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Request for Application​ (RFA)

COVID-19 Health Equity Pilot Projects

Final Awardees:

Final awardees (PDF) were announced on April 30th, 2021.

Request for Application (RFA) Background and Information:

The California Department of Public Health Office of Health Equity will administer $5M from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) Grant (totaling $499M) to approximately 16-30 community-based organizations led by and serving communities facing inequities1 in COVID-19 infection and impacts.  This $5M is intended to advance the State's work to close racial, ethnic, and other disparities related to COVID-19 and associated chronic conditions. The funding is part of the "Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act of 2020 (P.L. 116-139, Title I)."  Funding is authorized by HSC 131085a and Executive Order N-25-20, Proclamation of State of Emergency (COVID-19).


Community-based organizations will use the funding for innovative pilot projects to reduce underlying inequities in the social determinants of health2  that have contributed to disproportionate harm from the Coronavirus among certain communities.  In many cases, this disproportionate risk of harm is due to the underlying inequities in access to health-promoting resources and services, which can be addressed by this funding source.  Awardees will share best practices, outcomes, and impacts of their pilot projects with their Local Health Jurisdictions, communities, and CDPH, with the goal that successful pilot projects can be replicated to reduce the risks of COVID-19 among priority populations who are experiencing disproportionate COVID-19 impacts.


Eligible entities must be an organization with their 501(c)(3) certification or be fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) organization. Please refer to the RFA for complete details on allowable activities, application requirements, and submission instructions.


Important Dates:3 

​RFA Event
January 20, 2021
1 P.M. PDT – 3 P.M. PDT

COVID-19 Health Equity Pilot Projects Information Webinar

The webinar covered RFA submission requirements and addressed applicant questions.
View Webinar Recording

January 28, 2021
5:00 P.M. PDT
Q&A Session #1 – Written questions dueQuestions about the RFA for the first written Q&A session must be submitted in writing by email to:
February 2, 2021Q&A Session #1 – Responses are postedQuestions and responses for the first Q&A session will be posted on this webpage.
February 11, 2021
00 P.M. PDT
Q&A Session #2 – Written questions dueQuestions about the RFA for the second written Q&A session must be submitted in writing by email to:
Updated to: February 17, 2021Q&A Session #2 – Responses are postedQuestions and responses for the second Q&A session will be posted on this webpage.
March 2, 2021
5:00 P.M. PDT
Application Submission Deadline

Applications must be emailed to: 
Late submissions will not be reviewed or awarded.

Mid to late April 2021
​Awardees will be contacted and announced. 

RFA Updated Requirements - February 16, 2021:

  • Responses for Q&A Session #1 under the "Subcontracting and In-kind/Unfunded Partners" section (P.1-2) have been updated. Funds initially were not allowed to engage non501(c)(3) individual consultants providing specialized services (graphic design, evaluator, needs assessment, etc) as subcontractors, but OHE is now allowing this.  Subcontractor costs are at a maximum cap of 25% on total direct costs.
  • Subcontractor costs must not exceed a maximum of 25% of total direct costs. The current RFA on P. 29 states "maximum of 25% indirect costs," but this should say "maximum of 25% total direct costs."
  • Additional documents from subcontractors are excluded from the page count, so you may exceed 20 pages only if you have additional subcontractors.  Please note this clearly on the Application Cover Page if this is the case, for our prescreening panelists in the "Brief Description of Project". You may type in red "Application exceeds 20 pages due to extra subcontractor documents." at the end of the section.

RFA Revisions - January 21, 2021:

Revisions were made on January 21, 2021 to the RFA.  The 3 revisions are shown below in BOLD, and are included in the RFA (PDF) currently on the webpage. 

  • P. 15 – Narrative Submission Instructions did not include "Description of pilot project activities," so text was added in.
    1. The Narrative must include:
      1. Dollar amount requested (minimum $50,000 – maximum $300,000)
        • Tier 1: $50,000 - $99,999
        • Tier 2: $100,000 - $199,999
        • Tier 3: $200,000 - $300,000
      2. Category or categories that the activities fall under
      3. Priority population(s) to be served and description of their challenges
      4. Region(s) to be served and description of the region
      5. Description of the Applicant's successful previous work with priority populations
      6. Description of the cultural and linguistic competency of the Applicant organization
      7. Description of the collaboration with other organizations or entities addressing the same or similar issues, which includes how collaboration partners and/or subcontractors will contribute to the success and effectiveness of the project. Partners may be non-funded or in-kind partners
      8. Description of your proposed Pilot Project Activities

  • P. 23 – Inserted text that documentation is also required for subcontractors.
  • 10. A copy of a current IRS determination letter indicating nonprofit or 501 (c)(3) tax exempt status. For an organization fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) organization, please provide the documentation indicating nonprofit or 501(c)(3) status of the fiscal sponsor. Include the same documentation for any subcontractors involved with your proposal.

  • P. 24 – Clarified page count for Submission Length.
    • The bulk of the application packet Items 1-9 (application cover page, narrative, root cause analysis, logic model or theory of change, experience in program management, program staffing, and fiscal/administrative experience) should not exceed 10 pages. Total submission should not exceed 20 pages, which includes the other required documents listed in the previous section. 
      Attachment 2: Budget Overview Excel file is not included in the 20 page count.

End Notes:

1. "Health and mental health inequities are disparities in health or mental health, or the factors that shape health, that are systemic and avoidable and, therefore, considered unjust or unfair" (CDPH Office of Health Equity).

2. Social determinants of health are defined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention as "conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health and quality-of life-risks and outcomes" (CDC - Social Determinants of Health).

3. All dates are tentative.  Any date changes will be posted on this page. 

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