Minority Health Program

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MHP Grant Application Deadline Extended!!!

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New deadline: 8 a.m. CST on Friday, June 12, 2020.
The Wisconsin Minority Health Program has extended the application deadline for the 2020 Community Grants and the Public Health Information Campaign Grant until Friday, June 12, 2020, at 8: a.m. CST. 
The deadline for submitting inquiries has also been extended. Questions about the RFAs and the process must be submitted to the Minority Health Program by June 8, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.
Be sure to check the Minority Health Program website regularly for updates. 
If you missed any of the information sessions leading up to the RFA release, you may view a recording of the webinar.
You can also find additional resources in the Minority Health Program Grant Application Resources List. 

Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, when we commemorate and celebrate the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

The month of May was chosen to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

During the observance in May, the HHS Office of Minority Health honors the rich culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders and raises awareness of health disparities.

All of us here at the Minority Health Program would like take this opportunity to join our partners in celebrating the countless contributions of Asians & Pacific Islanders throughout America’s history while also growing our appreciation of the spectrum of identities across the Asian/Pacific American communities

In honor of this observance, we would like to share a few resources. Please share your favorite resources with us too!



Minority Health

The Minority Health Grant Program is targeted to racial/ethnic minority community-based organizations and tribes in Wisconsin. The purpose of the community grants is to support the work of organizations serving communities of color, especially those organizations that are located in areas where health disparities are high. The type of work funded will aim to eliminate health disparities to achieve health equity, and improve health across the lifespan (the two crosscutting goals of the Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 plan).

2019-2020 Grantees

Due to recent changes in funding, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Minority Health Program was able to award grants to five additional community organizations this year.

The following five organizations were selected to receive $25,000 for projects aimed at reducing health disparities among racial and ethnic minority populations in Wisconsin.

ABC for Health, Inc. - Family Stories: Birth Cost Equity for Unmarried Women & Families.

In collaboration with ABC for Rural Health and HealthWatch Wisconsin, this project will document and translate the stories from unmarried women and families on Badger Care Plus in Wisconsin, that face legal action and judgment from County Child Support offices to repay Medicaid-supported birth expenses through the “Birth Cost Recovery” policy. These stories will form part of an education and outreach campaign to inform community leaders about the disparate impact this policy has on low-income, minority families, including health inequity and prenatal stress that leads to poor birth outcomes.

Centro Hispano of Dane County - New Routes Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) Support Group.

This project’s primary goal is to address the void of cultural and linguistically appropriate services for AODA for Latino families in Dane County. The project aims to run four AODA support group cohorts that are culturally and linguistically appropriate to serve a total of 60 participants. In addition, they would collect evaluation data to move into a national review of the curriculum to validate the intervention as a new evidence-based practice and allow sharing of the intervention with other Latinx communities in the nation.

Focus Counseling, Inc. - Pilot: Housing as Healthcare+

The goal of this initiative is to support initial housing opportunities for individuals facing significant barriers to housing, including substance abuse disorders, mental health diagnoses and criminal justice involvement, while providing wrap-around services to address other barriers to improved health outcomes, including development of an individualized recovery plan, access to nutrition and fitness education, and treatment and recovery services for AODA and mental health conditions.

Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency, Inc. - Eat. Move. Thrive. Kenosha

This project is a non-pharmaceutical prescription approach for health improvement in the areas of nutrition, physical activity, tobacco cessation, wellness and social cohesion. Their priority populations include Hispanic and African American individuals participating in the following RKCAA – Kenosha programming: Dedicated Dads, a WIC father involvement program. The Momtastics, a newly formed group of WIC moms, and low-income senior citizens participating in the Kenosha Senior Veggie Voucher Program.

Safe Community Coalition Madison-Dane County - Understanding Opioid Harm and Suicide in Dane County’s African American Community.

