Health educator finds market in hormone changes |

Health educator finds market in hormone changes

John Seelmeyer

The relationship of hormone changes to the physical and psychological health of women is getting increased attention enough attention, in fact, that Lisa Mantkus is building a business around the subject.

A registered nurse in the Reno-Sparks area for more than two decades, Mantkus worked in oncolology, labor and delivery and high-risk obstetrics at Northern Nevada Medical Center and Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

But her attention kept returning to the care of women, particularly menopausal women, as they dealt with changing hormone levels in their bodies.

And that care, Mantkus says, often begins with the sort of deep listening that’s generally not available during a woman’s 15-minute visit to her primary-care physician.

Beginning a couple of years ago, Mantkus set up shop as a healthcare educator at Sierra Health Mart Pharmacy, a locally owned group of three pharmacies in the Reno area.

“I’m able to sit here for an hour to an hour and half with these women and listen to them,” she says. “Nobody has taken time to listen to them.”

Only after she’s listened carefully does Mantkus feel comfortable suggesting a course of action which may or may not include hormone replacement therapy for her clients.

Finding success with the consultations, Mantkus joined forces with David Vasenden, one of the owners of Sierra Health Mart Pharmacy, to launch a series of home parties to educate women.

Dubbed “Party with a Purpose,” the events are informal seminars at which Mantkus and Vasenden discuss women’s health and hormonal transitions. They discuss, too, the uses of customized hormone replacement therapy or supplements.

This month, Mantkus launched the third element of her business, a class on hormones in menopausal women for nurses and other healthcare professionals.

The class offered through the Extended Studies program at the University of Nevada, Reno, was developed to provide continuing education credits approved by the Nevada State Board of Nursing.

Despite juggling a busy schedule with the class, the home parties and her consulting schedule, Mantkus says she’s motivated by a strong sense of mission.

“My mission is to empower women to have the voice to decide the actions they will take for their health,” she says.


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