LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to fund resources supporting implementing the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) strategy and the development of the next iteration of the Michigan Health Equity Roadmap.

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The Michigan Health Equity Roadmap is a “vision and framework for improving the social and health status of racial and ethnic populations in Michigan.” Published in June of 2020, the roadmap unveiled a new health equity initiative developed by the Michigan Department of Community Health, under the leadership of the Health Disparities Reduction and Minority Health Section. The hope is that the report would stimulate coordinated efforts among various government, healthcare, and community partners to address and improve social and economic determinants of health along with specific health outcomes that burden Michigan’s population. In so doing, they hope to foster sustained progress toward health equity so that all Michiganders can enjoy a comparable level of optimal health.

The report discusses how racial and ethnic minority populations experience poorer outcomes than the general population for almost every health and social condition. It also says that racial and ethnic minority groups will comprise 50% of the US population and an increased proportion of the Michigan population by 2050 and without a focused effort to eliminate health disparities, the burden of poor health on Michigan’s vulnerable populations is likely to multiply, and the associated costs to the state of Michigan will be “staggering.”

The Michigan Health Equity Roadmap outlines the vision and plan to significantly reverse the negative health trends that have plagued racial and ethnic populations for decades. This report has four aims:

  1. To encourage Michigan public health and healthcare partners to direct more policy and programmatic attention to the fundamental social and economic determinants that drive racial and ethnic health disparities;
  2. To highlight best practices to reduce health inequities with an emphasis on social determinants of health and system improvements within institutions and communities;
  3. To invite state and local governments, health providers and insurers, social service agencies, the business community, universities, and civic and community-based organizations to develop collaborative plans to improve both social and health conditions of disparately-affected communities; and
  4. To promote stronger institutional/community partnerships and community engagement with the segments of our population that experience racial and ethnic inequities.

The organizations chosen for the RFP to help with these goals will meet with the policy and planning SDOH team monthly to provide updates on progress and request any technical assistance; assess current SDOH strategy phases to assist in building the work plan to achieve the racial health equity plan; attend all SDOH partner quarterly meetings; form a statewide racial health equity SDOH advisory group to support development of the racial health equity plan; analyze current data for racial health disparities and other reports and recommendations including the statewide housing plan, COVID-19 racial disparities task force reports, poverty taskforce report and the 2021 Health Equity Report; and provide a final report to MDHHS by mid-October.

Eligible applicants include nonprofits, private, public and tribal organizations and universities that have extensive experience with racial and health equity disparity programs as well as an understanding of current efforts including COVID-19 Racial Disparities Task Force priorities.

Grant applications for the Racial Health Equity Plan RFP must be submitted by April 11, 2023. The program period begins June 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2023.

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