The Fact Forward team is composed of talented individuals from a variety of professional backgrounds. Bringing fresh and innovative ideas to work each day, our team is dedicated to reducing teen births in South Carolina and increasing access to reproductive health education.
E.A. "Beth" De Santis, MSN
Chief Executive Officer
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Beth joined Fact Forward as Chief Executive Officer in October 2016 after working at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) for 16 years. Beth began working at SC DHEC in 2000 as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner providing clinical reproductive health care. After four years of clinical care, she went into Program and Operations Management for the counties of Horry, Georgetown and Williamsburg. In 2010 she became the Director of DHEC’s statewide Family Planning Program and then in 2013 became Director of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Her background includes a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of South Carolina, Certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Virginia. Over the course of her career, Beth has focused on decreasing unintended pregnancy in an effort to empower young women to develop to their full potential.
Director of Operations and Communications
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Alvin joined Fact Forward after serving as the corporate director of marketing at the Zeus Industrial Products for eight years. In this role, he directed and executed strategies that created global brand awareness for the organization and its subsidiary companies through branding, public relations, advertising and event management. Alvin is a native of Lexington, SC., and a graduate of South Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing.
Rena Dixon, PhD, MPH, MCHES
Director of Health Services
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Dr. Rena P. Dixon joined the Fact Forward staff in 2010. She oversees training for community partners and all work with health care providers including the Collaborative for Reproductive Education and Wellness. She has extensive experience providing technical assistance to health centers across South Carolina on providing quality reproductive health services for adolescents and young adults. Dr. Dixon hails from the Peach State, growing up in Augusta, Georgia. She graduated with honors and cum laude from Armstrong Atlantic State University, in Savannah, Georgia with a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Sciences and a minor in Latin American studies. Dr. Dixon also holds her Master of Public Health from Armstrong and a PhD in Public Health with a focus on Health Promotion and Health Education from Walden University. She has a passion for public speaking, sexual health, and social justice.
Doug Taylor, MPH
Director of Community Programs and Evaluation
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Doug joined Fact Forward in June of 2011. He oversees all community-focused programming and the agency’s research and evaluation activities. The Department manages over 3 million in federal and private foundation funding to support youth-serving professionals in providing age-appropriate, medically accurate sexual health education to teens. Previously, Doug worked at the Department of Health and Environmental Control where he coordinated the implementation of DHEC’s Health Services statewide performance management system, and lead quality improvement teams in process improvement projects. He also spent five years in the STD/HIV Division where he supervised the collection and analysis of process and outcome data and assisted in the development and implementation of the Division’s performance indicators. Doug has a Master of Public Health in Health Promotion and Education from the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Education from the University of North Texas.
- Executive Office
Senior Executive Assistant and Board Liaison
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Kay joined Fact Forward in November 2016 where she serves as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer. In her current role, she works closely with the CEO, Fact Forward executive officers and the Board of Directors to support overall operations. She is a seasoned executive assistant having held positions in banking, financial investments, insurance, education, and non-profits. A native of Macon, GA she studied Business Management at Macon State College. Kay and her husband moved to South Carolina in 2015 and reside in the Irmo/Ballentine area.
- Operations & Communications
Stig Rasmussen, J.D., M.M.C.
Human Resources and Operations Manager
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Stig joined the organization in May 2014 and is currently Fact Forward’s Operations Manager. In this role, he supervises many of the day-to-day operations, human resources, and regulatory and legal compliance issues for the company. Stig received a Bachelor of Arts in 2004 from Emory University majoring in both Psycholinguistics and Philosophy, and received a Juris Doctorate and Master of Mass Communication from the University of South Carolina in 2011. He is licensed to practice law in South Carolina and Georgia.
Lydia Royals, MA
Public Relations Coordinator
Lydia joined Fact Forward in August 2018. As Public Relations Coordinator, she is responsible for coordinating the organization's marketing and communications activities. She works closely with personnel within and outside of the company, to create content that has a singular voice through print and digital media. Prior to her work at Fact Forward, she worked as Communications Specialist at the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing for Print and Digital Media and a Master of Organizational Leadership from Columbia College, Columbia, SC.
Grants Finance Specialist
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Misty joined Fact Forward in October 2018 as the Grants Specialist. In this role, Misty works closely with grants to maintain and verify their financial records and to help, clarify, and resolve any issues with the grants. Prior to joining Fact Forward, Misty was the business manager of a wholesale distribution store for 10 years.There she was responsible for planning and overseeing the fiscal health and operations of the business. Misty was born and raised in Blythewood, SC. She is a graduate of Columbia College and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
- Health Services
Avis Wright, MPH, CHES
Partner Engagement Manager
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Avis joined Fact Forward in May 2017 after serving as a Health Education Coordinator with the Gaston County Department of Health and Human Services. She is currently responsible for the development and implementation of a variety of educational strategies that meet the identified needs of Fact Forward target markets and partners. Avis also coordinates and oversees content for our annual conference, Summer Institute. Avis graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences. Her path to public health began while volunteering with health promotion nonprofit agencies. She continued her academic studies at Walden University where she obtained a Master of Public Health degree. Her interests include philanthropy, sexual health, and health education.
