Our Story

The NMHEC is a partnership of academic, civic, private and community organizations that aim to address health disparities and inequities in Nevada by building capacity, informing policy, and conducting research.

The Nevada Minority Health and Equity Coalition (NMHEC) strongly believes that we are as healthy as our most vulnerable. Healthy communities set the foundation for good health and opportunities to thrive. However, this does not occur in all communities, particularly among our disadvantaged and often underserved populations, which often have disproportionate rates of illness, disability, and death. According to the 2023 Nevada Minority Health Report, Nevada’s population in 2021 was comprised of a white majority, with the rest of the population comprising: 30.4% Hispanic, 10.0% Asian/Pacific Islander (API), 9.1% Black, and 1.1% American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN). In 2021, chronic diseases represented five of the top ten leading causes of death in Nevada. Because of their pervasive nature, chronic disease, particularly within vulnerable populations, can exacerbate disparities.

National data indicate that residents in predominantly minority communities “continue to have lower socioeconomic status, greater barriers to health-care access, and greater risk for and burden of disease compared to the rest of the population.” Social determinants, including social conditions and psychosocial factors, have proven to be powerful mediators to achieving good health and well-being. Including all aspects of where we live, work and play which includes our neighborhoods, education, health and health care, economic stability, and social and community factors.

“It is time to refocus, reinforce, and repeat the message that health disparities exist and that health equity benefits everyone”

In Nevada, these same determinants of health pose a threat to the uniquely diverse makeup of our population. The NMHEC recognizes the multifaceted nature of the root causes of health disparities and has built an alliance between a diverse set of community partners to strategically identify community issues and work towards closing the gaps to improve health.

Your zip code should not determine how long you live, but it does.

Our work is a crucial component in addressing the needs of Nevada’s large and uniquely diverse populations. Through a community-based participatory research model, we will identify our current capacity to collaborate with community stakeholders to identify and prioritize community-level problems that ultimately impede our health status and allow for the development of a plan of action to improve health outcomes in Nevada. The NMHEC will work towards bridging local communities to a variety of resources leading to better higher quality of life for Nevadans.