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 Specialist
Lydia joined Fact Forward in August 2018 as Public Relations Specialist. In this role, she is responsible for creating and transforming ideas into written content relating to the marketing efforts of the organization and its subsidiaries and/or partners. 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 Specialist
Katrina joined Fact Forward in June 2019 with five years of experience working with non-profits and federally qualified health centers providing health education. Katrina currently serves as the Health Services Specialist, providing capacity building and technical assistance for health centers across South Carolina in the Collaborative for Reproductive Education and Wellness (CREW) and the College Campus Referral Initiative. She also provides program quality observations for teen pregnancy prevention grantees in Aiken and Orangeburg counties. Katrina is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University where she received a 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 and reproductive health."
Brittany Wearing, MPH, CHES
College Campus Coordinator
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Brittany joined Fact Forward in August 2016 as a Capacity Building Specialist, providing support, training and technical assistance to Orangeburg and Aiken counties. In 2018, Brittany was promoted to College Campus Coordinator, where she is responsible for supporting institutions of higher learning as they increase their students’ access to contraceptive care. Highlight of this work includes creating the College Campus Referral Initiative, linking referrals from college campuses to community health centers across the state. 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.
Kimberley Wicker, LMSW
Partner Engagement Coordinator
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Kimberley joined Fact Forward in February 2010 after serving as program director for Newberry County Teen Pregnancy Prevention (a program of the Family Service Center of South Carolina) for six years. Kimberley received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Columbia College (2002) and a Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of South Carolina (2008). She has remarkable experience in youth outreach programs and advocacy activities for young people. In addition to her educational background, Kimberley has been able to gain professional training in service learning, parenting education, outreach and strategic communications. In her current role, Kimberley is responsible for the development and implementation of a variety of educational strategies that meet the needs of the agency's target markets, with an emphasis on social worker outreach.
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
Jennifer Pozsik, MPH, CHES
Research and Evaluation Manager
Jennifer joined Fact Forward in December 2018 as the Research and Evaluation Manager. Prior to joining Fact Forward, she served as the Planning and Evaluation Coordinator for five years at SC DHEC in the STD/HIV Division where she evaluated statewide HIV prevention activities. She has over ten years of experience in program evaluation and data collection, as she has previously held evaluation positions with the SC Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services and with the CDC/ASPH Institute for HIV Prevention Leadership supported through the University of South Carolina. Jennifer is a graduate of the College of Charleston, earning a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s of Public Health from the University of South Carolina. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist.
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
Capacity Building Coordinator
Amanda joined Fact Forward in 2016 and currently manages and guides capacity building support efforts for our Expanding the Reach project, which focuses on bringing evidence-based sexuality education programs to scale in Aiken, Anderson, and Orangeburg 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 16 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.
Rachel Kaplan, MPH
Capacity Building Specialist
Rachel, a native of North Carolina, joined Fact Forward in 2018. In her role as Capacity Building Specialist, Rachel provides support through training, technical assistance, and community mobilization to meet the identified needs of assigned local partners. Rachel holds a Master of Public Health and a Certificate in Drug and Addiction Studies. She has extensive experience working with the homeless population, youth with disabilities, mental health awareness, suicide prevention, wellness programming, crisis intervention, sexual assault and domestic violence advocacy, and diabetes education/awareness for all ages regarding type 1 and type 2. Rachel has created, implemented, and provided curriculum, programming, and technical assistance for various youth programs and has spoken at state-wide and national conferences in a professional capacity.
Rachel is a Board Member of Mental Health America of Greenville County, a Peer Mentor with the Association for Programs on Rural Independent Living (APRIL), an active committee member of the Diabetes Family Connection in the Carolinas, Board Advisory Member with Elevatus Training, and Family Representative with The Family Support Network of the Greater Triangle Area in North Carolina.