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SNHD Because We Matter Initiative Download

00:20 Download February 14th

The Southern Nevada Health District was created in 1962, following statutory authorization from the Nevada State Legislature to combine the county health department and the health departments of several surrounding cities. Pursuant to Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) Chapter 439 the Health District’s powers and jurisdictions are as follows:

  1. Prevent and control nuisances;
  2. Regulate sanitation and sanitary practices in the interests of the public health;
  3. Provide for the sanitary protection of water and food supplies;
  4. Protect and promote the public health generally in the geographical area subject to the jurisdiction of the health district; and
  5. Improve the quality of health care services for members of minority groups and medically underserved populations.

At the time of its creation, the Health district had approximately 30 employees, including four sanitarians who inspected 800 eating and drinking establishments. The Health District currently employs approximately 500 staff members working in its four divisions.

Today, the Southern Nevada Health District is one of the largest local public health organizations in the United States. The health district serves more than 2.2 million residents, which represents 72 percent of Nevada’s total population. Additionally, the Health District is charged with safeguarding the public health of more than 42 million visitors to Las Vegas each year.

In the past decade, the role of public health has expanded to include oversight and participation in areas such as bioterrorism and disaster and emergency preparedness.

To learn more, visit

In this episode, Wendy is chatting with SNHD Health Educator, Mekale Holmes about the new Because We Matter initiative that is working to spread awareness about the toll of tobacco on African American communities. Every year, thousands of African Americans die from tobacco-related illnesses and more African Americans die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. The Because We Matter initiative addresses smoking-related issues with Clark County’s African American communities. Mekale gives us details about the initiative’s goals and resources available to those who need help quitting. To get help, call 1-800-QUIT NOW. To contact Mekale about joining the initiative, call her at 702-759-0744 or email

Original Air Date: January 13, 2022.

Other resources mentioned in this podcast:

Events mentioned that Mekale will be at with literature and other resources:

Because We Matter Community Outreach

  • Black History Month Festival, Saturday 2/19/22 10-4pm at the Spring Preserves
  • Black History Community Block Party, Saturday 2/26/22 4-7pm at Sandstone Ridge Park (North Las Vegas)
  • Jazz in the Park Concert Series in May at the Clark County Amphitheater dates and time TBA
  • No Menthol May 5/1/22-5/29/11 at multiple Las Vegas African American Churches
  • Southern Nevada Neighborhood Awards 6/19/22 2-6 pm at the UNLV campus presented by Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority’s
  • Las Vegas Juneteenth Festival 6/19/22 location and time TBA

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