Creshelle Nash, MD, MPH


Medical Director for Health Equity & Public Programs, Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield; Adjunct Assistant Professor Health Policy and Management, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR

Dr. Creshelle R. Nash, M.D., M.P.H., CHIE, is Medical Director for Health Equity and Public Programs at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, where she leads and implements statewide initiaties in health equity. Dr. Nash also teaches at the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Public Health, and co-directs the Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Service Learning Course. Previously, she assisted in informing health policy decision-makers through research with the Arkansas Minority Health Commission, and work with the state legislature, Arkansas Department of Health, and community-based organizations on public health issues facing the state of Arkansas. She worked on the development of curriculum for both the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health and the Clinton School of Public Service.

Dr. Nash received her medical degree from the University of Maryland at Baltimore School of Medicine in 1994, and completed a residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine at George Washington University Hospital, Washington, D.C. in 1997. She was a CFHU Fellow and received an M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1998.






Minority Health in the State of Nevada


As the demographics of the nation changes, its health care needs are also changing. The health care system as a whole must adapt to face the challenges of the 21st century. The US Census Bureau has forecasted tremendous change in the US population. By the middle of the century, the population may increase to 394 million.  This is a 50% increase from the 1995 population level.  Although nearly 3/4 of the population was non-Hispanic white in 1995, this group is suspected to contribute to about 1/4 of the total population growth in the next 10 years. Growth in the minority populations will primarily make up this increase.

The state of Nevada is also undergoing significant changes in its population. Between 1990-1995, Nevada was by far the fastest growing state in the nation. Las Vegas was the fastest growing metropolitan area in both Nevada and the nation.  This population growth has included significant numbers of minorities.  Health statistics show that, despite the overall progress of the nation, minority groups have an increased death rate and burden of illness.  This fact can be seen in across various state health indicators.  Therefore there is a growing need to specifically address the health of these populations. The Great Basin Primary Care Association, in Carson City, Nevada, is attempting to address these needs.  The Great Basin Primary Care Association is a community based organization that has as it’s mission “to improve the health status of Nevada’s medically underserved populations by supporting and advocating on behalf of the community-based health centers which provide accessible, quality, comprehensive primary health care services.

In collaboration with the Great Basin Primary Care Association, this study analyzes the current system to address minority health issues at the federal and state levels.  The organization and genesis of the system at each level is examined as well as the interaction of its components. This study also provides the basis for a quantitative needs assessment of the minority community in the state of Nevada by surveying a subset of providers in the public system.  Finally this study is to be used by the Great Basin Primary Care Association to galvanize support to form a state-wide entity that is equipped to address the health needs of the minority community.


John Yacenda Ph.D., M.P.H., Director and CEO, Great Basin Primary Care Association