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Minority Health Program

Information on this page has been organized into three categories. Please choose one of the following tabs.

Community Spotlight

April 2022 was Minority Health Month

In honor of Minority Health Month, we introduced some of the people who are making a difference in the health and well-being of residents in Wisconsin communities of color. Learn about them and their stories. 

2022 Minority Health Program Grantee Virtual Forum

On February 24, 2022, the Office of Health Equity hosted the inaugural Minority Health Program Grantee Forum highlighting the work of our Minority Health Program grantees. Guest speakers included Governor Tony Evers, Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary Karen Timberlake, and State Health Officer Paula Tran. Watch the forum below to learn more about these grassroots organizations who have been doing the critical work needed to advance health equity across Wisconsin.

Hello Black America!

YouTube Video: Between Us, About Us kicks off with an open and honest conversation between W. Kamau Bell and Black doctors, nurses and researchers that gets to the heart of Black people’s questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

This new campaign from KFF’s Greater Than COVID and the Black Coalition Against COVID launches with 50 frequently asked questions designed to dispel misinformation and provide accessible facts about the vaccines from Black health care workers.

Learn more about this educational tool.

Virtual Symposium:
Advancing the Response to COVID-19

On Thursday, September 17, 2020, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) hosted a virtual symposium to highlight state, tribal, territorial and community-based efforts to address COVID-19 among racial and ethnic minority and American Indian and Alaska Native populations.

The Advancing the Response to COVID-19: Sharing Promising Programs and Practices for Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities virtual symposium featured national, state, tribal and local experts leading efforts developed for public health leaders at all levels and community organizations confronting the pandemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put racial and ethnic minority groups at an elevated risk of contracting COVID-19 or experiencing severe illness, regardless of age. The OMH virtual symposium seeks to support the dissemination of promising practices, programs, and strategies for combating the pandemic, especially in racial and ethnic minority communities.

Stay up to date by signing up for OMH email updates and by following OMH on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

2020–2021 Grant Recipients!

The Minority Health Program is pleased to announce that the grantee recipients have been selected for fiscal year 2021. The recipients are listed below, along with their project goals.

F.O.S.T.E.R. of Dane County, Inc. Increasing Black Health Equity During Tumultuous Times

This project seeks to promote the overall wellness and mental health of young Black girls and their families, through a two-generation approach using an innovative online platform. Objectives include enrolling black girls from Dane, Milwaukee, and Waukesha counties in the program, providing tools and strategies for resilience to promote healthy living and increase mental and emotional well being, along with supplemental wraparound social services, and developing a statewide dissemination plan for the program.

Lussier Community Education Center Pick Up the Mic: Madison Youth Name and Address Racial Disparities

Pick Up the Mic encourages Black youth to share their perspectives on racial disparities in education in Madison. In a podcast produced from project interviews, Black high school students and teachers/community leaders will tell the truth about their experience and advocate for change. LCEC will partner with Madison Metropolitan School District to recruit students, teachers and community leaders as well as with Media 22 LLC, an African American owned multimedia company providing high quality audio production and instruction, to produce the podcast recordings.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Promotores de Salud – Reaching Latinx Families Statewide

The Promotores de Salud program will use their existing Latinx networks in multiple Wisconsin communities, primarily in southeast Wisconsin, to expand the program's social networks approach to health into four new target geographic areas – La Crosse, Platteville, Wood County and Green Bay. Supporting Latinx community members during COVID-19 and beyond, Community Health Promoters (Promotores) will address Latinx health disparities through outreach, discussions and workshops with 750 Latinx individuals, their friends and families. Goals are to support Latinx communities in accessing basic needs and/or health resources.

Jump at the Sun Consultants, LLC Wisconsin We’re Better than this: Anti-Racism Public Health Initiative

The primary goal of the project is to design and pilot-test anti-racism learning circles and an anti-racism media campaign to help dismantle structural racism that contributes to tobacco disparities in African Americans. Based in Mequon, the project intends to engage the general public, African Americans in the community and decision makers and employers from various sectors across Wisconsin. The expected outcome is to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use in African Americans by positively changing personal beliefs, social norms, institutional practices and policies.

Muslim Community and Health Center Tobacco Prevention in African and Asian Students

The Muslim Community and Health Center (MCHC) will implement their project aimed at increasing awareness and addressing stigma around tobacco use in the African and Asian Community. The initiative seeks to provide community education to 200 Middle and High School students at Salam School - an Islamic school located in the city of Milwaukee dedicated to quality academic education in an Islamic environment. MCHC will educate students about prevention of substances including cigarettes, vaping products and hookah utilizing the Wisconsin Department of Health Services information on Tobacco is Changing, as well as, the Stanford Medicine Tobacco Prevention Toolkit.

Health Connections Incorporated COVID-19 Testing & Community Outreach Program

This project will provide targeted onsite COVID-19 testing and contact tracing plus mental health and basic needs assessments with Black/African American populations in Milwaukee County - the most disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 in Wisconsin. The expected outcome is to fill trust gaps and thereby improve their health and service systems by identifying isolated COVID-19 cases and connecting citizens to clinical, mental health and social services as needed.

