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GENDER HEALTH EQUITY UNIT

Request for Application (RFA)

LBTQ Health Equity Initiative

Healthcare Access and Community Outreach Program

Questions & Answers

*Updated April 22, 2022. 

​Q1:

​14 CE&OPs don't divide evenly into 4 lead contractor proposals. How is this going to be divided up?

​A1:

​Each lead contractor is given flexibility in the number of community-based partner organizations to include in their portfolio. Each lead contractor will manage 5-8 subcontracts: 3-4 Healthcare Access and Demonstration Projects (HCADPs) and 2-4 Community Education & Outreach Projects (CE&OPs). In total, GHEU anticipates funding 12-16 HCADPs and 8-16 CE&OPs.

​Q2:

​Does the subcontractor have to be classified and formed as a 501(c)3? Can you elaborate on the fiscal sponsorship?

​A2:

​No. The subcontractor has to be either a 501(c)3 organization, a fiscally sponsored organization, or Tribal government. Subcontractors may be fiscally sponsored by the applicant (contractor) or by another non-profit organization.

​Q3:

​Can you clarify what constitutes "program administration" for the contractor qualification requirements? Is this any program administration, or specifically administration of programs with the state?

​A3:

​"Program administration" in the contractor minimum qualifications refers to general program administration. The required experience in program administration does not need to be related to state contracts.

​Q4:

​Is there a working definition of "small" and/or "micro" organizations?

​A4:

​The term "small" and "micro" is being used generally to signify less established organizations.

Q5:​

​Would a focus on parents of transgender and nonbinary youth to address the health and well-being of youth be allowable?

A5:​

​Yes, but the project narrative must demonstrate the connection to and impact on the health and well-being of the target population(s) (i.e., LBTQ youth). Please refer to Section 2.7 of the RFA for examples of allowable and unallowable projects for each project domain.

Q6:​

​If we are planning to educate TAY, can we also include their parent, as minors in particular are highly affected by their parents' knowledge/ignorance?

A6:​

​Yes. Proposed projects under this RFA can have a component of educating parents/teachers/counselors/guardians/caretakers, but the project narrative must demonstrate the need for this component and its anticipated impact on the health and well-being of the target population(s) (i.e., LBTQ youth). Please refer to Section 2.7 of the RFA for examples of allowable and unallowable projects for each project domain.

Q7:​

​Is the 5-year contract requirement set by one 501(c)3? Does the absorption of another organization that is a 501(c)3 count towards the 5 years?

A7:​

​ The absorption of another organization that is a 501(c)3 can count towards the 5 years of program administration experience required for contractors, as long as the absorbed organization is maintained throughout this engagement.

Q8:​

​ Will those subsequent proposals also involve contractors and subcontractors?

A8:​

​ The Department has not made a decision on the structure of the contracts for RFA 2 (Service Provider Capacity Building Projects). Contracts for RFA 3 (LBTQ Research Projects) will be direct.

Q9:​

​Can there be an element of educating clinical service providers to projects for this RFA? Or is that completely taboo?

A9:​ 

​Yes. Overlap of activities within HCADP, CE&OP, and SPCBP program domains is allowable, but the primary focus of a project must align with the program domain it is proposed under. Proposed projects under this RFA can have a component of educating clinical service providers, but the project narrative must demonstrate the need for this component and its anticipated impact on the health and well-being of the target population(s) (i.e., LBTQ youth). The dominant theme cannot be clinical service provider training or TA. Please refer to Section 2.7 of the RFA for examples of allowable and unallowable projects for each project domain.

Q10:​

​To add to that education question: If we are working with students in schools, can we then also educate the teachers/counselors regarding our materials if the main focus is still on the students?

A10:​

​Please refer to A6.

Q11:​

​As a subcontractor, do I need to submit a joint application with a program contractor, or will we be matched with one?

A11:​

​Subcontractors must submit a joint application with a program administrator, or contractor. You may go to lbtqhealth.org/rfa22-10153 under the "Partnering" heading and utilize the results from the optional surveys ("bulletin board") to learn about and contact prospective contractors and/or prospective subcontractors. You may also take the optional survey(s) if you wish to be contacted by them.

Q12:​

​How do you envision the contractor/subcontractor connections being formed?

