Staff

COMMUNITY IMPACT & INNOVATIONS

Mary Martin Vance, MSW

Manager, Instructional Design & Training
mary@familyconnects.org

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.

Cat Turbyfill

Community Alignment Instructor
cat@familyconnects.org

For the past decade, Cat has worked in child and family health across non-profit and government sectors. Prior to her joining FCI, she served on the CDC COVID-19 Response as a data analyst fellow performing various research projects while providing technical assistance to state and local health departments. She is a proponent of place-based public health and strives to work alongside communities to connect services and build resources deemed necessary for physical, economic, and social wellbeing.

Dylan Williams, MA

Community Alignment Instructor
dylan@familyconnects.org

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

Manager, Nurse Training & Clinical Quality Assurance
emily@familyconnects.org

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.

EXTERNAL RELATIONS

Nnenne Asi, MPH

Implementation Specialist
nnenne@familyconnects.org

Nnenne joined FCI in 2022 as an Implementation Specialist supporting certified community partners.  She holds a Master’s in Public Health and certificate in Workplace Health promotion from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her passion for maternal and child health stems from her background in Women and Gender Studies and her experience as a Sexual Health Educator for Guilford County youth and young adults.

Ana Gomez, MPH

Advanced Implementation Specialist
ana@familyconnects.org

Ana joined FCI in May 2022 as an Implementation Specialist to support the planning and implementation of the Family Connects model with community partners. She holds a Master’s in Public Health from UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, where she focused her studies on implementation science in the Maternal, Child, and Family Health field. Ana has worked in the non-profit sector in Durham, NC, focused on strategic planning and strengthening community partnerships. She also brings research experience in early childhood development and evidence-based models.

Lindsay Guge Cozon, MSW

Advanced Implementation Specialist
lindsay@familyconnects.org

Lindsay joined FCI in 2022 as an Implementation Specialist. She is a public health social worker with a deep passion for advancing maternal-child health and health equity in the United States using evidence-based approaches. Prior to joining FCI, she worked as a project manager and research team member leveraging community-based participatory action research and implementation science methodologies. Lindsay believes in the power of community-led action to bring about systems change and is committed to partnering with organizations in their work to support the wellbeing of all families.

Denise Horton, MA

Senior Implementation Specialist
denise@familyconnects.org

Prior to joining FCI, Denise has provided mental health and substance abuse interventions to children and adults both in an inpatient setting and within the community. She has a passion for building and establishing relationships and helping people feel connected within their communities and empowering them to be their best authentic self. Denise is a Certified Coach and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master’s degree from Winston Salem State University in Rehabilitation Counseling. Denise is passionate about maternal and child health and will work hard to advocate for our FCI families.

Sydney Nadel, MPH

Advanced Implementation Specialist
sydney@familyconnects.org

Sydney joined FCI in May 2022 to support communities implementing the Family Connects model. Sydney holds a Master in Public Health degree from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, with a concentration in Maternal, Child and Family Health. She is passionate about and dedicated to improving the lives of children and families. Prior to FCI, Sydney worked at a healthcare talent and performance solutions company where she provided customer service, technical assistance, and training regarding a learning management system for healthcare workers and hospital administrators.

Bethany Kuerten, MSc

Implementation Specialist
bethany@familyconnects.org

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.

Meriel Shire, MPH, MSW

Advanced Implementation Specialist
meriel@familyconnects.org

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.

INTERNAL OPERATIONS

Christina Cameron, MA

Analytics Specialist
christina@familyconnects.org

Christina received her MA from Webster University in Leiden, the Netherlands in International Relations with a concentration in NGOs. Prior to joining FCI, she was a Navigator for the Affordable Care Act, personally helping over 400 people enroll in health coverage. She has a passion for community health and advocacy and is interested in the use of data to investigate health outcome disparities. At FCI, Christina helps our staff and community partners better understand their data to inform decision-making and improve population health outcomes for families.

Caitlin Gest, MPH

Advanced Analytics Specialist
caitlin@familyconnects.org

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.

Akib Khan

Advanced SalesForce & IT Support Technician
akib@familyconnects.org

Akib brings domain knowledge and Salesforce expertise from his years of experience in the healthcare and higher education space. He is an award-winning storyteller and is able to combine his technical and soft skills to produce timely and quality work. Akib received his degree in Global Health from UNC Chapel Hill.

Andrew Riley

Manager, IT & SalesForce Administration
andrew@familyconnects.org

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.

Shamira Wright, MSW, LCSW-A

Advanced Operations Analyst
shamira@familyconnects.org

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.

INTERNS

Dhara Buebel

Summer ’22

Dhara is a sophomore at UNC intending to major in Nutrition on the Science and Research track in the Gillings School of Public Health. She grew up in Chapel Hill and first became interested in Public Health in high school while taking a class about global systems and issues. Dhara later became interested in Nutrition when she started a local food pantry in high school and has sustained this curiosity into college, with a specific interest in combatting food insecurity in youth. At FCI Dhara will be working on projects for Community Alignment Specialists, mainly regarding research on other home visiting programs. She loves working with kids and learning about social determinants of health, and is excited about merging these interests at FCI.

Meredith Glass

Summer ’22

Meredith Glass is a current graduate student at University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Public Health in the department of Maternal and Child Health. Meredith has been working in the field of Early Childhood since 2019. Prior to beginning graduate school at UNC, she worked as research assistant evaluating early childhood home-visiting programs and supported clinical therapy for young children in an infant and early childhood mental health in downtown Chicago. Her passion is to promote development for all children ages birth to five. She has a special interest in programs which are grounded in attachment theory and seek to strengthen the caregiver-child relationship to foster secure attachments and optimal development.

Max Van Horn

Summer ’22

Max is an intern at FCI for the summer of 2022. He is an undergraduate at Auburn University, majoring in Global Studies in Human Sciences with a minor in Public Health. Prior to FCI, Max became interested in Public Health through studying and interviewing major figures in the field such as Dr. Paul Farmer, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, and Howard Buffet. This summer, Max is helping to compile data on our partnered communities and their most requested resources. He is also putting together resources and information for FCI members.