HEM: MDCH Capacity Building Grant

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The Health Disparities Reduction and Minority Health Section (HDRMHS) Capacity Building Grant program was designed as a two phase-four year grant project to promote collaboration between Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), local public health, community- and faith-based organizations, and other local entities to achieve health equity for Michigan’s racial and ethnic populations.

The goal for Phase-I of the Capacity Building Grant program was to fund planning and training activities that promote the overall goal of building local capacity and mobilizing communities to address the root causes (social determinants) of health disparities and increase awareness of the linkages between social determinants of health, health disparities, and health equity. Applicants focused on one or more of the following activities:

  • Improving racial/ethnic/ preferred language data collection
  • Developing sustainable effective partnerships and programs to improve racial/ethnic health inequities
  • Improving social determinants of health to eliminate racial/ethnic inequities through public education and evidence-based community interventions

HDRMHS, through a competitive application and objective review process, awarded funding to 16 of the 21 applicants ranging from $20,000-$30,000 to participate in Phase I of the Capacity Building Grant program. Strategies implemented in Phase-I of the Capacity Building Grant project included developing multi-sectored partnerships, conducting needs assessments, participating in health equity training, and creating program implementation plans for the second through fourth years of the grant. The efforts in Phase I of the grant resulted collectively in 171 committed health equity partners from the community and various organizations. Also, 13 of the 16 funded entities submitted proposals to move forward with Phase-II of the Capacity Building Grant program.

The overall success of Phase-I resulted in 7 organizations receiving grant funding in Phase II (January 1, 2011- September 30, 2013) for up to $55,000 each year over a three- year period to implement sustainable multi-leveled programming focused on evidence-based, community-focused initiatives designed to address racial and ethnic health inequities. Organizations that were funded include Asian Center – Southeast Michigan, Berrien County Health Department, Grand Rapids African American Health Institute, Muskegon Community Health Project, National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, St. John Community Investment Corporation, and Washtenaw County Public Health.

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