A12:​

​Partnering between contractors and subcontractors is the responsibility of prospective applicants, and will not be directly facilitated by the Department. Unfacilitated partnering events were hosted on 2/25/2022 and 3/9/2022 to support communication and networking among prospective applicants. You may also go to lbtqhealth.org/rfa22-10153 and utilize the results from the optional surveys ("bulletin board") under the "Partnering" heading to learn about and contact prospective contractors and/or prospective subcontractors. You may also take the optional survey(s) if you wish to be contacted by them.

Q13:​

​What if a subcontractor proposal is really stellar, but that lead contractor RFA is not accepted? Have you thought of any protocol or any way that perhaps the subcontractor could be reconsidered to go under another lead? If there's capacity either because a subcontractor drops out, or something like that, because we're kind of gambling as a subcontractor of well.

A13:​

​In the interest of maintaining an objective assessment and award process, subcontractor applications will not be considered individually from the main application they are a part of. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated as a whole.

Q14:​

​Are you asking subcontractors to pay for their own evaluator or is this something that's going to be handled either by the lead or by OHE?

A14:​

​ The LBTQ Initiative evaluator is funded directly by OHE (not contractor/subcontractor budgets). Contractors and subcontractors will be supported by the initiative evaluator in developing project evaluation plans. Additionally, subcontractor budgets are required to utilize at least 10% of their proposed project budget to support the evaluation of their proposed project (the implementation of the evaluation plan created in collaboration with the initiative evaluator (i.e., staff time for data collection, community-participatory evaluation activities, and etc.)). A subcontractor can hire a consultant/evaluator to do the evaluation for their project. If the evaluation activities can fall under multiple line items in the subcontractor budget sheet (i.e., consultants or evaluation activities), please list the expense under evaluation activities.

Q15:​

​  Is there a timeline for when the other 2 RFAs will be funded?

A15:​

​The Department hopes to have RFA 2 (Service Provider Capacity Building Projects) and RFA 3 (LBTQ Research Projects) released and contracts awarded within the current year, 2022. Continue to use the funding opportunities page from the OHE Gender Health Equity Unit website (https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OHE/Pages/LBTQ-RFA.aspx) for updates on these different funding opportunities as they become available.

Q16:​

​What are the expectations of the contractors themselves and are they expected to have TA and evaluation capacities in-house?

A16:​

​The roles of the contractors and subcontractors are outlined in Sections 2.5 and 2.6 of the RFA, respectively. The Department expects contractors to provide some basic TA and support throughout the duration of the contract (i.e., quality assurance and TA around basic project management and reporting), and coordinate with the Department on the need for higher level TA which may be provided by initiative TA contractors (such as programmatic technical expertise or more advanced organizational development needs).

Q17:​

​Can you be a subcontractor with an agency you have worked before?

A17:​

​Yes. Subcontractors are allowed to work with an agency that they have worked with previously. The requirement is that portfolios must include at least one CBO under each program domain, 1) healthcare access and 2) education and outreach, whom the contractor has not administered funding to previously. Alternatively, contractors must explain the complexities or extenuating circumstances that make this not possible.

Q18:​

​The RFA states in 3.1 that "portfolios must include at least one CBO . . . whom the Contractor has not administered funding to before." Does this mean that the proposed contractor has never administered funding, or does it mean something more like within the past five or 10 years?

​A18:

​The prospective contractor may not have had a financial relationship (through the funding of a grant, contract, sub-grant or sub-contract) in the 5 years prior to the execution of this contract (estimated as July 1, 2022).

Q19:​

​Again in 3.1, does "administer[ing] funding" include making a grant from a foundation?

A19:​

​Yes. This requirement relates to funding another organization through a grant, contract, sub-grant or sub-contract.


Q20:​

​3.2: What are the expectations for contractors in providing "administrative TA"? What kinds of TA and what depth of TA are expected?

A20:​

​Please refer to A16.

Q21:​

​Again in 3.2 (and Contractor Narrative Part 3, "Approach"): Where do the expectations of contractors to provide "administrative TA" end and the work of the GHEU-retained "TA contractors" begin?

A21:​

​Please refer to A16.

Q22:​

​Contractor Narrative, Part 3 (a):  Is it accurate to assume that GHEU itself will have requirements for "how" and the frequency of all of the activities mentioned in this question (communicating with, coordinating activities with, and reporting to CDPH)? If that is true, it's not clear how contractors can or should answer this question, as a contractor would presumably at a minimum meet those to-be-determined requirements. Or is each contractor expected to propose its own communications, coordination, and/or reporting schedule with respect to CDPH – without knowing what CDPH itself expects?

