The Nevada Minority Health & Equity Coalition (NMHEC) was established in 2016 as a response to requests from community members and elected officials for a grassroots, locally driven organization that could interface between the community and state and local funders. NMHEC is committed to address and advance minority health outcomes in Nevada and to “move the needle” on poor health outcomes and statistics that contribute to significant health disparities among under served groups in Nevada. The development of the NMHEC was made possible by funding from the State of Nevada.
Goals and Strategies
- Improve the health status of minority and under served populations.
- Improve access to quality health care services for minorities and under served populations.
- Promote minority presence and participation in health planning and policy formation.
- Enhance and promote public awareness of healthcare needs of minority populations.
- Increase collaboration among minority-serving institutions in Nevada.
- Develop opportunities to increase funding mechanisms to support efforts to eliminate health disparities in Nevada.
- Provide community-wide educational opportunities.
- Conduct research and reporting on issues related to minority health.
- Represent Nevada minority populations through advocacy and informing policy.
REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) is a national program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.
Through REACH, recipients plan and carry out local, culturally appropriate programs to address a wide range of health issues among specific racial and ethnic groups in urban, rural, and tribal communities with high disease burden.
In 2018, CDC funded 31 recipients to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic populations with the highest burden of chronic disease (i.e., hypertension, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity) through culturally tailored interventions to address preventable risk behaviors (i.e., tobacco use, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity).
A core principle of public health is that every person should be able to reach his or her full health potential. Through the REACH grant we are working to remove barriers to health linked to race or ethnicity, education, income, location, or other social factors.
Southern Nevada Health District is working with partners, coalitions and communities to:
- Promote tobacco free living
- Increase access to healthy foods
- Support and promote breastfeeding
- Support activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations; and
- Increase access to places for physical activity
Though our work will ultimately benefit all Southern Nevadans, our specific initiatives are focused in priority geographic areas and among priority populations. REACH communities have demonstrated that locally-based and culturally-tailored solutions can be effective in addressing gaps in health by race and ethnicity. These communities have seen decreases in smoking, reductions in obesity, increases in fruit and vegetable consumption, and improvements in healthy behaviors.