The newest staff member at Partnership Carson City is a “perfect fit” for the organization, which strives to improve the community’s health at the same time it battles drug problems.
“I plan to use my bachelor’s degree in nutrition and my minor in drug-addiction treatment to help teach the community about proactive health measures through eating well and staying active,” said Tasha Martel, a Carson City native and University of Nevada, Reno graduate who’s the new grants manager and community outreach coordinator at Partnership Carson City.
Martel replaces Hannah McDonald, who recently was named director of Partnership Carson City, one of 13 coalitions that cover every county of Nevada to coordinate a variety of community services.
“Our mission is really to foster healthy families,” said McDonald. “We are not just about dealing with drug issues; we want to educate the community so people can make informed choices. Tasha will be a perfect fit for us to get this message out.”
At Partnership, Martel will be working with many groups in Carson City, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada, the Ron Wood Family Resource Center and Advocates to End Domestic Violence. She envisions a weekly course she can teach to the Boys and Girls Clubs, for example, on how good nutrition and exercise can lead to better mental as well as physical health as tools against addiction.
“The outreach part of my job is the fun side where I can be creative,” Martel said. “I can talk about how nutrition is related to not only physical health, but mental health. I am also passionate about discussing substance abuse, but the preventative side is equally important.”
One of Martel’s first missions is to teach about alternative methods of pain management, particularly the avoidance of opioids, or prescriptions in general, when other pain remedy techniques could suffice.
“Not everyone needs strong prescription drugs when they are in pain,” she said. “There are anti-inflammatory medications that are effective, and exercise combined with physical therapy can also help. When these stronger drugs are warranted, however, we want to educate people on how to take them correctly and effectively. I am a personal trainer and I bring that credibility to those issues.”
McDonald says she’s excited to see Martel’s enthusiasm and passion for health begin to explode into the community.
“I am excited to be out in the community where I was born and raised,” Martel said. “I love this community and I want everyone here to be happy and healthy.”
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