A22:​

​Monthly reporting will be required to support monthly invoicing. The frequency of other requirements to communicate, coordinate activities with, and reporting to CDPH will be determined as the program is initiated.

Q23:​

​For the Subcontractor: Is this a reimbursement-based, or a deliverables-based contract? 

a. The budget template asks for categories/line items to justify expenses, but does that dictate a monthly or quarterly invoicing to the Lead Contractor for reimbursement of line item expenses—or can this be converted to a deliverables-based contract, if desired?
b. If this is a reimbursement-based contract, how much flexibility (if any) with the Subcontractor have in changing amounts in the line items once rewarded? Example: Subcontractor anticipated less travel than needed and would like to move some of the amount for that line item into the line item for equipment/supplies. Would such a move be allowable? Would OHE have to approve that change, or is the subcontract solely under the discretion of the Lead Contractor?

A23:​

​Contracts will be reimbursement-based. Please note that subcontractors will have contracts in place with their contractor, not directly with the State. Discussions regarding changes to budgets would be directed to the individual contractor; there will be an ability to make budget amendments.

Q24:​

​For the Subcontractor: The RFA states: Evaluation activities must total a minimum of 10% of the total award. Do these expenses refer to the work the Subcontractor will be doing with the Initiative Evaluator, OR is this in addition to that work? In other words, will the Subcontractor be expected to hire a consultant/evaluator to do the evaluation for their project in addition to the collaboration with the Initiative Evaluator?

A24:​

​Please refer to A14.

Q25:​

​ For the Subcontractor: Can subcontractors collaborate and form a "team" where, even though one agency is considered the "lead" subcontractor, can the "team" total qualifications, experience, and letters of recommendations be used to satisfy the desired qualifications?

a. Example: Agency A is designated as the "lead" subcontractor and teams with Agency B who has developed copyrighted materials relevant to educating the target population. Can one of the letters of recommendation reference the work of Agency B?b. Example: Agency A is designated as the "lead" subcontractor and teams with Agency B. Can the experience and expertise of both agencies & their staff be included to meet the desired qualifications?

A25:​

​Collaboratives are permitted under the terms of the RFA, but one organization must serve as the contractor/subcontractor who is primarily responsible and accountable for the administration of the program/project. The remaining organizations in the collaborative must be included in the budget sheet as consultants. The contractor/subcontractor must satisfy all minimum qualifications. However, the collaborative's qualifications and experiences as a whole will be used to evaluate desired qualifications. If the collaborative applies as a contractor, two letters of support must be provided by up to two organizations within the collaborative to satisfy the letters of support requirement.

Q26:​

​For the Subcontractor: In the budget template there is a line item for "consultants." 

a. Could OHE please define/operationalize the term "consultant" for this RFA?

b. IF Agency A is designated as the "lead" subcontractor and teams with Agency B, is Agency B considered a "consultant" or can they be designated in the budget as a subcontractor for Agency A?

i. To clarify, can "subcontractor" be used in place of "consultant" in that line item in the budget template?

A26:​

​ Please refer to A25. In this specific example, Agency A is considered a subcontractor and Agency B is considered a consultant.

Q27:​

​For the Subcontractor: For the line item "consultants" in the budget template (whether or not this is the same thing as a subcontractor), does the "lead" subcontractor just include all the consultant costs (staff, travel, admin, etc.) into one budget total for that line item? 

a. For staff, travel, equipment: are these line items for the "lead" subcontractor only—or would we include expenses for the "consultant" there, as well, if we would be paying for their staff time, travel, supplies, etc.?

i. Example: Agency B is subcontracting/consulting with Agency A. Agency B will be dedicating staff hours and purchasing equipment as part of this project and including those expenses in their charges to Agency A. When creating the budget for this RFA, would Agency A pull those expenses out and include them in the appropriate line items—or just include the total cost for Agency B's participation in the "consultant" line item?

b. IF the answer to the above is to not break out the cost for Agency B into line items, does Agency A need to justify the cost of Agency B in the budget narrative? If yes, how should the cost for Agency B be justified in the budget narrative?

