Minority Health Program

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Spotlight

 

Diverse family walking

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services Minority Health Program awarded five grants to community organizations for projects aimed at reducing health disparities among racial and ethnic minority populations.

Four organizations were selected to receive $25,000 for projects aimed at improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations. The four awardees are:

Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division, Improving Health Outcomes Among Milwaukee African-American and Hispanic/Latino Community Members By Increasing Access To Mental Health Crisis Services And Stabilization

This project seeks to build upon current prevention and information dissemination efforts by working in partnership with Federally Qualified Health Centers and providing customized materials on the health status of Hispanic and African Americans in Milwaukee, focusing on the Healthy Wisconsin priorities of Suicide and ACEs.

Today Not Tomorrow, Inc., Today Not Tomorrow Family Resource Center Family Support Programming

Today Not Tomorrow Family Resource Center (TNT FRC) is designed to connect African-American families who are pregnant or have infants/toddlers to provide opportunities for parents and caregivers to learn and foster healthy parent-child relationships in the face of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and create opportunities for families to learn about resources to support them and foster healthy birth outcomes.

Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, Creating a Culture of Personal and Community Health

The goal of this project is to create a culture of personal and community health around nutrition and physical activity for the Latinx community in the near south side of Milwaukee.

Jewish Family Services, School-Based Mental Health

This project seeks to provide on-site mental health services to students at Brown Deer public schools and Inner City Cyber charter school to reduce the negative impact of ACES on mental health.

 

One organization was selected to receive $33,600 to engage in a Public Health Information Campaign targeting racial/ethnic minorities around an issue connecting to the Healthy Wisconsin priorities: alcohol, nutrition and physical activity, opioids, suicide, tobacco, and the cross cutting issue of ACEs. This year’s recipient is:

African-American Breastfeeding Alliance of Dane County, Inc., Health Through an Equity Lens

This campaign aims to help women understand the benefits of breastfeeding and their rights around breastfeeding through a series of podcasts, radio ads, billboards and public service announcements.

 

Teenage girl wraps arms around her mother

The National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (the National CLAS Standards) are intended to advance health equity and more.

Please explore our Minority Health CLAS page for tools, trainings and resources.

 

Smiling man seated at computer

Please visit our partners at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health to learn about the history of minority health in the United States, find current events, and learn about federal initiatives to reduce health disparities and achieve health equity for ethnic and racial minorities.

 

DHS Wisconsin Health Care and Coverage website provides information and resources on various health care options.

 

Minority Health
Grants

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).

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.

2009 Minority Health Mini-grants

Projects for the 2008-2009 grant program addressed one of the following two priority areas in support of the State Health Plan:

  • Priority Area 1: Access to primary and preventive health services
  • Priority Area 2: Overweight, obesity, and lack of physical activity
2009 Minority Health Grantees

Traditionally Healthy Project (Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians)
The Traditionally Healthy Project was a weekly health program designed to enhance the physical well-being of Native American youth, ages 13-19, who were overweight or at risk for obesity. The project worked in cooperation with the Healthy Lifestyles Project (a community health education program) to provide weekly, seasonally appropriate, physical fitness activities including traditional dance instruction, snow shoeing, skiing, skating and swimming. Additionally, weekly talking circles provided youth with a supportive environment in which to discuss obesity-related issues and learn healthy living habits. Community members with expertise in nutrition and life skills guided these meetings.

Girls Get Fit (YWCA of Madison/Girl Neighborhood Power)
Girl Neighborhood Power is an after-school and evening enrichment program currently serving African American, Latina and Asian girls, ages 9-18, who lived in five low-income communities. The Girls Get Fit campaign included exercise, nutritious cooking classes and meetings with community-based public health nurses. The focus of the campaign was creative, fun ways to increase healthy eating and maintain a moderate to vigorous exercise routine weekly.

Fitness Fun (Agape Community Center)
Fitness Fun was a community health program designed to address the nutritional and physical fitness needs of African Americans in the Milwaukee area. The program encouraged nutritious eating habits and a regular exercise routine through menu planning and cooking classes, weekly exercise and "Dancercise" classes, and organized recreational/sports activities. Additionally, wellness activities such as weekly blood pressure checks were provided in consultation with local nursing students.

