Carina Havenstrite believes the road to success is a long and dynamic journey with many twists and turns along the way, but with hard work, a good work ethic, strong support from people who really believe in you – and a good sense of adventure – all of these hurdles can be overcome.
As director of HIV Case Management at The Wright Center for Community Health, Scranton, she is responsible for the oversight of a team of medical case managers who provide services to a vulnerable and dynamic population. She also oversees all of the funding and reporting while identifying and advocating for the expansion of the program to best meet the needs of clients.
“This program has seen amazing growth and I am extremely proud of what the program has become and achieved over the last few years, including a new Prison Linkage Program,” she stated.
“Much of what I do in my community is linked to my job including health fairs and other events to make an attempt to foster public awareness about what The Wright Center for Community Health has to offer, particularly free and confidential STD and HIV testing; and providing HIV, STD, and safe sex-related information to the public,” she explains.
Havenstrite graduated from Keystone College with a bachelor’s degree in social science and a double minor in psychology and sociology a semester early with a 4.0 GPA and no student loans because she maintained three jobs throughout her college career.
She believes she has been molded into the person she is today because of the extensive traveling and international volunteer work she has completed. The young woman spent time volunteering with the severely impoverished youth in Peru, Haiti and in Africa.
Upon returning to the United States, she worked in the field of psychology case management before accepting a position at the Wright Center for Community Health and has risen from medical case manager to the director of the HIV Case Management Program.
Her mentor throughout her professional journey has been Dr. Maria Montoro-Edwards, vice-president of strategic initiatives and grants at The Wright Center for Community Health, who has pushed her to be the best that she can possibly be, lead by example and always advocate for herself.
While juggling two toddlers, a career, a household and an alpaca farm, Havenstrite admits she is usually in a constant state of chaos and abides by the philosophy to take it one day at a time, do her best, and know that at the end of the day you gave it all you had to give.
The social worker’s supportive family has always been there for her and she is grateful to her parents, sisters, husband and two toddler children who balance out the craziness of work life and remind her to take time for the little things.
“I am so unbelievably lucky to have all of them,” she adds, “I feel that my greatest achievement is being a mother to my two amazing children, at the end of the day, their smiling faces are worth more than anything I could ever achieve professionally.”
The businesswoman is actively involved, including sitting on the board, with the Oakleaf Therapeutic Horsemanship Center.
As the owners of Alpacas of Windy Haven Farm, she and her husband have 12 alpacas, numerous chickens and ducks, a Great Doberman and a rescue kitten. They recently began as an alpaca vendor selling socks, hats, gloves, scarves, blankets and more made from alpaca fiber, and are excited about the new endeavor and what it may have in store for them.