This project has as a primary goal to engage African-American community members and organizations in Dane County in the Ending Deaths from Despair Initiative through presentations and conversations about prevalence, impacts and prospective solutions to reduce opioid harm and suicide, planning, and recruitment to participate in the Ending Deaths from Despair Summit (Spring 2020) along with subsequent compilation of community conversations about suicide and opioid harm to begin next steps of developing culturally appropriate, community-based strategies to address these problems.

The five organizations listed above join our original list of grantees for this year, which includes:

  • HealthNet of Rock County, Inc. - Preventing Suicide and Improving Treatment of Hispanic Adults in Rock County. This project seeks to decrease the risk of suicide by initiating an intense screening and treatment program for Hispanic individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder in Rock County.
  • Today Not Tomorrow - Today Not Tomorrow (TNT) Family Resource Center Family Support Services. The goal of this work is to support African-American families in Dane County and to foster healthy birth outcomes by providing parents and caregivers with opportunities to learn and foster healthy parent-child relationships in the face of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
  • Wisconsin Health Literacy - Let’s Talk about Opioids. This project seeks to increase the knowledge among justice-involved individuals in minority populations about how to avoid death from opioids. The proposal includes the development of health literacy workshops for inmates upon release from prison or parole, followed by training of partners to sustain the delivery of this material.
  • Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness - Project LiveWell: Moving Black Women to Wellness through Fitness & Nutrition. The goal of this project is to engage African-American women and girls of Dane County in regular physical activity and nutrition education that bolsters their overall health and well-being and reduces their risk and incidence of chronic illness.
  • Centro Hispano of Dane County - Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences in Latinx Families using a critical approach to the Life Course Framework. This campaign aims to create innovative approaches to understanding and analyzing the health and well-being of Latinx families in Wisconsin through an entirely community-based approach to understand how ACEs are expressed and reported on in this community.
Congratulations to all our grantees this year. We are very excited to be able to support the great work our grantees are doing.


2016-2017 Minority Health Community Grants

The Minority Health Program is pleased to announce that the grantee recipients have been selected for fiscal year 2017. The recipients are listed below, along with their project goals.

2016-2017 Community Grant Project and Goals

Smoking Cessation
Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center

Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center (GLIIHC) will implement a Minority Health Community Grant to address smoking cessation. The initiative seeks to provide community education about the traditional use of tobacco. GLIIHC will collaborate with Milwaukee First Nations Health Coalition to adopt messages about traditional tobacco use and integrate them into the curriculum and practice of programming implemented at GLIIHC.

Medical Interpretation and Translation Services for the Southeast Asian Community
Hmong American Friendship Association

The Medical Interpretation and Translation Services for the Southeast Asian Community project will facilitate timely access to health care services by providing free, professional, medical interpretation and translation services to members of the Southeast Asian community in the Milwaukee area. The expected outcome is to raise the quality of clinical care for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) patients to near or at the level of people without language barriers. The project will implement Category 2 of the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (CLAS): Communication and Language Assistance.

Father Involvement to Improve Health Outcomes in African American and Hispanic WIC Families
Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency

The Father Involvement to Improve Health Outcomes in African American and Hispanic WIC Families project will increase involvement of African American and Hispanic fathers and fathers-to-be in the Kenosha County WIC Program in two program areas: WIC Appointments and Activities, and Father-Specific Programming and Services. The project will address social determinants of health under several Healthy People 2020 Key Domains: Economic Stability (Poverty and Food Security); Education (Early Childhood Education and Development); Health and Health Care (Access to Health Care); Neighborhood and Built Environment (Access to Healthy Foods); and Social and Community Context (Social Cohesion).

Let's Talk About Medicines
Wisconsin Literacy, Inc.

The Let's Talk About Medicines project will improve health literacy in refugee and immigrant populations throughout Wisconsin, by providing educational workshops to improve reading comprehension of medication labels and increase knowledge in how to talk with pharmacists. The project will address the social determinants of health under the Healthy People 2020 Key Domains of Education (Language and Literacy), and Health and Health Care (Health Literacy).

2013-2015 Minority Health Community Grants

The Minority Health Program is pleased to announce that the 2013-2014 grantee recipients have been awarded continuing grants for the fiscal year 2014 - 2015. Their project goals are described below.