Latinas Saludables/Latina Healthy Lifestyles Project (CORE/El Centro)
Latinas Saludables was a program designed to address overweight, obesity and lack of physical activity issues in Milwaukee's Latina population. Special focus was directed toward two ZIP codes with the highest Latina population in the city. Using a Community Health Promoter (CHP) model, the project  involved a personalized program of health education and exercise in which participants engaged in one-on-one work with a CHP, nutritionist and project coordinator. CHP coaching and weekly support group sessions was also utilized to identify and address individual and community barriers to success.

Using Health Promoters to Improve Health in the LGBT Communities of Color (Diverse and Resilient, Inc.)
The project engaged lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people of color who trained as Community Health Promoters (CHPs) in order to increase culturally competent health promotion activities through outreach and education to social networks. CHPs were recruited and trained through a structured curriculum of outreach strategies supported by academic and health care partners. The focus of this project was to increase understanding of the health disparities peculiar to LGBT people of color, and of the connection between minority stress and risk behaviors. A primary goal was to increase adaptive behaviors to stress through increased community outreach.

Our Space, Our Place (Freedom, Inc.)
Our Space, Our Place was a project designed to give Hmong female teens a safe and culturally competent place in which to become more educated and knowledgeable about health issues of concern to them. The project identified 60 Hmong American and Hmong refugee teen girls ages 13-19, from no-income, low-income and working class families, most of whom possessed Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and who had, or had recently experienced, a medical condition of concern. This unique program integrated both western and traditional Hmong approaches to health care, and "brought the clinic" to the community in order to increase access to health care services.

Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) (Marathon County Health Department)
The purpose of the HEAL project was to address the issue of obesity and lack of physical activity in the adult Hmong population in the greater Wausau area. Representatives of the Hmong community were asked to participate in a planning process to identify the perception of the problem and to strategize potential solutions. One promising practice that was identified utilized a Hmong Community Health Worker (CHW) to build upon a successful Hmong Walking Group by linking it with the Healthy Eating, Active Living Coalition of Marathon County and its existing programs and services.

Racine-Kenosha Birthing Project (Professional Women's Network of Service)
The Racine-Kenosha Birthing Project (RKBP) was an emergent support and advocacy program based on The Birthing Project USA model. This model is designed to improve birth outcomes for women of color, using the theory of "Sister Friends." This approach pairs older, mature women of the community with at-risk African American women to provide non-medical, practical support during pregnancy and for one year after the birth of the younger woman's children. RKBP addressed lifestyle issues that needed changing, such as smoking cessation, dietary issues, physical activity and keeping prenatal appointments.

Hispanic Outreach (The Neighbor's Place)
Hispanic Outreach was a project designed to enhance the health and well-being of Central Wisconsin's Hispanic infants and families by increasing access to health services through partnership with Latinos Unidos' existing bilingual services. These services were employed to develop and implement an intake procedure to screen all clients for WIC eligibility, and provide referral and follow-up. Additionally, a dance fitness program was implemented based on an informational, behavioral and environmental model, with the aim of changing physical activity behavior in the Hispanic population.

Comenzando Bien (Winnebago County Health Department)
Comenzando Bien, based on a March of Dimes model of the same name, was a Spanish language prenatal class available to pregnant Hispanic women. Winnebago County Health Department administered this program in a three-county region. The class, taught by Spanish language speakers from the community, provided information on prenatal care, pregnancy changes, nutrition during pregnancy, labor/delivery, child care and breastfeeding.

2008 Minority Health Mini-grants

Projects for the 2008 grant program addressed one of the following two priority areas in support of the State Health Plan:

  • Priority Area 1: Access to primary and preventive health services
  • Priority Area 2: Overweight, obesity, and lack of physical activity
2008 Minority Health Grantees

Traditionally Healthy Project (Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians)
The Traditionally Healthy Project was a weekly health program designed to enhance the physical well-being of Native American youth, ages 13-19, who were overweight or at risk for obesity. The project worked in cooperation with the Healthy Lifestyles Project (a community health education program) to provide weekly, seasonally appropriate, physical fitness activities including traditional dance instruction, snow shoeing, skiing, skating and swimming. Additionally, weekly talking circles provided youth with a supportive environment in which to discuss obesity-related issues and learn healthy living habits. Community members with expertise in nutrition and life skills guided these meetings.

