At yesterday’s Interim Finance Committee meeting, Churchill, Mineral, Pershing, and Eureka Counties and the City of Fallon received approval for an assessment exemption to NRS.439.4905. This exemption relieves the counties from paying an assessment to the Division of Public and Behavioral Health for certain services provided by the Division or State Health Officer.
Approval of the request is an important part of forming a health district to serve the public health needs of the four rural counties. Having collaborated during the pandemic to deliver enhanced health services to their populations, Churchill, Mineral, Pershing, and Eureka Counties seek to form the Central Nevada Health District to offer health services currently provided by the Division.
With the approval of this exemption and contingent upon approval by the State Board of Health, the Central Nevada Health District will provide environmental health, public health nursing, public health preparedness and communicable disease surveillance, and population health and disease prevention services to effectively meet the needs of the four rural counties.
Churchill County contracted with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine’s Office of Statewide Initiatives for assistance throughout this process. Churchill County is also in the process of developing a satellite public health laboratory in Fallon to process samples from rural areas. The county has also hired experienced professionals to fill several critical public health positions, including a nurse, epidemiologist, and laboratory scientist. These investments help ensure a successful start for the proposed Central Nevada Health District and the capability to uphold the requirements of a health district.
“We believe this four-county region will benefit from partnering, which enhances and expands our resources and ability to address a wider scope of public health issues,” said Jim Barbee, Churchill County Manager.