2013 - 2015 Community Grant Projects and Goals

Connected Communities
CORE/El Centro

  • Support community health workers (CHWs) across different ethnic groups to identify the most prominent social determinants of health (SDH) and disseminate findings to inform community grass roots efforts, public health agendas and health policies.
  • Increase collaborative work among CHWs across cultures to promote civic engagement to address the social determinants of health.

Peer Breastfeeding Support for African Americans in Racine, Wisconsin
Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency

  • Increase knowledge of the value of breastmilk and breastfeeding benefits among African American families in Racine (pregnant, breastfeeding mothers, fathers, family members and related community individuals).
  • Increase breastfeeding initiation rates among African American families.

Minority Health Community Grants
Urban League of Greater Madison

  • Unemployed and underemployed individuals with employment barriers will learn new skills and demonstrate the behaviors necessary for successfully achieving and retaining employment.
  • Unemployed and underemployed individuals will increase their economic self-sufficiency by obtaining new or better employment.

Networking to Improve Hmong Health and Access to Care
Hmong American Center (formerly Wausau Area Hmong Mutual Association)

  • Improve the health literacy of Hmong living in North Central Wisconsin via bilingual workshops and courses.
  • Develop Wausau Area Hmong Health Coalition and formal structure for Hmong Health Education Network.

2012-2013 Minority Health Community Grants

The projects funded 2011- 2013 aimed to eliminate health disparities by focusing on the root causes of health disparities, also known as socioeconomic determinants of health (e.g., lack of education, poverty, racism and other forms discrimination, unemployment, unhealthy environment, poor housing conditions and violence).

2012 - 2013 Community Grant Projects

Resiliency is Health: Youth Creating Healthy Communities
Freedom, Inc.

Freedom, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides services to low- and no-income communities of color in Dane County. Its primary goal consists of promoting healthier living by looking at new definitions and solutions to end all forms of violence (including systemic racism, sexism, cisgenderism, classism, ableism, issues of nationality, etc.) against women, gender-queer persons and youth. Its roots of building healthy communities began in the Hmong community nearly a decade ago and have since expanded to include the Cambodian and African American communities where it has strong youth advocacy programs.

The overall goal of the Resiliency is Health project was to build new youth leaders to eventually engage in health justice work, advocacy and campaigns to make positive changes in their communities, families, and their own lives. African American/Black, Hmong and Cambodian youths, ages 12-24 years old were the targeted population. In addition, poor people and/or people of color benefited indirectly. The main outcomes of this project were to share analysis of health, food and land justice and what this means to each of the communities. Youths built their capacity to change social, structural and cultural norms that prohibited them from achieving healthier lives, through: 1) the convening of a Youth Health Justice Summit to develop a common language around health disparities; 2) creating alternative solutions to address health and food access issues, and 3) organizing and advocating for one policy change.

Building Healthy Refugee and Immigrant Communities- BHRIC
Pan-African Community Association-PACA

The Pan-African Community Association (PACA) was founded in 1999 to bring together people of African descent in an effort to address the needs of the increasing number of African immigrants and refugees in the Milwaukee area. These needs include language access; literacy skills; poverty reduction and health improvement. PACA addresses the community's needs through advocacy; cultural promotion and competency; education and services.

Since its inception, PACA's scope has expanded to include Asian and other refugee communities; the organization has been advocating for the promotion of healthy immigrant refugee communities by providing a culturally sensitive approach to serving the individuals and families that comprise the community. The Building Healthy Refugee and Immigrant Communities project continued this approach through the recruitment and training of health promoters from the Congolese, Eritrean, Burmese and Somali populations. Each of these communities helped select health promoters that were trained in health literacy on topics including social cohesion, self-confidence and personal growth as factors to improve health. Each cohort of health promoters functioned as a team in reaching out and building bridges between the different communities through health literacy workshops and a "kitchen table" approach of smaller workgroups. They served as role models to younger peers in their respective communities, while providing direct support to their families and raising the standard of living in their neighborhoods.