Aurora Walker’s Point Community Clinic Hispanic Women’s Stress Management Program

Aurora Walker's Point Community Clinic (AWPCC) is Wisconsin’s largest free clinic located in Milwaukee serving a large, non-English speaking Hispanic and immigrant patient population, many of whom are uninsured and living at or below 200 percent of the poverty line and for whom there is a significant lack of stress reduction programs. AWPCC intends to expand its evidence-based, Hispanic women's stress management programs - Venga y Relajese (Come and Relax) and Venga y Siga Creciendo (Come and Keep Growing). Funds will support an increase in programmatic frequency and participant capacity, as well as offer new programs, and allow the Clinic to hire a bilingual Community Health Worker in service of the program expansion.

YWCA of Greater Green Bay Fitness Exploration for Minority Middle Schoolers

This program by YWCA Greater Green Bay (YWCAGGB) aims to help low-income minority middle school students try many different styles of physical fitness activities in an effort to help kids connect with a fitness activity they can take with them their entire lives. YWCAGGB will introduce 80 low income, American Indian, African American and Latino middle school students in the Greater Green Bay area to 10 fitness activities, with the ultimate long-term goal of cultivating an interest in physical activity and gaining lifelong healthy habits.

One RBN Wellness, Inc. The RBN (Relate, Build, Nurture) Project

One RBN Wellness, Inc. is a non-profit organization located in Shawano, WI. The RBN (Relate, Build, Nurture) Pilot Project is aimed at improving community and family relationships, increasing mental health awareness, and improving outcomes for at risk American Indian youth. The project will engage youth and adult support in activities that will promote healing and education, including family education sessions aimed at mental health screening, awareness, education and resource provision, as well as sessions focused on traditional American Indian arts with local artists.

Centro Hispano of Dane County ACEs Prevention among Latino Immigrant families in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

This project will create and disseminate culturally and linguistically appropriate videos to prevent risk of ACEs in Latinx immigrant community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two licensed bi-cultural and bilingual mental health providers and an experienced community health promoter will develop 6 training videos in Spanish to provide current information and resources around mindfulness, healthy communication, mental, emotional and spiritual health and child development.

Congratulations to all our grantees this year!

The Minority Health Grant Program is targeted to racial/ethnic minority community-based organizations and tribes in Wisconsin. The purpose of the community grants is to support the work of organizations serving communities of color, especially those organizations that are located in areas where health disparities are high. The type of work funded will aim to eliminate health disparities to achieve health equity, and improve health across the lifespan (the two crosscutting goals of the Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 plan).

Grantee Highlights!

We would like to highlight some of the great work our grantees and partners are engaging in with communities across Wisconsin. Below are just a few recent examples. Please watch this space in upcoming months for much more.

Aurora Walker’s Point Community Clinic (AWPCC), Hispanic Women’s Stress Management Program
Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 Focus: Mental Health

The Minority Health Grant covers expansion of the Venga Y Relajese stress management program and its related curriculum delivered to uninsured women. Funding allows AWPCC to increase programming both in frequency and participant capacity, offer new programs and hire a Community Health Worker to support efforts and bolster operational capacity. There have been two new, one-time classes offered, Relajémonos en Familia and Mindful Eating that served eighteen participants. Additionally, there are two new Venga Y Siga Creciendo classes serving fifteen participants. A mens group is planned to begin January 2021.

"Overall, we are pleased that the Venga program continues to touch lives in positive ways to improve the stress levels of our patients despite obstacles."

F.O.S.T.E.R of Dane County Inc. Black Girls Talk Too / Tripple B Black Girls Empowerment Online Platform
Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 Focus: Mental Health; Collaboration, Community Strengths, Prevention

The project has two goals. The primary goal is to provide positive and healthy supports in the lives of African American girls in order to prevent poor health outcomes over the life course. A collective goal is to utilize the positive youth development model to identify and draw inherent strengths. Mentors are embedded in the project to support families as well as youth.

“The socioemotional health of the girls we serve is our main priority despite the pandemic and we are so excited to do this with the support of the Minority Health Grant.”

One RBN Wellness, (Relate, Build Nurture) Project
Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 Focus: Mental health; Everyone Living Better, Longer

The RBN Pilot Project is a program designed to improve wellness outcomes for American Indian populations, with specific focus on youth. The focus of the project is to Relate, Build, and Nurture (RBN) through the integration of American Indian arts and teachings with focuses on mental wellness. The project goal is to normalize conversations on mental wellness within America Indian communities, while building relationships between youth, adults, and community supports. Due to COVID-19 online forums and hands on workshops and wellness events have proven successful.

"There is healing that occurs as we foster healthy connections and relationships. Not only is this prevention and education for the current generations, but healing for the next generations to come.”

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Promotores de Salud (health promoters)
Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 Focus: Chronic Disease Prevention; Human Growth and Development; Reproductive and Sexual Health

Promotores work across Wisconsin to ensure that addressing health disparities in Latinx communities. Program components are designed to reduce health disparities including higher rates of some cancer diagnoses, low access to preventive health care, and higher exposure to hazardous working conditions. The Program Director, Maria Barker is engaged with Latinx leaders in several communities including farm workers in central Wisconsin. The program director and Promotores are a resource for COVID-19 information relevant to diverse Latinx communities and shared information weekly with trained Latinx Promotores.

“Our entire team is excited to share our knowledge with Latinx families across WI. We will ensure families are receiving information in a manner they can understand and feel comfortable asking question. Creating trust and connecting people to reputable resources is our expertise and top priority.”

