Nevada is one of six states that make up the Southern Intermountain West, along with Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Idaho. The Southern Intermountain West is the last true frontier in the continental United States. While other regions have received tremendous investment of federal funding, this region has yet to realize its full developmental potential. In a report published in 2008, the Brookings Institution described the explosive growth of the "Mountain Megas" and the critical needs of this region, including infrastructure, human capital, and the need for enhanced research and development to build diversified and sustainable economies. As the fastest-growing of these "Mountain Megas," Southern Nevada has long wrestled with these challenges but has, of yet, been unable to find an effective way to put the puzzle of urban sustainability together.
There is a compelling need for community and research entities from urban and rural areas in Southern Nevada to come together to map out regional and statewide priorities along with mechanisms for collaborating with other service sectors to create a master plan that bonds together federal, state, regional, and city agencies to address the large-scale challenges faced today – particularly in education, health, and social services. Nevada is small enough to do this effectively; by cooperatively creating a sustainable vision, the state can demonstrate the kind of horizontal and vertical integration needed to secure federal funds and community interventions that address needed services.
The Lincy Institute is the central resource hub that connects best practices to cutting-edge research and analysis to develop a plan across state, local, and private-agency boundaries. This hub must be aggressively multidisciplinary to coordinate, facilitate, and support regional, community partnerships focused on our human capital and to attract significantly increased federal support and other funding.
The Institute focuses on three divisions that will collect, refine, and exponentially expand UNLV’s impact in our community: education, health, and social services. Nevada has been less than successful in attracting the level of federal support needed to meet its growing needs. In fact, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report published in October 2008, Nevada is last in the amount of grants per capita from the federal government. One example of this is the U.S. Health Resources and Service Administration grants. In 2007, according to a report by the Southern Nevada Health District, Arizona received $77 million in HRSA grants and Oklahoma received $44 million while Nevada received approximately $30 million — an inequity that The Lincy Institute can play a significant role in addressing by bringing together non-profit and nongovernmental agencies to collaborate on larger grants and joint programs.