Office of Minority Health Announces Funding Opportunity to Test Disparity-Reducing Interventions in Public Health Programs

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced a funding opportunity (MP-CPI-20-001) titled, “State/Tribal/Territorial Partnership Initiative to Document and Sustain Disparity-Reducing Interventions.”

This initiative is intended to help build the capacity of state, tribal, and territorial governmental health agencies to test changes to existing public health programs or practices to determine if the modified interventions substantially improve health outcomes for selected health issues. The program also aims to develop plan(s) to sustain successful interventions after the award period.

Projects should address two health issues, one from each of the following lists:

  1. HIV, maternal mortality and morbidity, physical activity, or substance use disorder; and
  2. Nutrition, sickle cell disease and trait, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, lupus, or cancer prevention (i.e., addressing risk factor(s) specifically for stomach, liver, or cervical cancer).

Of note, interventions proposed for modification can be those which have been implemented by the applicant within the past two years.

Eligible applicants for this opportunity include: state, county, city or township, tribal, and special district governments; independent school districts and both public and state institutions of higher education; public and Indian housing authorities; tribal organizations; non-profits with or without 501(c)3 status (not higher education); private non-profit institutions of higher education, and U.S. Territories.

If an applicant is not a state, tribal, or territorial governmental health agency or entity, they will be expected to formally partner with one. Applicants are also encouraged to partner with minority-serving institutions such as medical schools at Hispanic-Serving Institutions and at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to support a diverse workforce and encourage a focus on racial and ethnic health disparities. 

HHS estimates $6.5 million in total program funding and anticipates awarding between $250,000 and $300,000 to approximately 21 to 26 organizations for up to two years. Funding is available under the authority of Section 1707 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. § 300u-6). The application deadline is August 26, 2020 at 6pm ET, and the anticipated start date is September 30, 2020.

This initiative comes at a crucial time, as the United States deals with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has highlighted health disparities. Minority communities, including Black, Asian, and Latino Americans, are more likely than their non-Hispanic white counterparts to have chronic health conditions but are less likely to have adequate health coverage. This initiative would seek to help close those health gaps in order to have healthier, more equitable communities.

Lauren Testa has experience working with a diverse range of clients – including, investors and lenders, federal and local government