YWCA Greater Green Bay Fitness Exploration for Minority Middle Schoolers
Healthiest Wisconsin Focus: Physical Activity

The program helps low-income minority middle school students try many different styles of physical fitness activities in an effort to help kids connect with a fitness activity they can take with them their entire lives. This program has given these youth an outlet to be physically active and to safely socialize in a time of isolation and inactiveness while also developing a norm for healthy habits. The benefit expanding these services has against the backdrop of a pandemic impacting people of color so disproportionately is amazing.

“We are excited to be expanding our work with youth fitness and coupling it with our missional dedication to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity.”

Muslim Community Health Center
Healthiest Wisconsin Focus: Tobacco Use and Exposure

MCHC delivered the Stanford University a three part series on “Vaping Prevention: A remote learning curriculum” class to 200 Salam School middle and high school students. Students are provided vouchers and a certificate of completion. Students interact throughout each session and really are compelled about making a change on vaping. Students express concern regarding the amount of misinformation that is presented in the community about vaping and its dangers.

“This funding opportunity has been vital to start the program at Salam School. One student said, “I can’t believe some of the ingredients in e-cigarettes and the effects of second hand smoking.”

Jump at the Sun, Wisconsin We’re Better Than This: Anti-Racism Public Health
Healthiest Wisconsin Focus: Tobacco; Structural Racism

This project focuses on the needed upstream policy interventions to address structural racism. One key area of racial health disparities is tobacco use. A goal of the program is to go beyond tobacco-focused interventions to incorporate upstream work that both builds public will for policy changes and addresses the root causes of smoking disparities. The project includes an Anti-Racism Public Health Initiative, targeting systemic and structural racism across all sectors through the development and pilot-testing of anti-racism learning circles and by engaging in message testing to support the development of an anti-racism media campaign.

"We are grateful to be a grantee of the Wisconsin Minority Health Program and view this as seed money that will allow us to engage in the type of ‘good trouble’, described by the late Senator John Lewis of Georgia. This funding will support thoughtful planning, relationship building and partnerships that will pave the road for Wisconsin to be a state where everyone lives in dignity and has an equal opportunity to achieve optimal.”

Health Connections, COVID19 Testing and Community Outreach Program
Healthiest Wisconsin Focus: Communicable Disease, (Building Infrastructure for health services and resources for vulnerable populations and reducing negative health and economic impact of communicable diseases)

Health Connections Inc. (HC) is healthcare firm with a public health / population management perspective providing COVID-19 testing as our response to health services and linkage of Milwaukee County residents to other basic needs, supportive services and mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, the Health Connections Inc.’s (HCI) COVID-19 Testing and Community Outreach Program has networked with its community partners, churches and neighborhood food pantries to provide more than 1000 COVID-19 onsite tests, counseling, education for the entire community – but especially targeting the African American populations in Milwaukee County.

“The State of WI providing Minority-lead health-focused agencies with access to funding and operational integration into public health systems, is how we start equalizing access to and acceptance of healthcare in general and thereby achieve health equity and overall increase of Wisconsin's health performance.”

ABC for Health, Inc. recently embarked on a project to document and translate the stories from unmarried women and families on Badger Care Plus in Wisconsin facing legal action and judgment from county child support offices to repay Medicaid-supported birth expenses through the “Birth Cost Recovery” policy. These stories formed part of a campaign to inform community leaders about the disparate impact of this policy on low-income, minority families, contributing to health inequity and prenatal stress leading to poor birth outcomes. Visit ABC for Health's Birth Cost Recovery Website or watch the following informational videos created by ABC for Health, to learn more.

Wisconsin Health Literacy's project—Let's Talk About Opioids— sought to improve health and reduce opioid disparities for justice-involved (incarcerated or on parole) individuals from minority populations. The project included the development of health literacy workshops to improve individuals’ understanding of the risks of overdose after leaving incarceration or parole and how to recognize and prevent an overdose.

Faced with the challenge of adapting to a new way of doing their work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project managers were able to forge ahead in creative ways. Combining public health knowledge about keeping communities safe during COVID-19 with what they learned during focus groups with their target population, they shifted the program delivery method for the Let’s Talk About Opioids workshop to a virtual format. This shift allowed the project to keep moving forward, and will serve even more justice-involved adults with a greater variety of materials than originally planned.

We recently learned about a collaboration between a couple of our grantees from past years around COVID-19. United Community Center and Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, in collaboration with Southside Organizing Center, developed a video to promote staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch the video and share with your partners


A Conversation Between Two MHP Grantees!

Community Insights: Conversations on Innovations in Health Insurance, Social Justice, & Health Equity, Wisconsin Health Literacy, and ABC for Health (filmed before Safer at Home!)

We were so happy to learn that a couple of our grantees are finding ways to connect and we are excited to see what comes next.


The Minority Health Program is pleased to announce that the grantee recipients have been selected for fiscal year 2020. The recipients are listed below, along with their project goals.

ABC for Health, Inc. Family Stories: Birth Cost Equity for Unmarried Women & Families

In collaboration with ABC for Rural Health and HealthWatch Wisconsin, this project will document and translate the stories from unmarried women and families on Badger Care Plus in Wisconsin, that face legal action and judgment from County Child Support offices to repay Medicaid-supported birth expenses through the “Birth Cost Recovery” policy. These stories will form part of an education and outreach campaign to inform community leaders about the disparate impact this policy has on low-income, minority families, including health inequity and prenatal stress that leads to poor birth outcomes.

