Rachel Albert, MSW

Data and Site Development Specialist

Rachel AlbertPreviously, Rachel worked with the NC Child Treatment Program (NC CTP) as the Program Manager/Improvement Advisor for the Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Learning Collaborative, in addition to providing post-training support for all clinicians trained through NC CTP. As part of FCI’s implementation team, Rachel works through the Center for Child & Family Health to support all Family Connects sites with the database and post-training certification

Caitlin Gest, MPH

Research Analyst

Caitlin Gest, MPHCaitlin initially joined FCI as a graduate intern in 2020, before coming onboard full-time in 2021. Prior to joining FCI, Caitlin worked at MDRC as a technical research assistant on the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Project (MIHOPE). She is interested in the use of evidence-based policy and practice to strengthen social service networks in communities across the county, particularly for families and children. Caitlin holds a Master in Public Health degree from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where her research interests focused on child maltreatment prevention.

Bethany Kuerten, MSc

Implementation Specialist

Bethany KuertenBethany joined FCI in November 2021, to support communities implementing the Family Connects model. Bethany brings a deep passion for maternal and child health to FCI. She is particularly focused on strengthening reproductive care services and autonomy while also building infrastructure around equitable access. Prior to FCI, Bethany’s work was centered around contraceptive technology and innovation.

Julie Peck

Texas State Director

Julie PeckPrior to joining FCI, Julie worked with the North Carolina Infant-Toddler Program (NC ITP), serving as the program’s Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Manager and providing leadership for implementation of evidence-based practices to support and empower families with young children. She brings over 20 years of experience in the fields of social work and early childhood. Julie’s focus at FCI is managing and providing implementation support for the rollout and expansion of the Family Connects model in the state of Texas.

Andrew Riley

Salesforce Business Analyst

Andrew RileyAndrew joined FCI in 2021 as a Salesforce Business Analyst to support our Salesforce platform.  Andrew brings a decade of experience in Salesforce administration, leading global cross-functional teams, and developing customer relationship management systems and initiatives. Andrew holds a degree in Psychology and a degree in Music from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Meriel Shire, MPH, MSW

Implementation Specialist

Meriel ShireMeriel joined FCI in September, 2020, supporting new Family Connects sites in their planning phase in implementing the program model. She brings to FCI a deep passion for maternal and child well-being, and a desire for families to feel supported through the early postpartum days.  Before joining FCI, Meriel helped community health centers and youth-serving organizations in Durham, NC implement best practices to promote adolescent access to sexual and reproductive health services.

Mary Martin Vance, MSW

Implementation Specialist

Mary Vance

Mary is a public-health social worker with a background in maternal health. She has worked in evidence-based program implementation for the past 10 years, helping communities to implement reproductive health programs. She is also a doula and a childbirth educator. As part of FCI’s implementation team, Mary works through the Center for Child & Family Health to supports communities implementing the Family Connects model.

Dylan Williams

Community Alignment Advisor

Dylan brings seven years of experience in the nonprofit sector working with communities to improve health outcomes for young children. In his role as Community Alignment Advisor, he supports sites in implementing strategies that connect families to resources and foster collaboration among their local network of support services. He is driven by the systems level change that is possible through the Family Connects model and seeks to support sites in realizing their community’s goals.

Emily Wright, MSN, CNM

Clinical Improvement Advisor

Emily Wright

Through the Center for Child & Family Health, Emily provides training and consultation to nurses across the U.S. as part of the dissemination of the Family Connects model. She also works with Family Connects Durham, providing home visits to families with newborns. Emily has a Masters in Nursing–Midwifery and has had extensive experience with children, including being a birth and postpartum doula and a member of a certified foster family for children ages 0-3. Previously, Emily was the manager of Labor and Delivery at UNC Hospitals.

Shamira Wright, MSW, LCSW-A

Contracts and Procurement Officer

Shamira WrightPrior to joining FCI, Shamira launched a consulting firm dedicated to bringing evidence-based solutions to social injustice and consulting with local entities on diversity, equity, equality and inclusion. She’s also served as a victim witness legal assistant for the State of North Carolina in the Charlotte Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office. At FCI, Shamira supports Family Connects sites in implementing community alignment strategies and assists them in developing local networks of support services for families. Shamira is also a licensed clinical social worker.