Dr. Carolyn R. Haynie, a psychiatrist whose work with underserved children in her hometown of Baltimore became the core of a regional practice, died May 12 of breast cancer. The Mount Washington resident was 65.
Raised in the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore, Dr. Haynie would become the CEO of Urban Behavioral Associates, an Old Goucher psychiatric clinic for children, teens, adults and families.
Those who knew Dr. Haynie said she was driven to extend the availability of treatment to children in low-income African-American families, a resource she believed was essential for young people to become successful adults.
"Many of these families have experienced multigenerational challenges of poverty and limited education," said Dr. Annelle Primm, a friend and colleague who is deputy medical director of the American Psychiatric Association. "Often such people don't receive the best quality care."
Dr. Haynie, who also had been head of psychiatry at the Bon Secours Health System, remained devoted to her organization until shortly before her death, working through her illness to expand Urban Behavioral Associates into the Washington area as it grew to about 40 staff members.
In her personal life, relatives said, Dr. Haynie mostly kept work to herself. She played an integral role in her large extended family, hosting gatherings at her home and pushing nieces, nephews and their children to pursue educational opportunities.
"She was the matriarch of the family," said Angela Taylor of Baltimore, a niece. "She would help all of her family members in any way she could — mentally, spiritually, financially — to make sure we could … go to school. "
Holidays were an especially important time for Dr. Haynie, and her home became a regular location for Thanksgiving dinner and other events.
"There was no year that we didn't have a family celebration there, and she wanted it to be a place where family would come together and be welcomed," said Dr. Sharon L. Haynie, a niece.
Her house was adorned with an impressive collection of art from the African diaspora, relatives said, reminders of the deep cultural motivations behind her professional endeavors.
Dr. Haynie pursued anthropology and African studies at Howard University before she went to medical school, and that knowledge — coupled with her experiences growing up in West Baltimore — inspired her to pursue psychiatry.
Dr. Carole Boyce Davies, professor of English and Africana studies at Cornell University, was in school with Dr. Haynie at that time. She said Dr. Haynie was moved by the discussion of the global issues facing black people, then had a revelation while working with a program for at-risk children.
Convinced that she could make a difference through mental health, Dr. Haynie began taking prerequisites for medical school. She would graduate from the University at Buffalo, part of the State University of New York.
"She was now equipped to really help and treat people," Dr. Boyce Davies said.
Dr. Tracee Burroughs-Gardner, who is now the interim CEO and medical director of Urban Behavioral Associates in Baltimore, said Dr. Haynie built an institution that helps families make better lives for their children.
"Kids don't have the power to speak up for themselves," Dr. Burroughs-Gardner said. "They don't have the power to change life circumstances that they've been thrown into."
One of seven children, Dr. Haynie was born in 1948 to William and Loretta Haynie. Her father painted houses and performed odd jobs. Her mother was a homemaker, then worked in medical administration after her children were grown.
Dr. Haynie graduated from Eastern High School and earned an associate's degree from Baltimore City Community College. She completed her bachelor's degree at Morgan State University before attending Howard and Buffalo.
She returned from medical school for post-graduate training at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and had a fellowship with Sheppard Pratt Health System.
Dr. Haynie later held positions with the juvenile court in Baltimore and the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, according to her relatives. She worked for Bon Secours for more than 15 years, overseeing a department with 12 programs and about 2,000 patients.
Spirituality also played an important part in Dr. Haynie's life. She spent most of her adulthood worshiping at Baltimore's New Psalmist Baptist Church. More recently she joined Heritage United Church of Christ on Liberty Heights Avenue.
Dr. Haynie fought cancer with the same tenacity that shaped her life, according to Inez Haynie Dodson, a friend since childhood and former sister-in-law.
"She held onto that until her last days," Dodson said. "She always believed that there would be a better day, a better time."
Dr. Haynie is survived by her brothers William Haynie Jr., Gerald Haynie and Paul Haynie Sr.; sister Rosalind Bailey; and aunt Nannie Smith. She had many in-laws, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
A viewing for Dr. Haynie is scheduled for Monday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Wylie Funeral Home, 9200 Liberty Road in Randallstown. Her memorial service will be held Friday, May 30, at 10:30 a.m. at Heritage United Church, 3106 Liberty Heights Ave, Baltimore.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun