HealthSmart may be gone, but many of its services still exist | NevadaAppeal.com

HealthSmart may be gone, but many of its services still exist

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

Carson City has taken over some functions of HealthSmart, a local nonprofit agency that faded from the scene this week.

City Health and Human Services will take over the nonprofit’s tobacco education functions, and city supervisors are being asked to accept a state grant of $191,000 to fund these anti-smoking education efforts.

Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare Services decided last month to reallocate its HealthSmart funding, $54,000, to help pay for the Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program through the end of this year when it sought to cure current-year financial woes.

“That being its main funding source, we lost our executive director,” said Supervisor Pete Livermore, a member of the hospital board who also served as chairman of the HealthSmart board. Mary Ellen Waltz was head of the nonprofit.

The nine-member board of directors opted to cease operations as a result of these events, Livermore said.

Having the city handle many of HealthSmart’s functions will be cost effective, he said.

The city will train health-care professionals to identify patients who are tobacco-dependent, and offer ways for the employees to help the patients to stop smoking, said Daren Winkelman, the city’s health director.

The idea is to help the health providers do interventions during patient visits and “help chronic smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke.”

Also being handled by the city are HealthSmart’s duties related to the Mental Health Coalition. HealthSmart’s other substantial effort was the Carson Area Coalition on Obesity. It will be taken over by Carson Wellness Coalition.

The supervisors also will decide Thursday whether to accept a state grant for pandemic influenza preparedness efforts by the city for $77,000.

With the money, the city will work with public and private health workers, emergency response providers, people in agriculture and animal health, education and business, among others, to make them aware of what could happen if a pandemic occurs and what can be done to lessen its effects, Winkelman said.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.

If you go

What: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting

When: 8:30 a.m. Thursday

Where: Sierra Room, Community Center, 851 E. William St.