Centro Hispano of Dane County New Routes Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) Support Group

This project’s primary goal is to address the void of cultural and linguistically appropriate services for AODA for Latino families in Dane County. The project aims to run four AODA support group cohorts that are culturally and linguistically appropriate to serve a total of 60 participants. In addition, they would collect evaluation data to move into a national review of the curriculum to validate the intervention as a new evidence-based practice and allow sharing of the intervention with other Latinx communities in the nation.

Focus Counseling, Inc. Pilot: Housing as Healthcare+

The goal of this initiative is to support initial housing opportunities for individuals facing significant barriers to housing, including substance abuse disorders, mental health diagnoses and criminal justice involvement, while providing wrap-around services to address other barriers to improved health outcomes, including development of an individualized recovery plan, access to nutrition and fitness education, and treatment and recovery services for AODA and mental health conditions.

Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency, Inc. Eat. Move. Thrive. Kenosha

This project is a non-pharmaceutical prescription approach for health improvement in the areas of nutrition, physical activity, tobacco cessation, wellness and social cohesion. Their priority populations include Hispanic and African American individuals participating in the following RKCAA – Kenosha programming: Dedicated Dads, a WIC father involvement program. The Momtastics, a newly formed group of WIC moms, and low-income senior citizens participating in the Kenosha Senior Veggie Voucher Program.

Safe Community Coalition Madison-Dane County Understanding Opioid Harm and Suicide in Dane County’s African American Community

This project has as a primary goal to engage African-American community members and organizations in Dane County in the Ending Deaths from Despair Initiative through presentations and conversations about prevalence, impacts and prospective solutions to reduce opioid harm and suicide, planning, and recruitment to participate in the Ending Deaths from Despair Summit (Spring 2020) along with subsequent compilation of community conversations about suicide and opioid harm to begin next steps of developing culturally appropriate, community-based strategies to address these problems.

HealthNet of Rock County, Inc. Preventing Suicide and Improving Treatment of Hispanic Adults in Rock County

This project seeks to decrease the risk of suicide by initiating an intense screening and treatment program for Hispanic individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder in Rock County.

Today Not Tomorrow Family Resource Center Family Support Services

The goal of this work is to support African-American families in Dane County and to foster healthy birth outcomes by providing parents and caregivers with opportunities to learn and foster healthy parent-child relationships in the face of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Wisconsin Health Literacy Let’s Talk about Opioids

This project seeks to increase the knowledge among justice-involved individuals in minority populations about how to avoid death from opioids. The proposal includes the development of health literacy workshops for inmates upon release from prison or parole, followed by training of partners to sustain the delivery of this material.

Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness Project LiveWell: Moving Black Women to Wellness through Fitness & Nutrition

The goal of this project is to engage African-American women and girls of Dane County in regular physical activity and nutrition education that bolsters their overall health and well-being and reduces their risk and incidence of chronic illness.

Centro Hispano of Dane County Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences in Latinx Families using a critical approach to the Life Course Framework

This campaign aims to create innovative approaches to understanding and analyzing the health and well-being of Latinx families in Wisconsin through an entirely community-based approach to understand how ACEs are expressed and reported on in this community

The Minority Health Program is pleased to announce that the grantee recipients have been selected for fiscal year 2019. The recipients are listed below, along with their project goals.

Today Not Tomorrow Family Resource Center Family Support Services.

Today Not Tomorrow’s (TNT) Family Resource Center provides brain-based learning that gives parents the chance to engage and interact with their child during childcare. This varies from pro-social behavioral activities that are self-paced and promotes self-discovery, to the Fatherhood Initiative to keep fathers engaged and active with their families and children. TNT also connects African-American families who are either pregnant or existing parents with other families to bridge interactive opportunities that builds healthy parent-child relationships amid Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s), thereby supporting families in accessing resources that results in healthy birth outcomes.

Behavioral Health Division of Milwaukee County Crisis Care
The Behavioral Health Division of Milwaukee County is improving health outcomes among Milwaukee’s African American and Hispanic/Latino community members by increasing access to evidence-based mental health care and stabilization. If uninsured Milwaukee County residents face a mental health related crisis, the Access Clinic connects them to behavioral health care regardless of their ability to pay. BHD also uses evidence-based practices to evaluate their clients in support of overcoming any crisis. This includes the Zero Suicide Severity Rating Scale that supports screening and wellness outcomes.

Jewish Family Services Inc. School-Based Mental Health Services
Jewish Family Services (JFS) is growing their School-Based Mental Health project with the goal of improving student’s mental health and prosocial behaviors while ameliorating symptoms of stress and trauma. In partnering with the Milwaukee Public Schools and the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association (M.T.E.A.) to address trauma among students, JFS trained the MTEA’s teachers union, including an estimated thirty school social workers from the Milwaukee Public School district. On-site mental health services are available to students at both Brown Deer public schools and Inner City Cyber charter school to reduce the negative impact of Adverse Childhood experiences (ACE’s) on mental health. Children are able to work on problem behaviors, develop coping skills, and improve their academic performance. Teachers are also equipped with skills to recognize adverse behaviors, better support learning, and refer children to additional support therapies. To date, twenty-six students have received school-based psychotherapy, with a goal to reach forty-five students by the end of this school year.

