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Meet our Staff: 

Healthy Start

Kristen Copenhaver - Healthy Start Project Director
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Kristen has an extensive history with the Healthy Start program as a case manager, case manager supervisor, and now as the project director. She has over 10 years of experience in working with women, children and families. Kristen received a Bachelorís of Applied Life Sciences Degree from University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1998 and her Masterís in Counselor Education Degree from University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2005.

Kristen is the proud single mother of two amazing young boys. She enjoys spending time with family and getting together with friends. Originally from a small town in southwest Missouri, Kristen relocated to Lafayette in 1994 to attend USL. After 20 years, she considers herself to be an honorary Cajun.

Tonya Hoover-Quinney, RSW - Healthy Start Case Manager Supervisor
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Tonya Hoover began her educational journey at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La., graduating in May 1997 with a bachelor degree in Social Work. After graduating she worked with a variety of different populations, the majority of her social work case management experience has been working with families. Tonya is a registered social worker with the La. State Board of Social Work Examiners. Tonya loves working with families and making a difference, one family at a time.

Erika Readoux - Healthy Start Outreach Specialist
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Ms. Erika Readoux is a native of Grand Prairie, Louisiana and has resided in Lafayette, LA before settling in Opelousas, LA. She is the Outreach Case Manager for the Healthy Start Program at The Family Tree Information, Education & Counseling Center. Ms. Readoux received her Bachelorís Degree of Science in Child and Family Studies with a minor in Psychology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2015.

Erika has a unique background being that she aged out of foster care. She used this as an empowering force to strive for better and to set an example for her peers. Erika served as a liaison and an advocate for Louisianaís foster community, and she was the Louisiana Youth Leadership Advisory Council President. She has a fiery passion for community outreach and making a positive impact on the lives of others. Erika is a single mother of a charming baby boy that she enjoys reading to, laughing with, talking to, and teaching so many great things.

Jerri Byrd Hodges - Healthy Start Program Specialist
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Mrs. Jerri Byrd is a Louisiana native, born and raised in Shreveport. With the support of her family (loving spouse, three energetic children, and four lazy dogs), she moved to Lafayette and joined The Family Tree team in 2013 to fulfill her lifelong mission of helping to provide quality care, education, and support for families and their children. Mrs. Byrd graduated from Northwestern State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Child Development and Family Relations and is currently pursuing her Masterís in Education with a focus on Early Childhood Program Administration. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and Zero to Three. She is also a CLASS observer, Louisiana Pathways Trainer, and a Professional Development Specialist for the Council for Professional Recognition. Mrs. Byrd has spent her career working with families and young children and is passionate about the care and development of children, birth through age five. She has experienced all facets of early childhood care and education including in the classroom, as an administrator and as an assessor of early childhood programs. This experience and knowledge of early childhood development and program administration forges a bond with parents and caregivers who seek to improve the lives of the young children they care for.

Jacey Lopez, LMSW - Healthy Start Mental Health Case Manager
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Mrs. Jacey Lopez moved to Lafayette in 2010 to obtain her bachelorís degree in Psychology. While there, she volunteered at Healing House: Hope for Grieving Children and developed a desire to work with families and children. Mrs. Lopez is also very interested in working in grief and crisis intervention. After obtaining her bachelorís degree, she attended LSU where she earned a Master of Social Work degree and the programís Child and Youth Certificate. Mrs. Lopez gained experiences through internships at Broussard Middle School and Womenís and Childrenís Hospital. While at Womenís and Childrenís Hospital, she was able to work directly with pregnant women and new families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Between internship experiences and coursework, she developed an understanding of the complexities of families and parenting and a desire to work with those families. Mrs. Lopez recently obtained her LMSW licensure and is working towards her clinical licensing.

Jacey has settled down just outside the city with her husband, infant son and two dogs. She enjoys reading, taking long bubble baths and watching her son learn new things every day.

Karaline Ortego, CFLE-P, CLC - Healthy Start Lead Case Manager
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Karaline Ortego is a Certified Family Life Educator, Certified Lactation Consultant and a Child Passenger Safety Technician. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is a member of both the National Council on Family Relations and the Acadiana Breastfeeding Coalition. She is currently an MBA graduate student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and is motivated to continue helping and learning about people. Karaline is a stepmother to a beautiful and fun loving six year old. She is very passionate about helping her family thrive and is eager to assist other families to do so as well.

Brittney D. Williams - Healthy Start Case Manager
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Brittney Williams is a native of Ethel, Louisiana. Brittney is a Case Manager for the Healthy Start Program at The Family Tree Information, Education and Counseling Center. She has resided in Lafayette for two years now. She received her Bachelorís Degree of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2010. Currently, she is pursuing a Masterís Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University.

Brittney has a diverse case management background, which has allowed her to interact with parents, children, teachers, counselors, social service networks, and numerous other entities striving for the betterment of child welfare and family relations. She is the President-Elect, for the Lafayette Parish Social Service Agency Network, and a certified Darkness to Light ďStewards of ChildrenĒ Facilitator. What makes her so unique, is the ability to tailor her approach and communication skills to meet the needs of each and every client she interacts with. What motivates her to achieve greater, is the knowing that completing a simple task or providing a resource to her families, can open a door to a firmer family foundation and a healthier start. Brittney enjoys being a ďhome-bodyĒ, spending time with friends and family, and just being happy!!

Trinity  Woods - Healthy Start Case Manager
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Ms. Trinity Woods moved to Lafayette while attending University of Louisiana at Lafayette and although she has graduated, she cannot imagine living anywhere else. She obtained a Bachelorís Degree in Sociology because helping people has always been her passion. Ms. Woods is known to help people whenever she can, is a great listener and an individual who believes a person can never stop learning. She previously worked with The Family Tree Healthy Start Program during her internship and is glad to rejoin the team. In her spare time, Trinity is eager to be more active and have as many new experiences as possible.

Lacey Pitre - Healthy Start Case Manager
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Mrs. Lacey Pitre joined the Healthy Start team as a Case Manager in January 2017. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies with a minor in Criminal Justice from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Lacey was a student worker at Hearts of Hope Child Advocacy for two years and has experience with children of all ages. She completed Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention training and attended weekly staffing and case management meetings for Sobriety Court and Juvenile Drug Court with the 15th JDC. Mrs. Pitre eagerly applies the techniques she learned in her undergraduate studies when working with her own children and hopes to do the same for the families that she serves.

Mrs. Pitre was born and raised in a small town called Plaisance, LA. She is a devoted wife and mother with two beautiful daughters and two fur pups. She enjoys living near her hometown and has always been one to help people with whatever they may need. Her goal in life is to be able to go home each day knowing that she made a positive difference in someoneís life. Her hobbies include spending time with family, shopping, learning new information and being outdoors.

Kayla Thomas - Case Manager
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Mrs. Kayla Thomas was born and raised in New Iberia, Louisiana. She has been a case manager for the Healthy Start Program since June of 2017. Mrs. Thomas earned a bachelorís degree in Child and Family Studies, with a minor in Sociology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. It was because of her very active six year old, that she went back to school and pursued higher education. Although she graduated at the age of 27, she feels that it is never too late to go back to school and as a lifelong learner, knows her educational journey is not yet complete. Until she can pursue a masterís degree in social work, she wants to make a difference in the world by helping others, one family at a time.

Alyta Riengxay - Case Manager
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Ms. Alyta Riengxay is a native to St. Martinville. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Studies with a minor in History from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She joined the team as case manager for The Family Tree Healthy Start program in June 2017. Ms. Riengxay has always had a passion for helping others, but truly realized her yearning to listen, help, and empower others as a student worker for the Girl Scouts of Louisiana Pines to the Gulf. She looks forward to offering program services to the Asian community and helping those women and children. Alyta enjoys spending time with family, friends, and traveling.

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