Katrina C. James, MPH, CHES, FPHW
Health Services Coordinator
Katrina joined Fact Forward in June 2019 with six years of experience working with non-profits and federally qualified health centers. She worked alongside doctors and nurse practitioners to provide health education, family planning services, and STI testing treatment education in underserved communities. Katrina currently serves as the Health Services Coordinator, providing capacity building and technical assistance for health centers, colleges, and high schools for the emPOWERed SC: Creating Linkages for Youth of Color in South Carolina project in Richland and Orangeburg counties. She works closely with health centers across South Carolina in the Collaborative for Reproductive Education and Wellness (CREW). She works to assist them with implementing clinic best practices and quality improvement strategies. She also serves as lead trainer on a variety of Fact Forward education and developed trainings modules. Katrina is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion. She completed her Master of Public Health in Community Health degree at Georgia Southern University. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and Family Planning Health Worker with a passion for sexual reproductive health.
Brittany Wearing, MPH, CHES
Health Services Manager
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Brittany joined Fact Forward in August 2016 and currently manages Fact Forward's Office of Population Affairs Tier 2 Project, emPOWERed SC: Creating Linkages for Youth of Color in South Carolina. Brittany has 10 years of experience as a subject matter expert in the area of reproductive health/sexual health, contraceptive technologies, and HIV/STDs. Brittany’s passion for this work was fueled by her undergraduate and graduate studies, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health and Master of Public Health degree in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior from the University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and Family Planning Health Worker with a keen interest in adolescent health, maternal/child health, and reproductive justice.
Health Services Support Specialist
Yajaira joined Fact Forward October 2018 as the Health Services Support Specialist. In this role, she assists the Health Services Manager (HSM) and project managers/leads with planning, coordinating and decision making associated with capacity building and mobilization of health services partners. Originally from NYC, Maldonado graduated as a Cardiovascular Sonography Technician and Medical Receptionist in 2011. Within the last year, Yajaira earned certification as a Medical Interpreter, Family Planning Health Worker, and a CVENT Certified Management Professional. Prior to joining Fact Forward she served as a Community Health worker for the Best Chance Network at the American Cancer Society. She also worked at Molina Healthcare for two years as their Community Outreach Coordinator.
Partner Engagement Associate
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Susan joined Fact Forward in August 2018 as the Training Associate and transitioned into the role of Partner Engagement Associate in October 2019. In this role she is responsible for assisting in the planning, implementation and evaluation of all Fact Forward educational programming, technical assistance efforts and internal staff development opportunities. Locke earned a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of South Carolina. She was born and raised in NC, but now calls Columbia, SC home. Prior to joining Fact Forward full-time, Locke worked as an intern in early 2018. She is excited to continue her passion for reproductive justice through her work with Fact Forward.
- Innovation & Outreach
Meredith Talford, MPH, CHES
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Meredith joined the Fact Forward team in March of 2011 after serving four years as an HIV/AIDS Health Educator at SC DHEC. With a career spanning 18 years, she has provided direct care to youth in foster care, adolescent sex offenders, and individuals living with HIV. A Chester, SC native, Meredith is a graduate of Bennett College for Women, earning a Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Public Health from Mercer University School of Medicine. Meredith has served the agency as a trainer, technical assistance provider and grant manager of two federal grants. Currently, she is the Innovation Manager focusing on the development of new products and services.
Carol Singletary, MA
Outreach and Special Projects Coordinator
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Carol began working for Fact Forward in 2003 after retiring as the Director of Youth Programs for the South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) and following 29.5 years of service. She began her DSS career at the Florence County office where she worked for seven years before moving to the Richland County office. As the Director of Youth Programs for SCDSS, Carol was responsible for all teen pregnancy prevention programs funded by DSS and the County Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Programs funded with funds allocated by the South Carolina General Assembly.
For most of her career, Carol has worked with children and families in the areas of foster care, child protective services, and other prevention programs. Carol has 28 years experience working in teen pregnancy prevention, is a graduate of Claflin University with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science and a minor in Secondary Education, and holds a Master’s degree in Human Behavior and Conflict Management from Columbia College. While Carol initially joined Fact Forward as the Senior Faith-Based Initiative Coordinator, she has since served in several different capacities. Carol is active in the community and affiliated with a number of organizations to include Francis Burns UMC, local political and civic organizations, and the Columbia Branch NAACP.
- Research & Evaluation
Research and Evaluation Specialist
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Mallory joined Fact Forward in May 2017 as the Training Associate. Prior to joining Fact Forward, she worked at the SC Department of Juvenile Justice serving at-risk youth across South Carolina. Mallory was born and raised in Irmo, SC where she currently resides and has earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health at the University of South Carolina. She is now in the Research and Evaluation Department at Fact Forward and is serving as the Research and Evaluation Specialist.
College Health Education Coordinator
Hailing from New York, Denise has been a resident of the Carolinas for well over a decade where she has been deeply involved in helping its residents on different social issues. Denise has been working in the HIV/AIDS, STD and teen pregnancy field for over 17 years in a prevention/treatment healthcare setting. Prior to her joining the Fact Forward staff she worked as a Community Health Educator for a local community organization providing prevention, education and testing services to York, Lancaster and Chester county concentrating on under served populations with a focus on Hispanic/Latino, women of color, LGBTQ, and adolescent populations for 9 years.
- Community Programs
Amanda S. Leeson, MA, MCHES
Community Programs Manager
Amanda joined Fact Forward in 2016 and currently manages Fact Forward's Office of Population Affairs Tier 1 Project, Expanding Opportunities for Teen Mothers and Families in South Carolina, which aims to replicate the home visiting program, AIM 4 Teen Moms, with young mothers ages 15-19 in Aiken and Anderson Counties. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Education from Appalachian State University and a Master of Arts in Health Education and Promotion from East Carolina University. Amanda also obtained a graduate Certificate in Core Public Health Concepts from the Gillings School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist and brings over 17 years of experience in public health, prevention, and health promotion. A native of beautiful Asheville, NC, she now enjoys calling Greenville and the Palmetto State home.