Girls Get Fit (YWCA of Madison/Girl Neighborhood Power)
Girl Neighborhood Power was an after-school and evening enrichment program serving African American, Latina and Asian girls, ages 9-18, who lived in five low-income communities. The Girls Get Fit campaign included exercise, nutritious cooking classes and meetings with community-based public health nurses. The focus of the campaign was creative, fun ways to increase healthy eating and maintain a moderate to vigorous exercise routine weekly.

Fitness Fun (Agape Community Center)
Fitness Fun was a community health program designed to address the nutritional and physical fitness needs of African Americans in the Milwaukee area. The program encouraged nutritious eating habits and a regular exercise routine through menu planning and cooking classes, weekly exercise and "Dancercise" classes, and organized recreational/sports activities. Additionally, wellness activities such as weekly blood pressure checks were provided in consultation with local nursing students.

Latinas Saludables/Latina Healthy Lifestyles Project (CORE/El Centro)
Latinas Saludables was a program designed to address overweight, obesity and lack of physical activity issues in Milwaukee's Latina population. Special focus was directed toward two ZIP codes with the highest Latina population in the city. Using a Community Health Promoter (CHP) model, the project involved a personalized program of health education and exercise in which participants engaged in one-on-one work with a CHP, nutritionist and project coordinator. CHP coaching and weekly support group sessions were also utilized to identify and address individual and community barriers to success.

Using Health Promoters to Improve Health in the LGBT Communities of Color (Diverse and Resilient, Inc.)
The project engaged lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people of color who trained as Community Health Promoters (CHPs) in order to increase culturally competent health promotion activities through outreach and education to social networks. CHPs were recruited and trained through a structured curriculum of outreach strategies supported by academic and health care partners. The focus of this project was to increase understanding of the health disparities peculiar to LGBT people of color, and of the connection between minority stress and risk behaviors. A primary goal was to increase adaptive behaviors to stress through increased community outreach.

Our Space, Our Place (Freedom, Inc.)
Our Space, Our Place was a project designed to give Hmong female teens a safe and culturally competent place in which to become more educated and knowledgeable about health issues of concern to them. The project identified 60 Hmong American and Hmong refugee teen girls ages 13-19, from no-income, low-income and working class families, most of whom possessed Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and who had, or had recently experienced, a medical condition of concern. This unique program integrated both western and traditional Hmong approaches to health care, and "brought the clinic" to the community in order to increase access to health care services.

Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) (Marathon County Health Department)
The purpose of the HEAL project was to address the issue of obesity and lack of physical activity in the adult Hmong population in the greater Wausau area. Representatives of the Hmong community were asked to participate in a planning process to identify the perception of the problem and to strategize potential solutions. One promising practice that was identified utilized a Hmong Community Health Worker (CHW) to build upon a successful Hmong Walking Group by linking it with the Healthy Eating, Active Living Coalition of Marathon County and its existing programs and services.

Racine-Kenosha Birthing Project (Professional Women's Network of Service)
The Racine-Kenosha Birthing Project (RKBP) was an emergent support and advocacy program based on The Birthing Project USA model. This model is designed to improve birth outcomes for women of color, using the theory of "Sister Friends." This approach pairs older, mature women of the community with at-risk African American women to provide non-medical, practical support during pregnancy and for one year after the birth of the younger woman's children. RKBP addressed lifestyle issues that needed changing, such as smoking cessation, dietary issues, physical activity and keeping prenatal appointments.

Hispanic Outreach (The Neighbor's Place)
Hispanic Outreach was a project designed to enhance the health and well-being of Central Wisconsin's Hispanic infants and families by increasing access to health services through partnership with Latinos Unidos' existing bilingual services. These services were employed to develop and implement an intake procedure to screen all clients for WIC eligibility, and provide referral and follow-up. Additionally, a dance fitness program was implemented based on an informational, behavioral and environmental model, with the aim of changing physical activity behavior in the Hispanic population.

