Minority Outreach & Technical Assistance (MOTA)

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Minority Outreach & Technical Assistance (MOTA)

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History: The Minority Outreach and Technical Assistance (MOTA) program began (2001) under the auspices of the Cigarette Restitution Fund Program (CRFP).  MOTA was established to implement the Cigarette Restitution Fund Act’s provision requiring outreach and technical assistance to minority communities to ensure their participation in the tobacco and cancer community health coalitions.   Minority communities include African Americans, Pacific Islanders, Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and American Indians.

In 2004, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation to establish the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (MHHD) in DHMH’s Office of the Secretary.  The 2004 legislation required MHHD to provide outreach to racial and ethnic minority communities to ensure their maximum participation in publicly funded state health programs. 

In 2010, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced the expansion of MHHD beyond Tobacco and Cancer to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities throughout the State of Maryland.  The expanded focus now includes major health disparities that affect racial and ethnic minority communities such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, infant mortality, obesity, and asthma.

Status: In fiscal year (FY) 2016 MHHD through a competitive funding announcement and a Request for Applications (RFA) process, MHHD revised the MOTA application eligibility criteria, which included all non-profit organizations within Maryland Jurisdictions for a period of two grant years, FY 2017-2018. Organizations that resided in Jurisdictions with 20,000 minorities or less were eligible to apply for up to $25,000 and organizations that resided in Jurisdictions with 20,001 minorities or more were eligible to apply for up to $50,000. The MOTA program provided funding during the fiscal year 2017. Awards were issued as Grant Agreements, a form of grant that allows for substantial state involvement, using a cooperative agreement model. All awardees were given the opportunity to apply for a grant renewal for fiscal year 2018.  For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018, MDH/MHHD awarded MOTA grants to 15 community-based organizations in 12 jurisdictions.  These MOTA grant recipients include faith-based organizations, hospital-based and non-profit grassroots groups.