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
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, a 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.
Rena Dixon, Ph.D., MPH, MCHES
Director of Community Investment & Impact
Dr. Rena P. Dixon joined the Fact Forward staff in 2010. She oversees many of Fact Forward's grant projects along with training and capacity building for community partners. She has over 20 years of experience in public health and 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 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 Ph.D. 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.
Meredith Talford, MPH, CHES
Director of Strategy, Innovation, & Communication
Meredith worked as Community Health Educator at SC DHEC before joining the Fact Forward team in 2011. With a career spanning 20+, she has provided direct care to some of the most historically neglected and intentionally excluded populations. A native of Chester, SC, 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. She serves on the Central Carolina Community Foundation's African American Philanthropy Committee and Together SC's Equity Peer Network and Black Nonprofit Leaders Group. Meredith has served Fact Forward as a trainer, technical assistance provider, and grant manager. Currently, she is the Director of Strategy, Innovation and Communications.
Doug Taylor, MPH
Director of Operations & Finance
Doug joined Fact Forward in June 2011. In June 2022, he transitioned to the Director of Operations and Finance, which includes ensuring operational efficiencies, compliance with federal, state, and foundation rules and regulations, and collaborating with the CEO and Directors to secure financial resources that support the agency’s mission. 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. 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.
- Operations & Finance
Finance & Operations Specialist
Kay joined Fact Forward in November 2016 as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer and now serves as the Operations and Finance Specialist. Kay works closely with the CEO, Fact Forward Directors, and the Board of Directors to support overall operations, including Human Resource duties. Kay is responsible for benefits, payroll, recruiting employment, onboarding, and continuous quality improvement for operations and employee relations. She is a seasoned executive assistant, having held positions in banking, financial investments, insurance, education, and non-profits. Kay is originally from Macon, Georgia where she attended Middle Georgia State University and studied business administration.
Misty joined Fact Forward in October 2018 as the Finance Specialist. In this role, Misty is responsible for all financial activities for Fact Forward, including accounts receivable, accounts payable, accounting records maintenance, and external audits, ensuring that financial operations follow the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). She provides financial analyses for grant managers and Directors and assists with fiscal year budgeting. She also assists with developing internal controls to avoid possible risks and monitors grant-related expenditures to ensure compliance. Before joining Fact Forward, Misty was the business manager of a wholesale distribution store for ten years. She was responsible for planning and overseeing the financial health and operations of the business. Misty has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Columbia College.
Stig Rasmussen, J.D., M.M.C.
Stig joined the organization in May 2014 and currently serves as Fact Forward’s Compliance Manager. In this role, he ensures Fact Forward maintains compliance with all state and federal laws, specifically those that apply to the workplace, and federal, state, and foundation grants. Stig also provides strategy on policy issues related to South Carolina that impact Fact Forward's mission. 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.
- Strategy, Innovation & Communication
Lydia Royals, MA
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Lydia joined Fact Forward in August 2018. In 2022, she assumed the role of Marketing and Communications Coordinator. In this role, Lydia is responsible for coordinating the organization's internal and external 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 a 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.
Carol Singletary, MA
Senior Advisor for Outreach
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 of 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 including Francis Burns UMC, local political and civic organizations, and the Columbia Branch NAACP.
Brand & Communications Specialist
Email Brittany S.
Brittany joined Fact Forward in October 2020 as the Brand & Communications Specialist. In this role, she is responsible for working with local communities to develop a multi-year plan to identify, prioritize, and execute health communication strategies. Sydnor earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health from the University of South Carolina. Originally from New Jersey, Brittany has fallen in love with the south. Prior to joining Fact Forward full-time, she was an intern in 2019. She also worked as a Teen Pregnancy Outreach Worker at the Virginia Department of Health and at local high schools.
- Community Investment & Impact
Damion Addison, MPH
Capacity Building Specialist
Damion joined Fact Forward in January 2022 as an intern, where he later transitioned into the role of Capacity Building Specialist. In this role, he provides technical assistance, conducts partner training needs assessments, instructional design, development plans, and learning strategies. Damion received his Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Francis Marion University. He continued his academic studies, obtaining a Master of Public Health from Southern New Hampshire University. As a US Army Veteran and former healthcare worker, acts of service and health education have always been his passion.
Community Impact Coordinator
Mallory joined Fact Forward in May 2017 as the Training Associate providing logistics and support to agency events and trainings. In 2018, she transitioned into the Research and Evaluation Department and is now serving as the Community Impact Coordinator. In this role, Mallory provides ongoing monitoring of evaluation and data collection to improve program strategies based on findings from reproductive health education programs offered to youth, parents, and youth-serving professionals. Mallory is also responsible for organizing the evaluation of Fact Forward's grants and projects to provide reports and oversight of evaluation protocols. Prior to joining Fact Forward, Mallory worked at the SC Department of Ju,venile Justice serving at-risk youth across South Carolina. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Public Health at the University of South Carolina.
Katrina C. James, MPH, CHES, FPHW
Capacity Building Manager
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 Capacity Building Manager, providing capacity building and technical assistance for health centers, colleges, and high schools for the emP.O.W.E.R.ed 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 a lead trainer on a variety of Fact Forward education and developed training 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.
Program Support Specialist
Susan joined Fact Forward in August 2018 as the Training Associate and transitioned into the role of Partner Engagement Associate in October 2019 and then Program Support Specialist in July 2021. 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.
Yajaira joined Fact Forward in October 2018 as the Program Support Specialist. In this role, she assists the Community Investment & Impact Manager and project managers/leads with planning, coordinating, and decision-making associated with capacity building and mobilization of community investment & impact 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. Before 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.
Capacity Building Coordinator
Denise joined Fact Forward in March 2016 and is now the Community Investment Coordinator for a variety of agency-funded projects. Denise is a seasoned public health professional with over 20 years of experience working in local public health departments, schools, and state-level non-profit organizations. She is an expert in STD prevention, adolescent reproductive health, project management, technical assistance, and HIV/AIDS education/testing/counseling. Denise is a lead trainer for a variety of Fact Forward professional development products offered both locally and nationally. She currently represents Fact Forward on a number of national and statewide networks and committees. Denise is particularly interested in working with historically marginalized populations in the areas of adolescent health, reproductive justice, and HIV/AIDS.
Brittany Wearing, MPH, CHES
Community Investment Manager
Email Brittany W.
Brittany joined Fact Forward in August 2016 and currently manages Fact Forward's Office of Population Affairs Tier 2 Project, emP.O.W.E.R.ed SC: Creating Linkages for Youth of Color in South Carolina. Brittany has ten 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 a 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.
Avis Wright, MPH, CHES
Professional Learning Manager
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's 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.