The mission of the health district is, “To assess, protect, and promote the health, the environment, and the well-being of Southern Nevada communities, residents, and visitors.”
To this end, the health district offers services and provides regulatory supervision that impact the public every day – from the food they eat and the water they drink, to the public establishments they visit, the businesses they operate and the requirements they must meet in order to work in certain industries such as food service and child care.
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:
- Prevent and control nuisances;
- Regulate sanitation and sanitary practices in the interests of the public health;
- Provide for the sanitary protection of water and food supplies;
- Protect and promote the public health generally in the geographical area subject to the jurisdiction of the health district; and
- 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.
Administration provides administrative guidance, oversight and strategic planning for management, risk management, compliance, human resources, finance, facilities management, food handlers, records management, public information, information technology, and legislative issues impacting the Health District. The Administration Division’s mission is to provide up to date facility accommodations, IT infrastructure, financial support, human resources services, and legal support for the effective administration of public health in Southern Nevada.
Community Health programs include: emergency medical services and trauma system; epidemiology; disease surveillance; public health informatics; vital records; chronic disease prevention and health promotion; public health preparedness; and the Southern Nevada Public Health Laboratory. The Community Health Division’s mission is to monitor and improve community health status; assure readiness and response to public health emergencies, and promote healthy behaviors. This is accomplished through a comprehensive prevention and advocacy program designed to reduce the negative health and economic impact of chronic diseases; the use of epidemiological methods to monitor and control communicable diseases, and proactive disaster and emergency preparation.
Environmental Health oversees plan review and inspection programs involving food and beverage establishments, public accommodations, subdivisions, child care facilities, tattoo and body piercing facilities, swimming pools, public water systems, septic and underground storage tanks and solid waste facilities. Each year, this Division conducts more than 70,000 inspections of permitted facilities. Its mission is to identify and sustain environmental conditions that promote public health through proper sanitation, safe food, proper disposal of wastes and toxic materials, and the management of public health hazards in the environment.
Clinical Services provides public health and clinical services to more than 330,000 clients each year. Clinical Services are available at several locations throughout the Clark County, Nevada. Many services are provided regardless of a client’s ability to pay. Its mission is to improve and protect the health of residents and visitors through the practice of community nursing, preventive health services, education, and emergency preparedness and response.
As a critical part of its mission, Clinical Services operates an immunization program which includes both children and adult vaccination services. Providing vaccinations is a core public health function, a vital public health tool, and one of the most cost-effective public health-promoting interventions a public health authority can perform. Preventing disease through vaccinations relies on immunizing as many members of the community as possible. To this end, Clinical Services administers approximately 170,000 childhood and adult immunizations each year. Services provided also include sexually transmitted disease, tuberculosis treatment and control, and maternal-child health programs.
Information about health district funding is available on the Financial Reports webpage.
(702) 759-1039 or (702) 759-0889
Updated on: December 12, 2018