2011 Minority Health Mini-grants

Projects for the 2011 grant program addressed the following:
Implementing evidence-based programs to improve socioeconomic determinants of health or reduce health disparities.

2011 Minority Health Grantees

Community-Based Chronic Disease Management Project (Columbia St. Mary's Foundation)
Columbia St. Mary's Foundation established the Community-based Chronic Disease Management (CCDM) project in 2007 to increase access to primary and preventive health services for vulnerable people in locations they already frequent, such as churches and food pantries. The project uses a nurse-led delivery model to screen and manage chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus type II and high cholesterol. By promoting low-cost medicine, nutrition and education, CCDM has succeeded in reducing major risks and preventing complications, such as stroke and heart attack, within Milwaukee's impoverished, central city African American population. The results have been impressive, with success rates in disease management at 92% for high cholesterol and 83% for diabetes. Additionally, 71% of patients have lowered their blood pressure, while 79% of patients who were unaware of their condition at diagnosis reported an increase in knowledge regarding the impact of health behaviors after participating in the program.

The project used the Minority Health grant to address the Healthiest Wisconsin goal of reducing disparities by working toward the following outcomes:

  • Prevention of health disparities arising from undertreated chronic diseases in Milwaukee's impoverished, central city African American population.
  • Demonstration of an evidence-based, sustainable prevention model for reducing health disparities related to undertreated chronic diseases replicable throughout Milwaukee and other Wisconsin communities.

Partnerships included a physician and physician-residents from the Medical College of Wisconsin; Community Health Ministry Nurses; UW-Milwaukee nursing students; New Life Presbyterian Church and the Wisconsin Northwest Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ Churches as well as other central-city churches in Milwaukee.

Healthy Families/Healthy Communities Project (Dane County Parent Council)
The Healthy Families/Healthy Communities Project, sponsored by Dane County Parent Council (DCPC), rests on the foundations of the federal health and nutrition performance standards of the Head Start program; the guidelines and principles of the Department of Public Instruction Even Start Family Literacy program; the health/nutrition goals of the Salsa, Sabor y Salud curriculum; the domains and objectives of Healthiest Wisconsin 2020; and the groundbreaking report of the World Health Organization, The Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts.

Healthy Families/Healthy Communities utilized the above resources and guides to address poverty and disparities through nutrition health education for Dane County's most vulnerable low-income and minority families. In a series of interactive, intergenerational group meetings, diverse families prepared and shared healthy meals; children engaged in age-appropriate nutrition/health learning activities, and adults discussed factors that could improve their food purchasing, preparation, consumption and overall healthy well-being. Families convened for enjoyable physical movement celebrations at the conclusion of each session. Additional staff training ensured the program was replicable and could reach a wider community beyond those participating in the two eight-week sessions.

The project implemented, documented and evaluated evidence-based programming to improve the socioeconomic determinants of health and reduce health disparities among children and families in Dane County. Collaboration among DCPC, the Catholic Multicultural Center, the Madison Urban League, the Early Childhood Initiative and the United Way of Dane County operated as a community of practice and community of caring. The shared concerns were the needs of low-income minority children and their families for economic security, health care, education and housing. Through recruitment and participation of African American, Latino, and other members of the community, the project met the pillar objectives of Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 by using resources and strategies a) to eliminate health disparities and b) to reduce discrimination and increase social cohesion.

2010 Minority Health Mini-grants

Projects for the 2010 grant program addressed one of the following four priority areas in support of the State Health Plan:

  • Priority Area 1: Capacity-building activities for community-based organizations
  • Priority Area 2: Community-driven, neighborhood-based primary prevention and health promotion models and services
  • Priority Area 3: Mentoring, development, and support of minority health professionals and minority students interested in health careers
  • Priority Area 4: Programs to reduce overweight and obesity among racial and ethnic minority groups
2010 Minority Health Grantees

ALAS Youth and Family Special Needs Case Management Program: South (Alianza Latina Aplicando Soluciones, Inc.)
Alianza Latina Aplicando Soluciones primarily serves low-income, Spanish-speaking families of children with special needs who live on the south side of Milwaukee. The agency has for some years experienced steadily increasing caseloads as the neighborhood Latino population grows. The Special Needs Case Management Program capacity-building project addressed the increased demand for services by expanding services throughout the south side of Milwaukee County through partnership with Cudahy Health Department and Medicaid Case Management certification. Expansion included increased community awareness of available supports and programs; increased medical and community support; and increased capacity of local CBOs.