Comenzando Bien (Winnebago County Health Department)
 Comenzando Bien, based on a March of Dimes model of the same name, was a Spanish language prenatal class available to pregnant Hispanic women. Winnebago County Health Department  administered this program in a three-county region. The class, taught by Spanish language speakers from the community, provided information on prenatal care, pregnancy changes, nutrition during pregnancy, labor/delivery, child care and breastfeeding.

2007 Minority Health Mini-Grants

Projects for the 2007 grant program addressed one of the following four priority areas:

  • Community-based strategies to reduce infant mortality and low birthweight births.
  • Community-driven, neighborhood-based primary prevention and health promotion models and services.
  • Mentoring, development, and support of minority health professionals and minority students interested in health careers.
  • Programs to reduce overweight and obesity among racial and ethnic minority groups.
2007 Minority Health Grantees

Allied Area Partnership Towards Recovery (RESPECT, ARC Community Services, Inc.)
Allied Area Partnership Towards Recovery is a collaborative project developed by ARC Community Services, Inc; the Allied Wellness Center; Dane County Human Services Joining Forces for Families -Allied; and the Allied Dunn's Marsh Neighborhood Association to provide neighborhood-based, peer outreach AODA pre-entry support services; and HIV education and testing to high-risk substance-abusing pregnant African American women, high-risk substance-abusing African American and other high-risk persons.

Girls Get Fit (YWCA of Madison/Girl Neighborhood Power)
The Girl Neighborhood Power is an after-school and evening enrichment program currently serving African American, Latina and Asian girls, ages 9-18 that live in six low-income communities. The Girls Get Fit campaign includes exercise, nutritious cooking classes and meetings with community-based public health nurses. The focus of the campaign is creative, fun ways to increase healthy eating and maintain a moderate to vigorous exercise routine weekly.

Hispanic Access Network for Diabetes Screening (HANDS) (United Migrant Opportunity Services/UMOS, Inc.)
The overall goal of this project was to reduce the incidence of Hispanic infant mortality in Milwaukee through the integration of bilingual diabetes prevention education, screening and appropriate referral and follow-up in the UMOS Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Program. The targeted population is Hispanic women of childbearing years, including settled-out migrant and immigrant women.

Hispanics for Health! (CAP Services, Inc.)
The purpose of this project was to increase access to health care of the Hispanic community of Portage County with limited English proficiency, in particular women of child-bearing age and children. Staff  provided health case management and facilitate linkage of target population with local health care providers and other community resources.

Hmong Health Enhancement Through Long-Term Prevention -HELP (La Crosse Area Hmong Mutual Assistance Association, Inc.)
The goal of this project was to provide education about identified health concerns and enhance overall health within the Hmong community in the greater La Crosse area. The Hmong HELP project targeted the newest arrivals and those ages 45 and over.

Meta House Maternal Health Project (Meta House, Inc.)
This program integrated perinatal care and health education with substance use treatment specifically designed to serve high-risk African American or post-partum women over age 18, who were in treatment for the abuse of alcohol and/or other drugs. The project also helped women gain knowledge that assisted them to make choices that were healthy for themselves and their children.

Mino-bimaadizi endaso-giizhik (Live Well Every Day) Project (Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewas)
This project supported the following five nutrition/exercise initiatives to support efforts to mino-bimaadizi endaso-giizhik (Live Well Every Day) within the Red Cliff Community:

  • Strong Women Health Fair
  • Red Cliff Walking Club
  • Easter Exercise and Nutrition Event
  • Community Sledding Event
  • Breastfeeding Support Initiatives

Nursing Assistant/Community-Based Residential Facility Training for Minorities (Lakeshore Technical College)
This project provided specialized training to Latino and Southeast Asian residents in Sheboygan and Manitowoc, who were interested in entering health care careers through employment in Community-Based Residential Facilities (CBRFs).

Oneida Prevention Plan (Wise Women Gathering Place, Inc.)
Wise Women Gathering Place's project goal was to increase the well-being of Oneida infants and their families, physically, mentally, emotionally and socially, by delaying onset of sexual activity and engaging the community in the process.

