Two new grant opportunities funded by Wisconsin Partnership Program

Two new grant opportunities are being funded by UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Partnership Program with the goal of improving health equity in the state

As part of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, the program will focus on measures of health that are more social than medical: income, employment, education, nutrition, housing and others.

“Our new grant programs bring a very intentional and strong health equity focus to our work, and our hope is to help support communities as they tackle the challenging issues around health equity,” said Dr. Patrick Remington, chair of the Partnership’s Oversight and Advisory Committee and associate dean of public health at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

The new grants programs are called the Community Catalyst Grant Program and the Community Collaboration Grant Program.

— The Community Catalyst Grant Program provides initial funding for short-term health equity projects that aim to minimize gaps in resource access and health outcomes. This program provides a maximum of $50,000 over two years.

Catalyst grants support early-stage projects with “a clear focus, audience and an innovative plan to reduce inequities,” according to the Partnership Program’s website.

Applicants must be a Wisconsin-based, nonprofit, tax exempt, 501(c)(3) organization, tribe or government entity. Foundations are not eligible. Up to 10 awards will be made.

The application deadline for the Catalyst Grant Program is Oct. 2.

— The Community Collaboration Grant Program will provide longer-term technical assistance and training to organizations to try to fix health inequities stemming from social factors. Many health issues come from “structural and systems-driven” inequities impacting individuals by geographic location, race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and other characteristics. The Collaboration Grant Program aims to address these inequities by working more closely with the people that are most affected.

This larger grant has a maximum award of $300,000 over four years. It’s being piloted in 2017 and 2018 in response to feedback from the Partnership Program’s 2016 Advancing Health Equity conference, evaluation data from past grant awardees, and research on how other groups are running similar models elsewhere in the country.

Applicants for the collaboration grants must be community-led organizations, and fit the same qualifications as for the catalyst grants. There are other, however, other qualifications for the bigger grant that are more stringent.

Applying organizations must demonstrate limited access to resources relating to a health equity focus area identified by the community. That focus should be backed up by data, either quantitative or qualitative, such as census results, local surveys and others.

They must also identify potential partnerships in the community with other groups that could collaborate.

Grantees and other community partners will get training on an array of topics: asset mapping, gap analysis, advocacy, social determinants of health, authentic community engagement, evaluation and more.

They will also get guidance on developing the vision of the particular project. Some participants will take part in two Madison-based retreats every year and two site visits per year, with other possible opportunities like webinars and phone conferences.

For the Collaboration Grant Program, applicants must submit a letter of interest by Aug. 14. Those deemed worthy will receive invitation to the next stage of the process by Oct. 9, and must then submit a full proposal by Dec. 4.

While the catalyst and collaboration grants are new this year, the Partnership Program has been running the large-scale Impact Grant Program for three years now, according to program spokesperson Anne Pankratz. It also funds grant programs for research relating to health sciences.

“For more than a decade the Wisconsin Partnership Program has supported community-driven efforts to address local health equity issues,” Remington added. “However, both the school and the Partnership Program recognize the vital and urgent importance of addressing health equity more explicitly.”

–By Alex Moe