Minnesota Department of Health awards health equity grants for children

Minnesota Department of Health awards health equity grants for children Photo: WDIO/MGN

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: August 17, 2020 10:53 AM

The Community council and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is awarding new health equity grants for children.


A partnership with members of American Indian communities and communities of color is seeking to accelerate the work with a new grant program focused on improving outcomes for children in these communities.

The Community Solutions for Healthy Child Development grant program is said to be a new approach where members of American Indian communities and members of communities of color play a lead role in selecting grantees based on the needs of children identified in their communities.

The grant program will award approximately $1.5 million each year from state fiscal year 2020 through fiscal year 2023.

The Minnesota Legislature made the funding available during the 2019 legislative session.

The purposes of the Community Solutions grant program are to:

• Improve child development outcomes related to the well-being of children of color and American Indian children from prenatal to grade three and their families.

• Reduce racial disparities in children’s health and development from prenatal to grade three.

• Promote racial and geographic equity.

“With the Community Solutions fund, we are charting new territory,” said Betty Emarita, the Community Solutions Advisory Council co-chair. “Intentional learning between the public sector and communities of color and American Indian communities can lead to equitable, new growth in the real economy – an essential foundation for healthy, thriving children and families. Over 25% of Minnesota millennials are people of color and American Indian, as are nearly a third of Minnesota children ages 4 and under.”

The 12-member Community Solutions Advisory Council had the central role in shaping the grants, reviewing proposals and making funding decisions related to this grant program. The council is comprised of people of various African, Black, Asian-Pacific, Latino, and American Indian heritages and parents from various rural, urban and suburban communities throughout the state.

The council selected 23 organizations out of 46 applicants to receive the first $1.5 million round of funding. The grantees will be providing various services to the community to improve early childhood development for communities of color and American Indians.

Some of the proposed projects include doula support for expecting and postpartum women and families, preschool services, culturally specific home visiting and parental support, parenting classes, connecting community to traditional practices and healing.

Click here for additional details.


Alejandra Palacios

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