Baby Be Safe (Rosalie Manor Community and Family Services)
In an effort to reduce health disparities between Black and White birth outcomes, Rosalie Manor Community and Family Services partnered with Marquette University School of Nursing to develop a curriculum for young African American parents. This curriculum, Baby Be Safe, was designed specifically to connect with young, Milwaukee-area, African American parents who were living in poverty. Because no curriculum existed with which the target population could connect, this project developed its own, utilizing promising practices as its foundation. The curriculum addressed common unhealthy practices and included remedial topics such as safe sleeping habits, appropriate infant feeding, and proper nutrition for mothers and babies.

Community Gardening Project (Hispanic Community Center)
The Hispanic Community Health Resource Center is a wellness and advocacy resource center dedicated to promoting and preserving the quality of life for Hispanics in Waukesha County. The combination of the rising prevalence of cardiac disease, type II diabetes and a population that is growing older in the location indicates a need for programs that provide residents with skills and knowledge to maintain and improve their health and well-being. The Center's Community Gardening Project provided nutrition education and opportunities for physical activity and social interaction for 15 Hispanic seniors in Waukesha. In addition to providing a garden and healthy produce, the program, staffed with bilingual health promoters and health care professionals, also provided information on nutrition, food safety, body mechanics, and prevention of chronic disease.

Discovery Dating - Healthy Relationships in Oneida (Wise Women Gathering Place)
The Wise Women Gathering Place mission is to promote peace, respect and belonging for Native Americans through skill-building, sharing of resources and community support. Its Discovery Dating© program teaches Native American youth about healthy relationship building, the importance of mentors in a person's life and informed decision-making skills through role playing and real-life documentation and assessment of relationships. The main idea behind Discovery Dating© is to generate confident and inspired young people, skilled in healthy relationship tools, who know what they want in life and who can assert their own values successfully in all kinds of social situations. It also aims to reduce premature sexual activity, unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, substance abuse, and other problems that result from impulsive choice-making.

Fondy Farmers' Market Capacity Enhancement (Fondy Food Center)
Much of Milwaukee's north side, largely African American (>72%) population is at risk of hunger and diet-related illnesses due to persistent poverty and lack of fresh-food vendors. Fondy Food Center, through its Fondy Farmers' Market, fills this fresh-food void through partnerships with local growers, affordable prices, food stamp redemption and the acceptance of WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program Vouchers. The Fondy Farmers' Market Capacity Enhancement project aimed to expand the capacity of its staff in order to improve the systems and partnerships that drive the program, including partnerships with local businesses, schools and churches; collaborations with local non-profits; outreach to the community; evaluations of vendor growing practices and launching the WIC Farmers' Market Voucher matching program.

Girls Get Fit (Girls, Inc./YWCA of Madison, Inc.)
Girls, Inc. at the YWCA of Madison is an after-school program designed for low-income girls ages 9-18. It offered the "Girls Get Fit" program to 150 girls, over 90% of whom were girls of color. The overarching goal of the fitness campaign was to create an environment that supports and promotes healthy eating, daily physical activity, and a healthy weight for participants, in an effort to address the number one health issue facing low-income, African-American girls: obesity. Fun, culturally relevant, and age-appropriate fitness activities were offered through partnerships with local fitness clubs and dance studios as well as through a broad range of informal exercise options including team sports and outdoor activities. Through a partnership with local nutrition educators, girls also attended a series of cooking classes emphasizing healthy foods.

