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Posted on: December 9, 2022

Central Nevada Health District Established

Central Nevada Health District board swearing in

The creation of the Central Nevada Health District and Central Nevada Health District Board of Health was approved by the State of Nevada Board of Health on December 2, 2022, in accordance with NRS 439.370. This is the third District approved in the State of Nevada and the first to serve rural communities. 

The district met December 8 in Churchill County Commission Chambers to swear in and elect its officers, receive ethics training, approve bylaws, consider approval of interlocal agreements for contractual services, establish interim policies and procedures and consider job descriptions for positions to be hired.

The health district will fully implement services starting July 1, 2023 with public health preparedness, disease investigation, public health nursing, environmental health and disease prevention in Churchill County, Mineral County, Pershing County, City of Fallon and through interlocal agreement with Eureka County, until legislatively able to join as a full member.  

Board members include:

Churchill County – Jim Barbee, County Manager & Shannon Ernst, County Social Services Director
Mineral County – Cassie Hall, County Commissioner & Denise Ferguson, Administrator, Mt. Grant General Hospital
Pershing County – Larry Rackley, County Commissioner & Tyson McBride, Pershing County Physician Center
City of Fallon – Kenny Tedford, Mayor & Bob Erickson, Chief of Staff
Medical Representative – Justin Heath, DO

Staff members are:

Caleb Cage, Interim Administrator
Tedd McDonald, M.D., Interim Health Officer
Marena Works, Consultant, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine


The idea to form this district originated during the COVID-19 pandemic when Churchill County began providing testing and vaccine services to surrounding rural communities. NRS 439.370 allows for the creation of a health district by the joining of two or more counties or two or more cities or towns within a county. Upon creation, the county board of health is abolished, and a district board of health is established with representation from each jurisdiction being represented. Small, dispersed, and diverse populations in rural communities coupled with inadequate financial resources have traditionally limited services offered to these areas. However, by leveraging those funds with other counties, this expands the available resources creating a workable and efficient health department. Services offered by a health district will build on and not duplicate or replace any public health activity currently being performed in the area by other agencies.

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