Southern Nevada Health District: The First 50 Years

This year the Southern Nevada Health District celebrates 50 years of protecting and promoting the health of Clark County residents and visitors. Learn about our humble beginnings, as well as our public health successes, challenges and evolution over five decades.

Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act Passed by Voters

Voters pass the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act. The passage of this measure provides substantial changes to Nevada smoking laws and protects children and adults from secondhand smoke in most public places and indoor places of employment.

Henderson Public Health Center opens

The new Henderson Public Health Center location opens. The 26,000-square-foot full service campus is the largest of the district’s satellite facilities.

9/11 Terrorist Attack

Terrorists attack in New York City, Washington, DC and Shanksville, PA.

Clark County Health District begins operations

The Clark County Health District is formed after authorization by the 1959 Nevada State Legislature. It is housed in a temporary structure built as an Army Medical Station during World War II.

Board appoints Chief Health Officer

Dr. Otto Ravenholt becomes Clark County’s first board appointed Chief Health Officer. He serves until 1998.

Food handlers program is established

Clark County Ordinance 186 establishes a requirement for a food handlers program. A traveling “medicine show” moves from hotel to hotel providing a two-hour program of films, lectures and demonstrations to educate food handlers on the importance of food safety.

Shadow Lane Facility Ground Breaking

Dignitaries break ground for the facility still located at 625 Shadow Lane. A bond issue to finance construction of the new health center was presented to voters in October 1963 and was approved by a substantial margin.

Smoking and lung cancer linked

The U.S. Surgeon General first reports the link between smoking and lung cancer.

District becomes repository for vital records

The health district becomes the local repository for birth and death certificates in Clark County. This eliminates the need for residents to order records through the state office in Carson City.

Dr. Ravenholt goes to Washington, D.C.

President Johnson invites Dr. Ravenholt to the White House.

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