Glahnnia (Renee) Rates, MSHS, CHW II
As an epidemiologist with the CDC Foundation for the State of Nevada, serving on the occupational health and health equity team, advocacy for underserved populations is not only a part of the daily job but a lifestyle that I live by, as a public health professional and active community advocate. As a longtime resident of Las Vegas (relocated from San Antonio, TX in 1992), I have seen the immense growth in population and diversity over the course of 3 decades. From this, there have been many changes in diversity for those who serve our great Silver State community, from state legislatures, city council members, and even the University of Nevada, Las Vegas that has now appointed their first African American President. However, with this increase in population diversity, there is an increased need for minority communities, particularly black community members to have direct representation through advocacy, education, and support. The Black Community Health & Wellness Association of Nevada aims to fill in the gaps within in our state to better serve the needs of the black community. With emphasis on better treatment for healthcare practices by healthcare providers and professionals (e.g., nurses, aides, EMS personnel, etc.), access to preventive treatment options, effective health education, and professional support services for future and current community health professionals. We, as black professionals in healthcare and public health, have embarked on a journey through the establishment of this organization. This is an ongoing engagement with the community at large to change the treatment of health, wellness, and sustainability for often underserved and mistreated black community members in Nevada. It is our hope that by sharing our stories, in an effort to change the dynamic of black health, it will help to encourage, inspire, and enable change within our Silver State community.