A27:​

​The consultants line item is for any other consultants identified as being needed for project implementation (i.e., translation services consultant, graphic design services consultant, and etc.). This is a standalone category that states the estimated or actual amount for a consulting agreement or contract for the needed services. A consultant budget should be inclusive of the consultant's costs (i.e., staff time, travel, supplies, and etc.); consultant costs should not be reflected in any other budget category or line item.

Q28:​

For the Subcontractor for CE&OP: IF the target population is youth ages 12-26 and much of the outreach will be taking place within a school environment, can counselors & teachers be informed/educated about the materials, etc. as part of the project?

a. Example: Materials to help LGBTQ youth & encourage them to access support could also be utilized by counselors/teachers. Providing a webinar/training to counselors/teachers on these materials would therefore directly benefit the youth. Would including and budgeting for such education, as long as it's not the main focus of the project, be allowable under this RFA?

A28:​

​Please refer to A6.

Q29:​

​Finally, not so much a question, but a request: While it's understandable why OHE chose to allow Subcontractors to submit a proposal to only one Lead Contractor, there is a concern that an excellent Subcontract project could wind up being rejected because they were associated with a "losing" Lead Contractor. In the reverse, it's also possible that a subpar Subcontractor receives an award because they are part of an overall "winning" Lead Contractor proposal. In addition, because being part of a proposal as a Subcontractor is not legally binding, it's possible that a Lead Contractor could lose a Subcontractor once the contract is awarded, as the Subcontractor has the legal right to drop out. I would recommend that some sort of protocol be created where very high scoring Subcontractors who don't receive rewards be placed on a "waiting list" or in some way have an opportunity to get funding should other awardees drop out.

A29:​

​Please refer to A13.

Q30:​

​I work with [a collaboration between multiple social service agencies].  It is primarily supported by [one of those agencies], and we typically apply for grants as a program under [that agency (using their EIN)]. This unusual situation can make our eligibility for grant opportunities a little hazy; could you please clarify for us whether we may apply?

A30:​

​Please refer to A25. The contractor/subcontractor should apply under its EIN.


​Q31

​To what extent are the contractors liable for the subcontractors? For example, would the contractor be responsible for the reporting of the subcontractors or if the subcontractors used state funds inappropriately?

​A31

​The contractor is responsible for ensuring that all performance requirements under the contractor's agreement with CDPH are being are met, including those being performed by the subcontractor(s). Contractors should include provisions in its subcontracts that require subcontractors to comply with the terms and conditions of contractor's agreement with CDPH and make the contractor the sole point of contact any issues regarding payment and performance under the agreement with CDPH. Please refer to Attachment 16, Exhibits D and E in the RFA for further information.


​Q32:

​Does "rural/underserved" mean that the project fulfilling that mandatory portfolio element can be either rural or underserved?

​A32:

​The project fulfilling the "rural and urban area(s)" portfolio requirement should be both rural and underserved. If a proposed portfolio does not include at least one project meeting this requirement, a narrative justification must be submitted. The Department may, at its discretion, waive the "rural and underserved area(s)" portfolio requirement only if there are at least four (4) proposed projects satisfying the "rural and underserved area(s)" portfolio requirement among the four highest scoring portfolios. Note that Section 2.2 of the RFA has been amended to clarify this portfolio requirement. Note that projects may be based in cities/regional hubs (not technically rural areas) from which rural populations receive services and/or are provided services. This should be described in the project narrative.


​Q33:

​Can this funding cover a case manager focused on gender affirming care - care coordination for the target population?

​A33:

​Yes, funding can be used to fund staff time. Note that projects are required to be prevention focused and utilize a public health approach; a project proposing strictly healthcare provision/individual patient care will not be funded. Please refer to Section 2.7 of the RFA for examples of allowable and unallowable projects for each project domain.


​Q34:

​Can this funding cover for provider's time? Specifically, providers working with target population?

​A34:

Please refer to A33.​


​Q35:

Can there be coverage for medical visits for patients who are under or un-insured and are seeking gender affirming care?​

​A35:

​Please refer to A33.

​Q36:

​Our [organization] is interested in applying as a subcontractor to help support the growth of our [health program for transgender and gender non-conforming patients]. We're discussing the possibility of using funds to hire an additional patient navigator to help expand this work and to establish a fund to help patients cover out-of-pocket costs as costs. Would these costs be permissible for an HCADP budget?

