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While we were celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act yesterday, there was some more exciting news coming out of Washington. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) revealed four funding opportunity announcements for initiatives that will help improve health in communities of color and reduce health disparities across the country.
Let’s take a look at these four opportunities:
- National Health Education Program on Lupus (Deadline 5/18/2015)
This opportunity focuses on reducing disparities in instances of lupus, a disease that is three times more common in African Americans than Whites and also disproportionately impacts Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans. The National Health Education Program on Lupus will bring together the general public, health professionals, and student trainees in targeted communities to raise awareness about lupus. This opportunity includes $2 million for 3-5 awards.
- National Workforce Diversity Pipeline Program (Deadline 5/18/2015)
In California, communities of color represent 61% of the state’s population but only 48% of practicing physicians. Latinos, who represent 38% of Californians, are just 4% of the state’s physicians. These numbers highlight the need for programs that emphasize diversity in the health care workforce. This funding opportunity specifically addresses the health care workforce and aims to encourage those in communities of color to pursue careers in health professions. It includes $2.5 million for 5-8 awards.
- Partnerships to Increase Coverage in Communities II (PICC II) Initiative (Deadline 5/22/2015)
We know that communities of color are enrolling in Covered California health plans at a high rate. OMH’s PICC II Initiative aims to increase outreach and enrollment efforts to ensure that those eligible for coverage through Health Insurance Marketplaces are aware of the available programs and to help those in communities of color and other underserved areas enroll. There is $3.5 million available for 14-17 awards.
- State Partnership Initiative to Address Health Disparities (Deadline 5/24/2015)
This fourth opportunity targets state-level partnerships to identify and address health disparities. OMH looks to work with state/tribal agencies to develop strategies to reduce health disparities in vulnerable communities. This opportunity includes $3 million for 15-17 awards.
There will be webinars on each of the opportunities in the middle of April. You can find more information about those events as well as instructions for how to apply on the OMH website. Hopefully California can benefit from some of these exciting opportunities to address health disparities across the country.