Nicki Aaker, a nurse with management experience, is the new Carson City Health and Human Services director at an annual salary of $100,000.16.
She took the departmental reins from Romaine Gilliland, who had been serving as interim HHS director since Marena Works left the city’s top HHS post to become deputy city manager under City Manager Larry Werner this year.
Werner cited Aaker’s background as a nurse and a manager, saying the management experience came while she was with Sierra Surgery Hospital on the Carson Tahoe Health medical campus in north Carson City. He also said a nationwide search had been conducted, and she is a local product of that search.
“She’s got good management background,” Werner said.
The city manager said he had help in the search that resulted in Aaker’s hiring. Among those helping were Works and Dr. Susan Pintar, the city’s health officer, who is a pediatric physician.
Aaker, reached by telephone Tuesday at her new office, said she supervised about 90 people while she was the assistant chief nursing officer/clinical nurse specialist at Sierra Surgery.
Aaker also responded to a question about whether she would be looking into matters concerning the city’s Animal Services shelter, which is overseen by HHS.
“Oh, yes,” she said, “and that’s about all I can say right now.”
An unlicensed dog was euthanized against its owner’s wishes weeks ago, and city government is in talks with a private attorney who has indicated he is investigating whether to file a lawsuit.
Aaker has city HHS experience. She came to HHS from Sierra Surgery this year to lead the school vaccine program, overseeing the School-Located Vaccination grant, and to serve as assistant accreditation coordinator.
The latter role afforded her an opportunity to help with the department’s work toward public-health accreditation. Accreditation will remain a continuing focus in her new position as director.