Ingham Health Equity Council (HEC)

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted racial and ethnic minorities throughout Ingham County. There is significant work to be done to reduce disease transmission and infection in these populations. To address these disparities, Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) and Capital Area Health Alliance (CAHA) have been awarded a $400,000 grant to create a Health Equity Council (HEC) in Ingham County, made up of Ingham County residents and community organizations that are experienced in working with minority populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

The Council will fund 12-15 mini-grants, totaling $125,000, to support projects reducing COVID-19 disparities in impacted communities. Grants will expand capacity and services to prevent and control COVID-19 among high-risk and underserved populations. Grant applications are due October 31, 2022. Grantees will implement their proposal objectives December 15, 2022 through May 31, 2023.

“We are excited to support the HEC in building and strengthening the capacity of local communities to develop, adopt, and implement strategies to decrease the disparities associated with COVID-19 and other health outcomes for racial and ethnic minority populations,” said Linda Vail, Ingham County Health Officer.

The HEC will focus on areas to reduce COVID-19 disparities such as identifying and overcoming barriers in prevention, providing resources, and addressing social determinants of health (e.g., low income, food insecurity, access to primary care), and trust-building efforts aimed at minority population groups at higher risk of contracting – and dying from – COVID-19.

“This one-of-a-kind project will allow our community to address the adverse effects of social determinants of health through a measured and collaborative effort, ensuring 'resident voice' is heard throughout the entire process,” said Jason Blanks, CAHA Executive Director.