Parents and Children Partnering for Health - Peer Education Training (New Concept Self Development Center, Inc.)
The goal of this project was to increase healthy lifestyles, focusing on reducing obesity among African American children 8-17 years old and adults. Children and adults were introduced to healthier lifestyle information, such as incorporating exercise into daily lives; shopping for and preparing nutritious food; making traditional holiday foods healthier; making healthier choices when eating out; and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Planning to Improve Health Within LGBT Communities of Color in Milwaukee (Diverse and Resilient, Inc.)
The goals of this project were to: 1) increase knowledge of how race impacts lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identity; 2) continue health leadership development within the African American LGBT population; and 3) increase knowledge and planning regarding health disparities and needs of Latino/a LGBT populations. The project implemented strategies as well as continued planning for future programming.

Project Step-Up II (OIC of Racine County, Inc.)
The project was designed to assist low-income, W-2, WIA or Welfare-to-Work eligible African American residents of Racine who were interested in or already pursuing certification programs in the health care industry with partial tuition payment, books, transportation, childcare, and post-graduation unsubsidized internship placement assistance.

Funded by the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program, Division of Public Health:

African American Council of Churches, Inc.
This grant allowed the African American Council of Churches, Inc., to hire a Registered Nurse who served as the council’s parish nurse in providing health education, information, advocacy and support to members of the congregations. This individual's role was to work with each congregation, provide workshops, present information, conduct home visits for those who were unable to travel to appointments, and serve as an advocate to assure the community members were getting adequate and efficient health care. This individual also provided prevention services in health areas such as hypertension and diabetes.

Riverwest Food Pantry
This grant supported the food pantry’s services to low-income communities. The pantry serves clients, primarily African American and Latino, living below poverty level. The pantry provided blood pressure and glucose screening and management, and information about body mass calculation and cooking for health.

2006 Minority Health Mini-Grants

Projects for the 2006 grant program addressed one of the following four priority areas:

  • Community-based strategies to reduce infant mortality and low birthweight births.
  • Community-driven, neighborhood-based primary prevention and health promotion models and services.
  • Mentoring, development, and support of minority health professionals and minority students interested in health careers.
  • Programs to reduce overweight and obesity among racial and ethnic minority groups.
2006 Minority Health Grantees

Hmong Safe Rides Project (La Crosse County Health Department, Nutrition Division)
The objective of this grant was to decrease childhood injury in the La Crosse Hmong population by improving child passenger safety through a culturally relevant safe rides program for Hmong families.

Formation of the Black Coalition of Kenosha County (Kenosha County Division of Health)
The objective of this grant was to plan for the formation of a Black Coalition of Kenosha County in order to develop a community-driven focus on primary prevention and health promotion approaches to improve health outcomes among African Americans.

The Witness Project: Hats Off to Breast Health (Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System)
The objective of this grant was to continue linking women to cancer screening and provide specialized assistance to low income, uninsured and older African American women. The grant will also allow the implementation of "Pink Ribbon Sundays," monthly breast health events located at designated African American churches throughout Dane County.

Providing Cervical Cancer, Breast Cancer and Sexually Transmitted Infection Screening for Hispanic Women in Lincoln County (St. Vincent de Paul Free Clinic and Comunidad Hispana, Inc.)
The objectives of this grant were to 1) enhance the health of Hispanic women in Lincoln County by implementing a community-delivered, neighborhood-based program to provide health maintenance examinations including screening for cervical cancer, breast cancer and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for 80 percent of the Hispanic women in Lincoln County;  and to 2) educate 90 percent, of the Hispanic women in Lincoln County about the importance of health maintenance examinations including screenings for cervical and breast cancer and STIs.

Outreach Health Project (Neighbors Place, Inc.)
The objective of this grant was to enhance the well-being of Hispanics living in North Central Wisconsin by providing services that assist families in overcoming barriers that contribute to health disparities in this population. The grant allowed: assessment of knowledge and everyday practices of Hispanics related to health care promotion; distribution of educational material; health-related workshops; and improvement of nutrition among low-income, minority families living in Marathon County.

