The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to support a just recovery initiative for communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, by structural inequities, and for all public health issues. The funding, training, technical assistance, and coaching available as part of the “Mobilizing Communities for a Just Response” grant program will support communities in their effort to influence change and increase the opportunity for a shared and expanded understanding of what creates health, with a focus on social determinants of health and health equity.
The “Mobilizing Communities for a Just Response” grant program seeks to engage local and tribal government agencies and community-based organizations to address COVID-19-related health disparities and advance health equity by expanding community capacity for equity and change. This program is not intended for direct services, but instead focuses on removing barriers to following public health guidance related to the pandemic, with particular focus on social determinants of health and institutional bias.
In addition to building broader upstream efforts that will help to address overall COVID-19 prevention (e.g., paid sick leave, childcare assistance, housing programs, etc.), addressing structural and systemic barriers, enacting evidence-based or promising practices, and/or community-driven policy, system, and environmental (PSE) changes that will foster meaningful engagement and help communities be empowered and addressing the broader consequences of the pandemic through systems change as opposed to direct service provision, including chronic disease prevention; violence prevention; social connectedness and cohesion; substance use; infant mortality; and social determinants of health, including food and housing insecurity.