News briefs: Barton Health expands palliative care, plus educational garden event |

News briefs: Barton Health expands palliative care, plus educational garden event


Barton Health has identified the need for a comprehensive support system for patients with serious or terminal illness and has taken action to create Barton Palliative Care. The new palliative care service line helps patients develop an optimal care plan catered to their individual health and comfort needs.

Palliative care is available at any stage of a serious or terminal illness. It is not limited to end-of-life or hospice care. Patients facing serious illness may live for years and a palliative care plan helps relieve patient’s pain, symptoms and stress levels.

Sherellen Gerhart, M.D., has been hired as Barton Palliative Care’s physician lead. Gerhart has delivered and supervised medical care for both hospice and palliative care patients since 2000.

“Barton Health’s approach to palliative care is very advanced, especially for a community of this size,” Gerhart said. “Having a terminal or chronic disease can be very stressful and daunting for a patient. Each palliative care patient will receive a personalized plan and care team who will work together to improve the patient’s quality of life.”

Gerhart is a physician board-certified in internal medicine, palliative and hospice medicine, and geriatric medicine. In Barton Health’s new service line, she will oversee the care plans of palliative patients and will provide support, consultation and education for patients, their families, medical providers and community organizations.

“Barton’s palliative care program addresses medical complications holistically and considers the patient’s own values and health goals,” said Dr. Rhonda Sneeringer, Barton Health’s chief medical officer. “We are excited to have Dr. Gerhart on board who brings both expertise and passion for this specialty.”

Gerhart will see palliative care patients at Barton Palliative Care, Barton Memorial Hospital, and, on occasion, at the patient’s home. All patients seeking palliative care require a referral from a physician. Patients can be seen at Barton Palliative Care on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hospital consults will be provided by Gerhart and Dr. Allison Steinmetz from Barton Family Medicine.

For more information and patient referrals, call Barton Palliative Care at 530-600-1960 or visit The Barton Palliative Care office is located at 2175 South Ave., next to Barton Women’s Health, in South Lake Tahoe.


The Evans Family Community Garden will be showcased on Sunday, Aug. 14, during the 9th annual Landscape Conservation Workshop in South Lake Tahoe. The event is free of charge and will take place from noon to 3:30 p.m. Guests are invited to arrive at any point during the workshop, as there is no set schedule of activities. The event will feature representatives from local conservation-focused organizations distributing information and answering questions that the public might have in regards to environmental conservation in the residential context within the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Tahoe Resource Conservation District and South Tahoe Public Utility District, among other conservation partners, are hosting the event. Information on Tahoe-friendly landscaping practices will include measures such as water irrigation efficiency, fire wise landscaping, Fire Defensible Space, habitat gardening, native and climate appropriate plant choices, erosion control, Best Management Practices in accordance with Tahoe Regional Planning Agency standards, turf conversion, vegetable gardening and composting.

Following the Angora Fire in 2007, Tahoe RCD began offering landscape conservation consultations to homeowners affected by the fire, which included one-on-one assistance at the property and the distribution of native plants and wildflower seeds.

Visit for event details or to inquire about conservation landscaping services or opportunities to volunteer or donate. Contact Adam Henriques,, 530-543-1501, ext. 130, to learn more.

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