Our Employee of the Month for August 2018 is Sharon Whitebread!
Sharon is our Linkage, Outreach, and Community Education Manager. She has been working hard for Caring Communities since 2010, originally starting as a volunteer and working her way to part-time employee in 2013, and finally full-time in 2013.
The Caring Communities staff raves about her helpfulness, positive attitude, and extensive knowledge of all things Caring Communities. One coworker noted, “she has taken her experience and used it to better the work of others on multiple occasions” Another mentioned that, “Sharon is always kind to her clients, staff, and members of the community.” She is truly a team player and Caring Communities is only stronger with her on our side!
Sharon began her impressive community involvement career in the HIV Prevention Education Department of the American Red Cross. There she was a Lead Intervention Specialist who focused on prevention with Injection Drug Users and other substance use disorders.
Later, Sharon took a case manager position with Scranton’s Community Intervention Center. There she became a Certified Recovery Specialist and the Pennsylvania Certification Board—a certification she still holds today. With this certification under her belt, she provided treatment assessments and referrals, and facilitated a Recovery Group open to those working through varying stages of addictive health.
It’s clear to see why Sharon’s favorite part of her position is working with those who suffer from substance use and mental health disorders. She enjoys being out of the office, in the community, and creating those vital connections to help make the lives of those affected by HIV, substance use disorders, and mental health easier. This shows itself in the extensive work her department does to join others in the professional community to create a seamless referral system applicable to each individual served in our 12-county region.
At Caring Communities, Sharon leads a small but powerful team. Constantly on the go, the Linkage, Outreach, and Community Education team is vital in spreading awareness of the services Caring Communities offers. This is often the team you will see at expos and local events, informing guests of what resources are available to them and their communities. Sharon also leads several types of training on HIV. Her training sessions are tailored to her audience, whether they be staff members from varying medical fields or clients themselves. They range from understanding the basics of HIV to a more in-depth analysis of HIV in relation to the local Pennsylvania population and other disparities that may affect rates of transmission such as drug trends and the correctional system.
Sharon’s capacity for care and support extends well beyond her position with Caring Communities and takes deep roots in her family. Family life is something Sharon holds dear to her heart. She takes every opportunity to spend time with her children, no matter their age, noting that life goes by fast and she doesn’t want to miss a beat!
Fast Fact: Sharon and her department have a subtle collection of cat figurines in their office, see if you can find any of them in her picture!