Sixteenth Street Community Health Center Nutrition and Physical Activity
Sixteenth Street Community Health Center’s goal is to foster a culture of personal and community health for the Latino community on the near-South side of Milwaukee. SSCHC works to provide and expand access to free physical activity and nutrition/cooking education in local schools and parks with a grass-roots approach that impacts the physical and emotional health of their community members. These activities are implemented through the Healthy Choices Program, consisting of: family education for Pulaski neighborhood residents, walking clubs in both Pulaski and Burnham Parks, a biking club at the Hank Aaron State Trail, and a walking club with nutrition series at five schools. To date, SSCHC has trained four health promoters from the Latinos por la Salud (Latinos for Health) program in facilitation, nutrition and engagement to lead nutrition classes and walking clubs. These activities vary from an eight-week physical activity to cooking education classes for the entire family.

African American Breastfeeding Alliance of Dane County Inc. Helping Women Find Their Voices
The African American Breastfeeding Alliance (AABA) of Dane County aims to help women better understand the benefits of breastfeeding and their rights around breastfeeding through a series of podcasts, radio ads, billboards, and public service announcements. Their mission is to address African American breastfeeding disparities through dissemination of information, research, consultation, and support so that every African American family will make well-informed decisions about breastfeeding. Since 2003, AABA empowers women to advocate for improving healthcare that serves them and their families, which in turn reduce the rates of obesity and chronic disease because the family becomes aware of the health benefits in breast milk.

The Minority Health Program is pleased to announce that the grantee recipients have been selected for fiscal year 2018. The recipients are listed below, along with their project goals.

Clinica Latina – Journey Mental Health Center Strengthening Latino Families by Increasing Social Support and Resiliency (Fortalezas Familiares)
Fortalezas Familiares is a 12 session, multi-family group intervention for Latino families with a mother suffering from depression. Adapted from the “Keeping Families Strong” project (a family-based, resilience-centered intervention developed at UW) it aims to: 1) provide culturally specific care to Latinos to help recovery from the effects of depression and to promote family support and resiliency and 2) Serve as a platform to train staff on the culturally competent aspects of this intervention.

Today Not Tomorrow, Inc Family Resource Center Family Support Programming
Today Not Tomorrow Family Resource Center (TNT FRC) is designed to connect with African American families with young children who are homeless or near homeless in the greater Madison area to provide culturally competent peer to peer support for early parenting. Additionally, education about child development and development of healthy parent child relationships will be offered to help address ACEs and promote resilience.

Wisconsin Health Literacy, a division of Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. Let’s Talk About Pain Medicines
Let’s Talk About Pain Medicines seeks to improve the health of American Indian, Asian, Black and Latino populations in Wisconsin by increasing awareness of opioid use, misuse and abuse. WHL will use its award-winning project model- comprised of multi-lingual workshops and easy-to-read curricular materials in partnership with trusted community-based organizations- and apply it to the issue of pain medication, specifically opioids.

Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency, Inc Adolescent Health: Youth and Parent Involvement to Improve Health Outcomes for African American and Hispanic Adolescents
The Adolescent Health program is part of the Greater Racine Collaborative for Health Birth Outcomes initiative, and is designed to foster community leadership and strengthen coordination of programs to: reduce unintended teen pregnancy, STDs, ethnic/racial disparities in sexual health outcomes, and risky behaviors. The program takes a 3 pronged approach that includes: Increasing parent/teen communication, education for teens on how to make wise choices as it relates to risky behaviors, and community awareness and engagement related to adolescent health. These strategies will consists of parent/youth communication workshops, youth workshops on making wise choices, teen-led activities, events for youth and the community, skill building exercises, peer counseling, and community-wide education.

Meta House, Inc. Reaching Out for Recovery Media Campaign
This campaign seeks to target African-American women struggling with substance use disorders through an informational campaign designed to help connect women of color to addiction treatment. The campaign will include advertising through Clear Channel Outdoor as well as radio ads that target African American neighborhoods.

The Minority Health Program is pleased to announce that the grantee recipients have been selected for fiscal year 2017. The recipients are listed below, along with their project goals.

2016-2017 Community Grant Project and Goals

Smoking Cessation
Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center

Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center (GLIIHC) will implement a Minority Health Community Grant to address smoking cessation. The initiative seeks to provide community education about the traditional use of tobacco. GLIIHC will collaborate with Milwaukee First Nations Health Coalition to adopt messages about traditional tobacco use and integrate them into the curriculum and practice of programming implemented at GLIIHC.

Medical Interpretation and Translation Services for the Southeast Asian Community
Hmong American Friendship Association

The Medical Interpretation and Translation Services for the Southeast Asian Community project will facilitate timely access to health care services by providing free, professional, medical interpretation and translation services to members of the Southeast Asian community in the Milwaukee area. The expected outcome is to raise the quality of clinical care for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) patients to near or at the level of people without language barriers. The project will implement Category 2 of the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (CLAS): Communication and Language Assistance.

Father Involvement to Improve Health Outcomes in African American and Hispanic WIC Families
Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency

The Father Involvement to Improve Health Outcomes in African American and Hispanic WIC Families project will increase involvement of African American and Hispanic fathers and fathers-to-be in the Kenosha County WIC Program in two program areas: WIC Appointments and Activities, and Father-Specific Programming and Services. The project will address social determinants of health under several Healthy People 2020 Key Domains: Economic Stability (Poverty and Food Security); Education (Early Childhood Education and Development); Health and Health Care (Access to Health Care); Neighborhood and Built Environment (Access to Healthy Foods); and Social and Community Context (Social Cohesion).

