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Proposals sought for new Idea Fund grant cycle in Willmar

WILLMAR — Innovative projects that advance local health equity are being sought as Healthy Together Willmar prepares for a new round of Idea Fund grants.

Prospective funding candidates are invited to learn more at a pair of community dinners that will be hosted in September by the Community Table of Healthy Together Willmar and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

The meals will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 8 and from 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 13. They will be served progressive-style at community settings across town, including several homes of Community Table members.

The initiative is part of a multi-year effort by Blue Cross to promote health equity, using Willmar and its diversity as a model for how equity can be advanced in other communities.

More than a dozen Idea Fund projects are already underway locally. The second round of funding will support projects to be carried out in 2019.

Proposals should aim at helping build a community where everyone has the same opportunity for health across cultures, races, generations and ethnic groups. Successful projects will build connections, focus on areas with the greatest need, include community in planning, and address policies, systems and environments that impact health.

Projects that address gaps in the current Idea Fund portfolio will be prioritized, including work with the Karen, LGBTQ, and disability communities.

Idea Fund candidates need attend only one of the community meals but must participate in order to submit an idea to the Idea Fund and be eligible for funding.

After the event, participants will have approximately six weeks to prepare their idea and present it to the Community Table, with up to 10 projects being selected to receive funding. Detailed instructions for idea submission, along with details on the review, selection and funding process, will be shared at the community meal.

For more information or for help with transportation to one of the community dinners, contact Eunice at 320-310-2246, afiba1979@gmail.com or visit www.HealthyTogetherWillmar.org.

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at http://healthbeat.areavoices.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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