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 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.
Douglas County contracts with the department to provide public health services, such as childhood immunizations, preventing spread of tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases and medical care for the indigent.
Since the county entered the contract in January 2012, officials report a savings of $351,532 thanks to grant funding, fee collections and insurance reimbursements.
Starting in January, Douglas County health inspections of everything from restaurants to businesses where there is a potential health risk like tattoo parlors and swimming pools will be conducted by the department.