Hmong Minority Health Project (City of Appleton)
The goal of this grant was to enhance health promotion, health education and public health preparedness risk communication with Appleton's non-English-speaking Hmong population. The project implemented a community-driven, neighborhood-based primary prevention and health promotion program utilizing mass communication via low frequency radio. The project also assisted in establishing new, and strengthening existing, relationships with clan leaders and informal health leaders within the Hmong community. Additionally, the program helped strengthen the emergency community response capacity within the Hmong community via the Hmong Wisconsin Radio.

Health and Safety for Your Community (Monroe County Health Department)
The goal of the program is to enable participants to improve health and environmental safety, and manage basic medical needs. Through the program the participants in the bicultural community gathering will increase their knowledge relating to basic medical care and emergency responses for choking and simple injuries. Additionally, the program will allow for a Public Health Nurse to complete the child seat safety technician course, and for the initiation of a planning process for Hispanic child transportation safety inspections.

Girls Get Fit (YWCA of Madison, Girl Neighborhood Power)
The objective of this project was to increase daily exercise of 150 girls in Madison's low income community. Additionally, the program increased access to and knowledge of healthy foods through culturally relevant and fun cooking classes. Finally, the program developed capacity to implement Girls, Inc., Sporting Chance at all GNP sites.

Cervical Cancer Public Education Campaign for Hmong Women Living in Dane County, Wisconsin (United Asian Services of Wisconsin)
The objectives of the program included developing a written brochure on cervical cancer in the Hmong language to help Southeast Asian women in Wisconsin gain a better understanding and awareness of cervical cancer. The brochure was distributed to 500 Hmong-speaking women and to the Southeast Asian community. Additionally there were two advanced-level informative sessions about the cervical cancer awareness program targeted to 12-15 community stakeholders, leaders, health professionals, and educators as change agents.

Hmong Sisters Project (Freedom, Inc.)
The goals of this project included providing a safe environment for young mothers to talk and find support about different issues such as domestic violence, pregnancy, preventive care, nutrition, mental health and other health issues. Another goal was to increase awareness of different resources and service providers in Dane County. A third goal was to educate young mothers about their infants'/children's health.

Cultural Transition of WIC's Hispanic Population (City of Milwaukee Health Department)
The goal of this program was to ensure continuity of care during a transition to a health care facility for women, infants and children with limited English proficiency enrolled in WIC, and to ensure that 100 percent of the women enrolled in WIC at the Johnston Community Health Center prior to the transition were still enrolled and active in WIC after the transition.

MADC Comprehensive Dental Care (St. Mary's Milwaukee Foundation, Inc.)
The goal of this program was to provide comprehensive dental care to impoverished Madre Angela Dental Clinic clients.

Planning to Improve Health within the Milwaukee African American LGBT Community (Diverse and Resilient, Inc.)
The goals of this program were to increase knowledge of how race affects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identity; and to discuss how race affects adherence to health promotion and disease prevention strategies among African American LGBT populations. The program implemented strategies as well as continued planning of future programming.

Wellness Fair 2006 (Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians)
The goal of the project was to improve the health and well-being of the Lac Courte Oreilles tribal community. The objective was to provide a Wellness Fair in May, 2006. The purpose of the health/wellness fair was to offer a wide variety of prevention activities to an estimated 300 participants; to provide health screenings for diabetes, hypertension, depression and childhood asthma; to provide spiritual consultation along with clinical mental health providers; to provide transportation (as the Reservation is in a rural location, and many people do not have transportation); and to offer information to participants that covered a wide spectrum of services focusing on emotional, physical and spiritual health.

Three Sisters Gardening Project (Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa)
The goal of the project was to promote wellness through community participation in seasonal food production; promotion of healthy eating practices; and utilization of an educational tool for youth and community members to learn the importance of traditional plants and eco-sensitive food-gathering practices. The three main objectives were: 1) to hold a community event to raise awareness of the gardening project; 2) to encourage the benefits of healthy food choices and exercise to prevent illness; and 3) to develop sustainability for the gardening project through the recruitment of youth.

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: November 30, 2018