Let's Talk About Medicines
Wisconsin Literacy, Inc.

The Let's Talk About Medicines project will improve health literacy in refugee and immigrant populations throughout Wisconsin, by providing educational workshops to improve reading comprehension of medication labels and increase knowledge in how to talk with pharmacists. The project will address the social determinants of health under the Healthy People 2020 Key Domains of Education (Language and Literacy), and Health and Health Care (Health Literacy).

The Minority Health Program is pleased to announce that the 2013-2014 grantee recipients have been awarded continuing grants for the fiscal year 2014 - 2015. Their project goals are described below.

2013 - 2015 Community Grant Projects and Goals

Connected Communities
CORE/El Centro

  • Support community health workers (CHWs) across different ethnic groups to identify the most prominent social determinants of health (SDH) and disseminate findings to inform community grass roots efforts, public health agendas and health policies.
  • Increase collaborative work among CHWs across cultures to promote civic engagement to address the social determinants of health.

Peer Breastfeeding Support for African Americans in Racine, Wisconsin
Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency

  • Increase knowledge of the value of breastmilk and breastfeeding benefits among African American families in Racine (pregnant, breastfeeding mothers, fathers, family members and related community individuals).
  • Increase breastfeeding initiation rates among African American families.

Minority Health Community Grants
Urban League of Greater Madison

  • Unemployed and underemployed individuals with employment barriers will learn new skills and demonstrate the behaviors necessary for successfully achieving and retaining employment.
  • Unemployed and underemployed individuals will increase their economic self-sufficiency by obtaining new or better employment.

Networking to Improve Hmong Health and Access to Care
Hmong American Center (formerly Wausau Area Hmong Mutual Association)

  • Improve the health literacy of Hmong living in North Central Wisconsin via bilingual workshops and courses.
  • Develop Wausau Area Hmong Health Coalition and formal structure for Hmong Health Education Network.

The projects funded 2011- 2013 aimed to eliminate health disparities by focusing on the root causes of health disparities, also known as socioeconomic determinants of health (e.g., lack of education, poverty, racism and other forms discrimination, unemployment, unhealthy environment, poor housing conditions and violence).

2012 - 2013 Community Grant Projects

Resiliency is Health: Youth Creating Healthy Communities
Freedom, Inc.

Freedom, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides services to low- and no-income communities of color in Dane County. Its primary goal consists of promoting healthier living by looking at new definitions and solutions to end all forms of violence (including systemic racism, sexism, cisgenderism, classism, ableism, issues of nationality, etc.) against women, gender-queer persons and youth. Its roots of building healthy communities began in the Hmong community nearly a decade ago and have since expanded to include the Cambodian and African American communities where it has strong youth advocacy programs.

The overall goal of the Resiliency is Health project was to build new youth leaders to eventually engage in health justice work, advocacy and campaigns to make positive changes in their communities, families, and their own lives. African American/Black, Hmong and Cambodian youths, ages 12-24 years old were the targeted population. In addition, poor people and/or people of color benefited indirectly. The main outcomes of this project were to share analysis of health, food and land justice and what this means to each of the communities. Youths built their capacity to change social, structural and cultural norms that prohibited them from achieving healthier lives, through: 1) the convening of a Youth Health Justice Summit to develop a common language around health disparities; 2) creating alternative solutions to address health and food access issues, and 3) organizing and advocating for one policy change.

Building Healthy Refugee and Immigrant Communities- BHRIC
Pan-African Community Association-PACA

The Pan-African Community Association (PACA) was founded in 1999 to bring together people of African descent in an effort to address the needs of the increasing number of African immigrants and refugees in the Milwaukee area. These needs include language access; literacy skills; poverty reduction and health improvement. PACA addresses the community's needs through advocacy; cultural promotion and competency; education and services.

Since its inception, PACA's scope has expanded to include Asian and other refugee communities; the organization has been advocating for the promotion of healthy immigrant refugee communities by providing a culturally sensitive approach to serving the individuals and families that comprise the community. The Building Healthy Refugee and Immigrant Communities project continued this approach through the recruitment and training of health promoters from the Congolese, Eritrean, Burmese and Somali populations. Each of these communities helped select health promoters that were trained in health literacy on topics including social cohesion, self-confidence and personal growth as factors to improve health. Each cohort of health promoters functioned as a team in reaching out and building bridges between the different communities through health literacy workshops and a "kitchen table" approach of smaller workgroups. They served as role models to younger peers in their respective communities, while providing direct support to their families and raising the standard of living in their neighborhoods.

Projects for the 2011 grant program addressed the following:
Implementing evidence-based programs to improve socioeconomic determinants of health or reduce health disparities.

2011 Minority Health Grantees

Community-Based Chronic Disease Management Project (Columbia St. Mary's Foundation)
Columbia St. Mary's Foundation established the Community-based Chronic Disease Management (CCDM) project in 2007 to increase access to primary and preventive health services for vulnerable people in locations they already frequent, such as churches and food pantries. The project uses a nurse-led delivery model to screen and manage chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus type II and high cholesterol. By promoting low-cost medicine, nutrition and education, CCDM has succeeded in reducing major risks and preventing complications, such as stroke and heart attack, within Milwaukee's impoverished, central city African American population. The results have been impressive, with success rates in disease management at 92% for high cholesterol and 83% for diabetes. Additionally, 71% of patients have lowered their blood pressure, while 79% of patients who were unaware of their condition at diagnosis reported an increase in knowledge regarding the impact of health behaviors after participating in the program.

