Deep roots in Fallon lead Commissioner Heath to serve

Dr. Justin Heath begins his first term as a Churchill County commissioner.

Dr. Justin Heath begins his first term as a Churchill County commissioner.

Dr. Justin Heath focuses on more housing, jobs for the community

New County Commissioner Justin Heath’s life is deeply rooted in Fallon and that connection to this community led him to serve.

“I wanted to help my community and people were telling me we needed new faces on the Board of Commissioners. I thought about it for a long time and put my name on the ballot when I saw there was only one name on it,” he said. “I’ve been talking to people and am hearing the changes they want, namely more housing and jobs.”

Heath’s focus will be on getting more housing into the area and more high-paying jobs so that people don’t have to drive to USA Parkway, Reno or Carson for work.

“I’m learning how we need to do that by getting builders in here and selling Fallon to companies looking to relocate or start up,” he said. “This is a great place to live, and I’d like to open opportunities in Fallon to bring in businesses leaving the cities.”

Heath also recognizes the importance of water to this community and the need to keep it here. “If we don’t grow, our water will be taken from us to other areas that are growing,” he explained. “Water and agriculture are the historical lifeblood of Fallon, but family farms are not a big job producer.”

Growing up in Fallon with a single mother who worked at Naval Air Station Fallon, Heath supports the Navy base, especially when it comes to housing.

As he begins this new chapter of service, Heath will focus on learning the budget process and settling into his committee assignments.

“I want to understand how it all works while working to get jobs and housing in here,” he said.

With only a three-member commission, he said it will be challenging to talk to others outside of meetings.

Heath grew up in Fallon, graduating from Churchill County High in 1993. He joined the Marine Corps, serving for five years before returning to Fallon and earning degrees from both Western Nevada College and the University of Nevada, Reno. Deciding on medicine as a career, he graduated from medical school from Touro University in Vallejo, Calif., before joining the Navy to serve his three-year family medicine residency plus a four-year commitment to the military.

Upon fulfillment of his military obligation, Heath returned to Fallon in 2014 to practice medicine. He worked for Banner Churchill Community Hospital and Veterans Affairs and opened his own medical practice before returning to Banner Churchill.

Heath’s mother and sister still live in Fallon. He and his wife have three children aged 17, 14 and 9 years old.

Anne McMillin is public information officer for Churchill County.

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