that advocates on behalf of communities of color or American Indians. At least three of the 12 CSA Council members must come from outside the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. The current vacancy is for a parent of a child under 9 years of age who is American Indian or a child of color.

Members are asked to serve a minimum of two years and may serve up to two 2-year terms. Members receive modest compensation for their time (the current rate is $55 per meeting). Members may 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, May 21, 2021. DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR GREATER MN APPLICANTS: FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2021.
  • 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, May 28, 2021 at 5:00 pm Central Time. DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR GREATER MN APPLICANTS: FRIDAY, JUNE 4, 2021 AT 5:00 PM CENTRAL.

Please feel free to contact Helen Jackson Lockett-El at helen.jackson.lockett-el@state.mn.us with any questions.

MDH is hiring for the COVID Community Coordinators (CCC) initiative

October 2020

The Minnesota Department of Health invites candidates apply for the COVID Community Coordinators (CCC) initiative. The application deadline is October 26, 2020.

The COVID Community Coordinators (CCC) initiative supports community-led organizations to help relay information about COVID-19 response and other support services in culturally relevant, linguistically appropriate and timely ways. CCCs will serve the following communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19: African American, African immigrant, American Indian, Asian American Pacific Islander, Latinx, LGBTQ, and disability communities in Minnesota. Leveraging community strengths and trusted community networks is essential to responding to COVID-19 and the longstanding health inequities this pandemic has exacerbated. Communities’ needs extend beyond immediate health concerns and encompass areas such as employment, food access, housing, childcare, and legal rights. CCCs will help community members navigate to critical resources. The following positions will staff the initiative and support community-led organizations in this work.

Position openings:
Job ID: 42186 H5359 African American CCC COVID Community Coordinator
Job ID: 42189 H5360 Disability CCC COVID Community Coordinator
Job ID: 42190 H5361 Asian Pacific Islander (API) CCC COVID Community Coordinator
Job ID: 42191 H5362 African Immigrant CCC COVID Community Coordinator
Job ID: 42192 H5363 LGBTQ+ CCC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer (LGBTQ+) COVID Community Coordinator
Job ID: 42193 H5364 Newer Refugee and Immigrant CCC COVID Community Coordinator
Job ID: 42194 H5365 Latinx CCC COVID Community Coordinator
Job ID: 42195 H5366 American Indian CCC COVID Community Coordinator

For more information, please visit the Minnesota Careers website.

NEW REPORT: Cultivating a Health Equity Ecosystem: Lessons Learned from the Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative

Cultivating a Health Equity Ecosystem ReportAugust 2020

The year 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative (EHDI) grant program. As we approach two decades of EHDI, we've been reflecting on our state’s investment in these grants and its impact over the years. We have also been thinking about what future investments are needed in order to strengthen Minnesota’s ecosystem to advance health equity for all. Out of this reflecting, analyzing, and visioning came this report: Cultivating a Health Equity Ecosystem: Lessons Learned from the Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative.

We invite you to join Director Kou Thao and other contributors to the report for a webinar on Wednesday, September 16 from 1-2 pm Central Time to discuss the report's key findings and lessons learned.

Visit the Cultivating a Health Equity Ecosystem webpage to view the report and to register for the webinar.

Announcing the new cohort of Community Solutions Fund grantees

July 2020

We are thrilled to announce the incoming cohort of Community Solutions Fund grantees for the 2020-2023 grant period:

  • kidsAfrican 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

June 2020

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.”

In solidarity,
The MDH Center for Health Equity

Message from the Center for Health Equity in response to COVID-19

March 2020

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Selected Resources:

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

March 2020

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.

Health Equity Summit 2020 postponed

We invite you to submit an idea for 2020 Health Equity Summit Innovation Lab!

January 2020

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

Collage of kids' facesDecember 2019

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

November 2019

grants coming soon flyerThe 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

September 2019

image of reviewerApplications 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 christy.nguyen@state.mn.us.

Now accepting applications for the Community Solutions Advisory Council

July 2019

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.

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 ann.linde@state.mn.us with any questions.

Announcing the 2019-2023 Cohort of Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative (EHDI) Grantees

July 2019

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

April 2019

Greetings,

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

EHDI Grant Review Process Summary: Memo to Applicants and Partners

M