The project used the Minority Health grant to address the Healthiest Wisconsin goal of reducing disparities by working toward the following outcomes:

  • Prevention of health disparities arising from undertreated chronic diseases in Milwaukee's impoverished, central city African American population.
  • Demonstration of an evidence-based, sustainable prevention model for reducing health disparities related to undertreated chronic diseases replicable throughout Milwaukee and other Wisconsin communities.

Partnerships included a physician and physician-residents from the Medical College of Wisconsin; Community Health Ministry Nurses; UW-Milwaukee nursing students; New Life Presbyterian Church and the Wisconsin Northwest Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ Churches as well as other central-city churches in Milwaukee.

Healthy Families/Healthy Communities Project (Dane County Parent Council)
The Healthy Families/Healthy Communities Project, sponsored by Dane County Parent Council (DCPC), rests on the foundations of the federal health and nutrition performance standards of the Head Start program; the guidelines and principles of the Department of Public Instruction Even Start Family Literacy program; the health/nutrition goals of the Salsa, Sabor y Salud curriculum; the domains and objectives of Healthiest Wisconsin 2020; and the groundbreaking report of the World Health Organization, The Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts.

Healthy Families/Healthy Communities utilized the above resources and guides to address poverty and disparities through nutrition health education for Dane County's most vulnerable low-income and minority families. In a series of interactive, intergenerational group meetings, diverse families prepared and shared healthy meals; children engaged in age-appropriate nutrition/health learning activities, and adults discussed factors that could improve their food purchasing, preparation, consumption and overall healthy well-being. Families convened for enjoyable physical movement celebrations at the conclusion of each session. Additional staff training ensured the program was replicable and could reach a wider community beyond those participating in the two eight-week sessions.

The project implemented, documented and evaluated evidence-based programming to improve the socioeconomic determinants of health and reduce health disparities among children and families in Dane County. Collaboration among DCPC, the Catholic Multicultural Center, the Madison Urban League, the Early Childhood Initiative and the United Way of Dane County operated as a community of practice and community of caring. The shared concerns were the needs of low-income minority children and their families for economic security, health care, education and housing. Through recruitment and participation of African American, Latino, and other members of the community, the project met the pillar objectives of Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 by using resources and strategies a) to eliminate health disparities and b) to reduce discrimination and increase social cohesion.

Projects for the 2010 grant program addressed one of the following four priority areas in support of the State Health Plan:

  • Priority Area 1: Capacity-building activities for community-based organizations
  • Priority Area 2: Community-driven, neighborhood-based primary prevention and health promotion models and services
  • Priority Area 3: Mentoring, development, and support of minority health professionals and minority students interested in health careers
  • Priority Area 4: Programs to reduce overweight and obesity among racial and ethnic minority groups
2010 Minority Health Grantees

ALAS Youth and Family Special Needs Case Management Program: South (Alianza Latina Aplicando Soluciones, Inc.)
Alianza Latina Aplicando Soluciones primarily serves low-income, Spanish-speaking families of children with special needs who live on the south side of Milwaukee. The agency has for some years experienced steadily increasing caseloads as the neighborhood Latino population grows. The Special Needs Case Management Program capacity-building project addressed the increased demand for services by expanding services throughout the south side of Milwaukee County through partnership with Cudahy Health Department and Medicaid Case Management certification. Expansion included increased community awareness of available supports and programs; increased medical and community support; and increased capacity of local CBOs.

Baby Be Safe (Rosalie Manor Community and Family Services)
In an effort to reduce health disparities between Black and White birth outcomes, Rosalie Manor Community and Family Services partnered with Marquette University School of Nursing to develop a curriculum for young African American parents. This curriculum, Baby Be Safe, was designed specifically to connect with young, Milwaukee-area, African American parents who were living in poverty. Because no curriculum existed with which the target population could connect, this project developed its own, utilizing promising practices as its foundation. The curriculum addressed common unhealthy practices and included remedial topics such as safe sleeping habits, appropriate infant feeding, and proper nutrition for mothers and babies.

Community Gardening Project (Hispanic Community Center)
The Hispanic Community Health Resource Center is a wellness and advocacy resource center dedicated to promoting and preserving the quality of life for Hispanics in Waukesha County. The combination of the rising prevalence of cardiac disease, type II diabetes and a population that is growing older in the location indicates a need for programs that provide residents with skills and knowledge to maintain and improve their health and well-being. The Center's Community Gardening Project provided nutrition education and opportunities for physical activity and social interaction for 15 Hispanic seniors in Waukesha. In addition to providing a garden and healthy produce, the program, staffed with bilingual health promoters and health care professionals, also provided information on nutrition, food safety, body mechanics, and prevention of chronic disease.

Discovery Dating - Healthy Relationships in Oneida (Wise Women Gathering Place)
The Wise Women Gathering Place mission is to promote peace, respect and belonging for Native Americans through skill-building, sharing of resources and community support. Its Discovery Dating© program teaches Native American youth about healthy relationship building, the importance of mentors in a person's life and informed decision-making skills through role playing and real-life documentation and assessment of relationships. The main idea behind Discovery Dating© is to generate confident and inspired young people, skilled in healthy relationship tools, who know what they want in life and who can assert their own values successfully in all kinds of social situations. It also aims to reduce premature sexual activity, unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, substance abuse, and other problems that result from impulsive choice-making.