​A36:

​Please refer to A33.


​Q37:

​What are the differences between applying as a contractor versus a subcontractor. If we are applying as a contractor, do we need to include at least 2 subcontractors? Or are we permitted to apply as a subcontractor without a contractor? I see that the award amounts are different for each category. 

​A37:

​Prospective contractors/subcontractors are encouraged to carefully read the RFA to understand the difference between applying as a contractor versus subcontractor and what is permitted under this engagement. 


​Q38:

​As I am just joining the process, I wonder if there are any recordings of the four public information sessions available to view?

​A38:

Yes, recording are available for the RFA Walk-through and Public Comment Session and the Pre-Application Conference. Please note that the two partnering sessions (also known as "Meet the Prospective Contractors/Subcontractors" Event) were not recorded.


​Q39:

​According to the RFA, the contractor can also include itself as a subcontractor and are required to offer explanation to why that is. However, I wanted to confirm whether the contractor would need to submit a subcontractor application in addition to the contractor application? Or would the contractor just include the explanation of why they included itself as a subcontractor in the contractor portion of application?

​A39:

​If the proposed contractor has selected to fund its own organization to implement one community-based project, this should be addressed in the contractor narrative and a proposal for the project (i.e., subcontractor application) must be included.


​Q40:

​Will the future RFAs that will be funding service provider capacity building projects and LBTQ research be directed toward smaller CBOs?

​A40:

​Each solicitation will have different qualifications. More information regarding the future solicitations will be released by June 2022. 


​Q41:

​This RFA requests that one organization applies as a contractor with 3-4 HCADP subcontracts and 2-4 CE&OP subcontracts that we as a contractor choose. We will then apply as 1 project using the RFA application. This means that we have to submit a budget that allocates $200-$500K for 3-4 HCADP subcontracts and allocate $50K-$250K for 2-4 community education and outreach project subcontractors. As a contractor, this means we receive at most $478,125 and are responsible for managing 5-8 subcontractors, consisting of community-based projects. Is that correct?

​A41:

​Subcontractor budgets for each of the 3-4 HCADPs must be between $200,000-$500,000. Subcontractor budgets for each of the CE&OPs must be between $50,000-$250,000. Contractor budgets must not exceed $478,125. Deviating from these guidelines will result in disqualification.

If the contractor has selected to fund its own organization to implement one community-based, a subcontractor application must be included. The proposed project budget will not count towards the $478,125 but must fall within the specified range for the designated project domain: HCADP or CE&OP. 


​Q42:

​If we apply as a subcontractor, do we need to locate a contractor or will be paired with a contractor by CDPH? 

​A42:

​Contractors, or otherwise known as program administrators, and subcontractors, or otherwise known as community-based partners, are responsible for locating one another. Subcontractors must submit a joint application with a contractor. Additional partnering support is available at the LBTQ resource site under the "Partnering" heading; you can also utilize the results from the optional surveys ("bulletin board") to learn about and contact prospective contractors and/or prospective subcontractors. You may also take the optional survey(s) if you wish to be contacted by them.


​Q43:

​If we apply as a subcontractor, do we only provide documents on the application checklist (page 21 of the RFA) that are earmarked for “1 per subcontractor”? Meaning we do not need to provide the documents earmarked “1 per contractor” (Attachments 1-9)?

​A43:

​If you apply as a subcontractor, you only need to provide documents on the application checklist that are earmarked “1 per subcontractor”, “2 per subcontractor”, and “1 per government agency” (if applicable). This must be submitted as part of a joint application with a contractor.


​Q44:

​The formatting instructions for the Letter of Intent states, "Font size must be at least 12 points.” However, guidance in other parts of the RFP request 11 pt. font. Does this requirement ONLY pertain to the Letter of Intent?

​A44:

​The requirement to have a font size of at least 12 points pertains only to the Letter of Intent.


​Q45:

​The Letter Of Intent also states, "Line spacing must not exceed six lines of text per vertical inch." Can you please clarify if that is a single space, 1.15, 1.5, etc.?

​A45:

​There are 72 points in a line. If you set the line spacing (not to be confused with font size) of the text to be exactly 12 points or less, then this requirement will be satisfied.



Contact :

Sarah Roush

LBTQInitiative@cdph.ca.gov

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