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 underserved groups in Nevada. The development of the NMHEC was made possible by funding from the State of Nevada.


The NMHEC is organized pursuant to Chapter 82 of Revised Statutes (“NRS”) as a Nevada nonprofit corporation for the purpose of providing resources that will ensure all Nevada residents can have a healthy, productive life; and to eliminate health disparities through research, education, advocacy and access to health care services for minority populations.


A Nevada where underserved individuals and communities have the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle through the promotion of a sustainable and equitable healthcare environment which supports the elimination of preventable and unjust health disparities.


The mission of the NMHEC is to eliminate health disparities in Nevada through constructive and supportive collaboration among partners, leaders, and stakeholders committed to improving the health and well-being of underserved Nevadans.


  1. Improve the health status of minority and underserved populations.
  2. Improve access to quality health care services for minorities and underserved populations.
  3. Promote minority presence and participation in health planning and policy formation.
  4. Enhance and promote public awareness of healthcare needs of minority populations.
  5. Increase collaboration among minority-serving institutions in Nevada.
  6. Develop opportunities to increase funding mechanisms to support efforts to eliminate health disparities in Nevada.
  7. Provide community-wide educational opportunities.
  8. Conduct research and reporting on issues related to minority health.
  9. Represent Nevada minority populations through advocacy and informing policy.

Community Action

Creating opportunities to build community capacity by establishing and maintaining collaborative relationships with institutions and community-based organizations.

  • Serving as a liaison to community organizations, other states, national organizations and the federal government.
  • Engaging the communities by holding public meetings, community forums and participating in action-oriented activities.
  • Assisting community-based organizations to identify community resources and potential funding sources utilizing CBPR methods.


Contributing to the development of policy that promotes improved health care for underserved Nevadans.

  • Providing guidance on implementing initiatives to address health disparities across the state.
  • Promoting communication and interaction statewide to learn about health problems and to improve service access.


Increasing public health awareness of the significance of health disparities, their impact on Nevada, and the actions necessary to improve health outcomes.

  • Sharing data with partners and key stakeholders to improve understanding of health barriers and health disparities in our community through the practice of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR).
  • Promoting interagency collaborations, investment and the mobilization of resources that enhance opportunities for underserved populations by closing health disparity gaps.


Leaders focused on healthy lives for Nevadans.

Jose L. Melendrez



Vice Chair (Southern Nevada)|Research Associate, Nevada Institute for Children’s Research & Policy


Vice Chair (Northern Nevada)




Ex Officio| Program Manager, Office of Minority Health and Equity