Saint Paul, MN

What you need to know about Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative

Abdi Isaaq

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ST. PAUL, MN - The Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative, or EHDI, is a grant program within the Minnesota Department of Health's Center for Health Equity. EHDI invests approximately $5 million a year in community programs that address health inequalities for communities of color and American Indians in eight different priority healthcare systems.

The Minnesota State Legislature created the EHDI in 2001 to address the state's rising health inequalities. Over the years, the EHDI approach has been to support organizations and projects run by and for communities of color and American Indians to develop and implement effective strategies to reach their communities.

Community members will be more likely to be reached, engaged, and influenced by investing in community-based organizations or tribes. They aim to develop health improvement plans focused on cultural knowledge and wisdom as well as community assets.

Grants from EHDI are granted every few years through a competitive license application procedure. The community reviewers make funding selections based on the committee's suggestions. From 2019 through 2023, a cohort of 25 groups will receive funding under the current award cycle.

The following key health issues are addressed by grantees are:

  • Breast and cervical cancer screening
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Immunizations for adults and children
  • Infant mortality
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Unintentional injury and violence

Some of the approaches that grantees employ include:

1. Practice-based evidence (PBE) and/or the lived experiences of communities of color and American Indians provide promising methods.

2. Strategies based on research or evidence

Many of the techniques in PBE have been created through time through practice and experience. They frequently help to heal within a cultural context. EHDI initiatives anchored on community knowledge and wisdom, regardless of approach.

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