New position focuses on youth substance abuse prevention and mental health programming.


Park City, Utah (August 1, 2017) — In coordination with the Summit County mental health efforts, the Summit County Health Department announced the hiring of a Communities That Care/Youth Programs Coordinator: Mary Christa Smith. This full-time position will coordinate all youth mental health and substance abuse prevention programs and education within Summit County.

“We are excited to have Mary Christa join our efforts in addressing issues of mental health and substance abuse with the youth of Summit County,” Aaron Newman, Summit County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Programs Director said. “Expanding our programs and services as a community for our youth is a central focus of the Summit County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Strategic Plan.”

As the Communities That Care Coordinator, Smith will work closely with the three Summit County school districts, along with local government agencies and other community partners such as CONNECT Summit County, Valley Behavioral Health, the Park City Community Foundation and many more. The Communities that Care framework is an evidence-based process used internationally with proven success metrics. Smith’s position is also as part of the Summit County Mental Wellness Alliance and reports to the county’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Director.

“I am energized and grateful for the opportunity to serve the community as the Communities That Care Coordinator,” Smith said. “I will bring my experience as a teacher, nonprofit leader and business strategist to work collaboratively with all of our partners and stakeholders.  The needs of our community are urgent, and I look forward to tackling them with the incredible team of passionate individuals who are working diligently, and thoughtfully to reduce adolescent substance abuse and violence.”

Smith began her career as a teacher at the Oakley School in Summit County and currently has children in the South Summit School District. She also spent time as a project manager for Summit Community Power Works and most recently worked as the Community and Business Development Manager for Plenty. In each of these positions, Smith developed a number of key community relationships and partnerships.

“The Communities That Care framework will make a difference for Summit County,” said Park City Community Foundation Community Impact Director, Ollie Wilder. “Mary Christa has a proven track record of establishing and growing coalitions and we are looking forward to increasing our mental health and substance abuse prevention efforts among the youth with her expertise.”

Funds for the Communities That Care Coordinator were made available through a portion of a grant received from Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam.