Editor’s Note: McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living are profiling the McKnight’s 2021 Women of Distinction honorees daily July 6 through Aug. 9. To see the 2021 McKnight’s 2021 Women of Distinction awards ceremony, register for free here. For additional profiles of McKnight’s Women of Distinction, visit this page.

Estela Divino brings a worldly perspective to her position of director of social work, having lived and served in various countries in the Peace Corps, as well as growing up in the Philippines.

Estela Divino

Divino has said she has always had a “soft spot for seniors,” and while in the Peace Corps, she wrote weekly to her grandparents.

After returning from her term with the Peace Corps, Divino began pursuing her master’s degree while working in the social work department at Waterview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in New York City. 

After earning her degree, she performed community outreach and facilitated support groups as director of social work at Forest View Center, Forest Hills, NY, before accepting her new position as director at Regal Heights Rehabilitation Center in Jackson Heights, NY, where she has worked for the past 20 years. 

At Regal Heights, Divino takes pride in her work in maintaining a strong eldercare system. Besides her directorial duties, she also assists other nursing homes with mock surveys and capturing mood indicators. 

Divino also is a member of her community board, which holds programs such as health screening events for underinsured and low-income community members. In addition, she is active in her youth and adolescent advisory committee, which works to connect youth to older adults and staff members at the facility.

For those interested in social work, Divino has facilitated the creation of a social work internship program at the facility and has helped establish intern training and education programs.

Divino is fluent in four languages: English, Portuguese, Tagalog and Spanish. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, playing piano with her daughters, and long walks with her dog.

The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program is jointly administered by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living. The program’s Diamond sponsor is PointClickCare, and the Roundtable Sponsor is Paycor.