From left, Caden and Kiptyn Martin, Carson Tahoe Chief Nursing Officer Janelle Hoover, Carson City Mayor Lori Bagwell and Greg Hoover at an awards ceremony at Nashville Social Club on Sept. 14, 2023.
Photo by Scott Neuffer.
Different people in the community can be heroes, a Carson City business owner said during a recent award ceremony designed to recognize everyday heroics.
“Everyone’s idea of a hero is a different version,” said Jessica Lentz, co-owner of Red Bear Mechanical, a local heating, air and plumbing company. “It could be a schoolteacher. It could be a police officer, a first responder of some kind that does everything they can to help everyone in the community out.”
The version of hero celebrated at Nashville Social Club in downtown Carson City on Sept. 14 was healthcare worker, specifically Carson Tahoe Health Chief Nursing Officer Janelle Hoover. As part of Red Bear’s inaugural Bryant True Heroes Award program, Hoover, a Gardnerville resident, was recognized for her contributions to local health and for her service as president of Carson Valley Little League and past girls soccer coach at Douglas High.
“Everything that you have done for the hospital, the Douglas County community, the Carson City community — you’re an amazing person,” Lentz told Hoover.
Hoover shed tears as coworkers and family members applauded. The ceremony was moving but also humorous as Lentz told the audience how Hoover thought the award was a scam when she was notified.
“The more and more we talked, the more and more comfortable she got with it and then started to realize that this is, in fact, happening,” Lentz said.
Part of the award is a new heating and air-conditioning system for Hoover and family.
“It’s an honor, absolutely. I am humbled,” Hoover told the Appeal. “Every single person in this room is a true hero. They give so much of their time of their lives to do this. I’m honored to represent them and am honored to be part of this team.”
Hoover, 45, has been with Carson Tahoe for 12 years in various capacities. She discussed the challenges of the chief nursing role.
“I oversee all nursing for the entire organization,” she said.
Hoover said many nurses leave the field in their first year because “they don’t feel safe, or they don’t feel educated.” According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, a shortage of registered nurses “is expected to intensify as Baby Boomers age and the need for healthcare grows.”
Hoover described her mission of building educational programs and retaining nurses in a post-pandemic world.
“We have probably one of the best nursing-to-patient ratios in the state,” she said. “We keep our ratios low, so that our nurses feel safe caring for the amount of patients that they have, and our patients feel like they’re cared for well.”
Kiptyn Martin, Hoover’s 12-year-old son, said he already knew his mom is a hero.
“I am very happy because she deserves it,” he said. “She does so much stuff for everybody.”
Lentz told the Appeal Red Bear wants to expand the award program in the coming years. A panel of community members had selected Hoover from a pool of nominees.
“We’ve been in business for six years, and this is the first year that we’ve done this program,” she said.
Lentz said the company was looking for a way to give back.
“This is something that impacts so many people, and we couldn’t have found a better winner this year, too, just because of who she is and everything she brings with her to this ceremony and to our business,” she said.
“It’s been really a joyful experience for us,” added co-owner Michael Lentz.
While running a small business can be tough, the hero program is “a reason for doing it,” he said.