Healthy Latino Families (United Community Center)
The Healthy Latino Families project promoted healthy lifestyle changes to reduce the incidence of obesity among Hispanic children at the Bruce-Guadalupe Community School (BGCS) on Milwaukee's near south side. Ninety-eight percent of the 860 students at the school are Hispanic. Activities included researching and adapting a culturally relevant nutrition curriculum for Grades 4 and 5; providing training for elementary school staff on implementing this curriculum; integrating a health/nutrition curriculum for students from Grades 5-8; researching and incorporating culturally relevant family-centered hands-on nutrition-health tools for 400 students from K3-2nd Grade; training United Community Center Fitness Center staff on facilitating Zumba sessions; providing Zumba exercise sessions for BGCS students from Grades 1-8 and their families; and offering BGCS families culturally/linguistically appropriate nutrition education sessions.

Hmong Senior Health Project (United Asian Services of Wisconsin, Inc.)
United Asian Services of Wisconsin, Inc. assists refugees, former refugees and their descendants with employment, housing and education. The purpose of the Hmong Senior Health Project was to promote healthier behaviors related to nutrition and exercise among Hmong seniors in Dane County, with the hope of reducing obesity in this population. The program provided the following services: a series of health-related workshops for a minimum of 30 Hmong seniors per workshop; assistance to a minimum of 10 Hmong seniors in obtaining and tending a garden plot; and a weekly exercise class for a minimum of 10 Hmong seniors.

MBWI: Mothers, Breastfeeding and Working Initiative (African American Breastfeeding Network of Milwaukee)
The mission of the African American Breastfeeding Network of Milwaukee is to promote breastfeeding as the natural and best way to provide nourishment for babies and young children. Its Mothers, Breastfeeding and Working Initiative (MBWI) increased breastfeeding initiation, duration and exclusivity rates among African American families in the city of Milwaukee by enrolling participants in two MBWI projects: 1) Sista2Sista Chat Room Gatherings and 2) Pumpin' it Out, Workin' it Out © classes. These projects encouraged mothers to breastfeed exclusively by helping them understand the benefits and value of breastfeeding; supported mothers who are returning to work and who wished to continue providing breast milk to their babies; and helped mothers to overcome the barriers associated with breastfeeding and returning to work.

TTT: Turning, Tuning and Toning (Bread of Healing Clinic, Inc.)
The Bread of Healing Clinic is a free medical clinic, with three locations on Milwaukee's north side, designed to serve uninsured, low-income people who experience barriers to accessing ongoing health care. "TTT: Turning, Tuning, and Toning" was a new, weekly program at Cross Lutheran Church in the 53205 ZIP code area of Milwaukee - one of the poorest locations in the city. The program was open to anyone from the neighborhood or clinic, with special focus on 40 African American women, who regularly participated in the church's "meal at noon" on Wednesdays, which included a support group for lifestyle change. The Triple Ts expanded that program to include health screenings, aerobics classes twice weekly, a walking group once weekly, and a health education class that included cooking demonstrations with healthy foods. In addition, for those that participated, healthy foods were exchanged in the food bags that participants received each week from the church.

About Us

Image of a female African American doctor examining a young patient.

The Minority Health Program provides statewide leadership for policy measures that aim to improve the health of vulnerable populations in Wisconsin. It assures coordination of efforts intended to reduce health disparities. Our work is guided by three levels of authority:

  1. The federal Office of Minority Health strategic plan, the National Partnership for Action;
  2. Wis. Stats. 250.20; and
  3. The state health plan, Healthiest Wisconsin 2020.


Image of Hispanic adolescent male looking at the camera.

We work to consolidate these three levels of mandate into a coherent plan of action that our partners can implement to improve health outcomes for minority communities.

Image of an elderly Native American woman.

We provide direct services as well as indirect services. Direct services include the administration of community grants; the minority public health information campaign; publication of the Minority Health Report and administrative support to the Minority Health Advisory Group. Indirect services include the collection, organization and distribution of relevant information to our partners.

Last Revised: May 29, 2020