Carson-Tahoe asked to sponsor youth program

Carson-Tahoe Hospital trustees are being asked to give $30,000 over two years to start a mentoring program for at-risk Carson City youth.

Community members spearheaded by the Mentoring 2000 Task Force of the Carson City and Douglas County Leadership Alumni, started in October looking for community support to start the program.

Ron Kendall, chairman of the Mentoring 2000 Task Force, said the program will take about $150,000 to start. The Leadership Alumni are asking the hospital, Carson City, the Carson City School Board and Western Nevada Community College to help with startup costs.

"I feel positive about what's happening, but we don't have the money yet," Kendall said.

Kendall and other community members argue that while Carson City has several programs offering mentoring in one form or another, a center with a full-time director to coordinate programs is necessary to help troubled youth.

Kendall said because the hospital's concern deals with not only physical health but also the health of a community, education and quality of life, it makes sense for the hospital to pitch in.

Each of the four governing agencies will be asked to give $15,000 a year for two consecutive years. Kendall said WNCC already committed office space to the program, which represents about $6,000. Mentor program supporters head to the school board next week, but are beginning their request for money with hospital trustees.

Hospital Trustee Pete Livermore said he supported any effort to help youth.

"It's easy to say yes, and I can only speak for myself," Livermore said. "Health and welfare is not only lying in the hospital. I'll be curious to see the questions posed, but by all means I support every and all efforts to bring youth (problems) under control."

Trustee chairwoman Jo Saulisberry said she thought the mentoring program was a worthwhile project.

"I think it's a good use of hospital money," Saulisberry said. "If we can help the children solve their problems, it will help the community with problems it has later on. It's a health issue - mental and physical.

"I think it's commendable that a group of people took the time to do this."

Trustees will also consider:

- Purchase of a $145,000 home at 3 Lane Circle. The hospital's Auxiliary voted in a recent meeting to donate $100,000 to the hospital to buy the home to be used as a hospitality house for families of hospital patients who need a place to stay.

Purchase of the home was discussed at a previous meeting and trustees deadlocked 3- to-3 over its purchase. The home would pull the hospital off its "super block," and residents have expressed fear in the past that the hospital would try to expand too much into residential areas.

- Appointing members to the Minden Medical Center Advisory Board. Trustees will meet today at 6 p.m. in the Minden Medical Center to interview advisory board candidates. The candidates will be appointed at Thursday's meeting.

The advisory board acts as the hospital's eyes and ears for health issues in the Carson Valley. The center's previous advisory board disbanded itself in June because board members were uncomfortable with the hospital's decision to privatize its health-care clinic in Douglas County.

If you go:

What: A joint meeting of Carson-Tahoe Hospital's Board of Trustees, Finance Committee and Building Committee.

When: Thursday, 5 p.m.

Where: Pinon Plaza Casino Resort Conference Center, 2171 Highway 50 East, Carson City.


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