Fondy Farmers' Market Capacity Enhancement (Fondy Food Center)
Much of Milwaukee's north side, largely African American (>72%) population is at risk of hunger and diet-related illnesses due to persistent poverty and lack of fresh-food vendors. Fondy Food Center, through its Fondy Farmers' Market, fills this fresh-food void through partnerships with local growers, affordable prices, food stamp redemption and the acceptance of WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program Vouchers. The Fondy Farmers' Market Capacity Enhancement project aimed to expand the capacity of its staff in order to improve the systems and partnerships that drive the program, including partnerships with local businesses, schools and churches; collaborations with local non-profits; outreach to the community; evaluations of vendor growing practices and launching the WIC Farmers' Market Voucher matching program.

Girls Get Fit (Girls, Inc./YWCA of Madison, Inc.)
Girls, Inc. at the YWCA of Madison is an after-school program designed for low-income girls ages 9-18. It offered the "Girls Get Fit" program to 150 girls, over 90% of whom were girls of color. The overarching goal of the fitness campaign was to create an environment that supports and promotes healthy eating, daily physical activity, and a healthy weight for participants, in an effort to address the number one health issue facing low-income, African-American girls: obesity. Fun, culturally relevant, and age-appropriate fitness activities were offered through partnerships with local fitness clubs and dance studios as well as through a broad range of informal exercise options including team sports and outdoor activities. Through a partnership with local nutrition educators, girls also attended a series of cooking classes emphasizing healthy foods.

Healthy Latino Families (United Community Center)
The Healthy Latino Families project promoted healthy lifestyle changes to reduce the incidence of obesity among Hispanic children at the Bruce-Guadalupe Community School (BGCS) on Milwaukee's near south side. Ninety-eight percent of the 860 students at the school are Hispanic. Activities included researching and adapting a culturally relevant nutrition curriculum for Grades 4 and 5; providing training for elementary school staff on implementing this curriculum; integrating a health/nutrition curriculum for students from Grades 5-8; researching and incorporating culturally relevant family-centered hands-on nutrition-health tools for 400 students from K3-2nd Grade; training United Community Center Fitness Center staff on facilitating Zumba sessions; providing Zumba exercise sessions for BGCS students from Grades 1-8 and their families; and offering BGCS families culturally/linguistically appropriate nutrition education sessions.

Hmong Senior Health Project (United Asian Services of Wisconsin, Inc.)
United Asian Services of Wisconsin, Inc. assists refugees, former refugees and their descendants with employment, housing and education. The purpose of the Hmong Senior Health Project was to promote healthier behaviors related to nutrition and exercise among Hmong seniors in Dane County, with the hope of reducing obesity in this population. The program provided the following services: a series of health-related workshops for a minimum of 30 Hmong seniors per workshop; assistance to a minimum of 10 Hmong seniors in obtaining and tending a garden plot; and a weekly exercise class for a minimum of 10 Hmong seniors.

MBWI: Mothers, Breastfeeding and Working Initiative (African American Breastfeeding Network of Milwaukee)
The mission of the African American Breastfeeding Network of Milwaukee is to promote breastfeeding as the natural and best way to provide nourishment for babies and young children. Its Mothers, Breastfeeding and Working Initiative (MBWI) increased breastfeeding initiation, duration and exclusivity rates among African American families in the city of Milwaukee by enrolling participants in two MBWI projects: 1) Sista2Sista Chat Room Gatherings and 2) Pumpin' it Out, Workin' it Out © classes. These projects encouraged mothers to breastfeed exclusively by helping them understand the benefits and value of breastfeeding; supported mothers who are returning to work and who wished to continue providing breast milk to their babies; and helped mothers to overcome the barriers associated with breastfeeding and returning to work.

TTT: Turning, Tuning and Toning (Bread of Healing Clinic, Inc.)
The Bread of Healing Clinic is a free medical clinic, with three locations on Milwaukee's north side, designed to serve uninsured, low-income people who experience barriers to accessing ongoing health care. "TTT: Turning, Tuning, and Toning" was a new, weekly program at Cross Lutheran Church in the 53205 ZIP code area of Milwaukee - one of the poorest locations in the city. The program was open to anyone from the neighborhood or clinic, with special focus on 40 African American women, who regularly participated in the church's "meal at noon" on Wednesdays, which included a support group for lifestyle change. The Triple Ts expanded that program to include health screenings, aerobics classes twice weekly, a walking group once weekly, and a health education class that included cooking demonstrations with healthy foods. In addition, for those that participated, healthy foods were exchanged in the food bags that participants received each week from the church.

A doctor examining a young patient.

The Minority Health Program provides statewide leadership for policy measures that aim to improve the health of vulnerable populations in Wisconsin. It assures coordination of efforts intended to reduce health disparities. Our work is guided by three levels of authority:

  1. The federal Office of Minority Health;
  2. Wis. Stats. 250.20; and
  3. The state health plan, Healthiest Wisconsin 2020.


A head shot of an adolescent.

We work to consolidate these three levels of mandate into a coherent plan of action that our partners can implement to improve health outcomes for minority communities.

A head shot of an adult.

We provide direct services as well as indirect services. Direct services include the administration of community grants; the minority public health information campaign; publication of the Minority Health Report and administrative support to the Minority Health Advisory Group. Indirect services include the collection, organization and distribution of relevant information to our partners.

Last revised May 1, 2022