Minority Outreach & Technical Assistance (MOTA)
History: The Minority Outreach and Technical
Assistance (MOTA) program began (2001) under the auspices of the Cigarette
Restitution Fund Program (CRFP). CRFP
was established by Maryland State Legislation and began operations on July 1,
2000 as a major initiative within the Maryland Department of Health and Mental
Hygiene (DHMH). 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, Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Native Americans.
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 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: Beginning with 2004, the MOTA grants
were awarded to individual jurisdictions based on the proportion of minorities
in the respective populations. For the
fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012, DHMH/MHHD awarded MOTA grants to community-based
organizations in the 15 jurisdictions having the highest proportion of
minorities. These MOTA grant recipients
include faith-based organizations, hospital-based minority programs, academic
institutions and non-profit grassroots groups.