Dana Mangum, MA, Chief Executive Officer
Dana Mangum has been advocating for the rights of marginalized and underrepresented populations in the fields of women’s and sexual health for her entire career. Dana moved to North Carolina as a young child and was profoundly affected by her immigrant mother’s experience facing prejudice in the South. Graduating with a Master’s in Health Policy from Duke, Dana’s interest in sexual health initially led her to work at GSK in their HIV/AIDS group. When she wanted to make a greater impact on statewide sexual health, she entered the nonprofit world as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Community AIDS Fund at Duke’s Center for Health Policy and Inequities Research. For more than five years, she led the NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence as Chief Executive Officer. At NCCADV, she oversaw the doubling of both the organization’s budget and staff size. She also oversaw a multi-year comprehensive program to incorporate equity and inclusion into all practices of the organization, and an increased focus on LGBTQ and Latinx populations. Dana has served on the strategic and financial planning committees for the national and statewide Board of Directors for UN Women, USNC, that focuses on gender equality and empowerment of women, and co-taught global health courses at Duke University.
Ashley Stewart, MS, CHES, Director of Clinic Improvement Services
Ashley oversees SHIFT NC's clinic linking and improvement services. Prior to joining SHIFT NC, Ashley came from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health where she engaged in quality improvement work related to asthma prevention and control, led a learning collaborative of clinical and community organizations, and worked with a program evaluator to inform quality improvement strategies. She also developed a racial justice framework for the Massachusetts Asthma Home Visiting Toolkit. Ashley previously worked with the Christiana Care Health System in Delaware to improve and standardize the quality of breastfeeding education. Ashley has strong roots in health education as well, including implementing Making Proud Choices in school and community settings. She holds a Master’s degree in Health Care Administration from Wilmington University and a Bachelor’s degree in Community Health from Georgia Southern University.
Bianka Reese, PhD, MSPH, Research and Evaluation Manager
Bianka leads evaluation for the Every Teen Counts and North Carolina Youth Connected initiatives. She has previous experience in program evaluation of large-scale teen pregnancy prevention programs, qualitative data collection and analysis, and empirical analyses of complex, multilevel datasets. Bianka holds a Ph.D. in Maternal and Child Health and a Master’s of Science in Public Health in Maternal and Child Health, both from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her dissertation research explored the implications of positive youth development for holistic aspects of sexual health and romantic relationships in young adulthood, using a nationally representative sample of U.S. adolescents.
Carolyn “Caro” Welker, Program Specialist
Carolyn is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Before joining the SHIFT NC team, Carolyn worked at UT Teen Health as a Health Educator on several teen pregnancy prevention projects throughout the city of San Antonio, Texas. Carolyn’s experience includes program management, implementation, and training in evidence-based curricula in schools and community organizations. She has a special interest in creating safe and supportive environments for youth who are marginalized.
Danielle provides high-level administrative, strategic, and managerial support to SHIFT NC’s CEO, leadership team, and board as well as supporting SHIFT NC Fee-For-Service (FFS) & Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPPI). Danielle has 15 years of experience in project management which includes providing overall direction and coordination, coaching, training, resource development and communications, virtual and in-person meeting and events planning, and evaluation for clients. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Spelman College. She also earned a Master of Public Health in Health Education/Health Promotion from Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, where she received the Honor Graduate and Academic Achievement Awards.
Elizabeth Hundley Finley, Chief External Affairs Officer
Elizabeth oversees communications, development, and public policy for SHIFT NC. Prior to joining SHIFT NC, she worked with many of North Carolina’s other leading child advocacy organizations, including The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. (Smart Start) and Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina focusing on communications and resource development. Elizabeth is a graduate of Appalachian State University.
Ja'Nell Henry, Quality Improvement Specialist
Ja’Nell Henry serves as a Quality Improvement Specialist, partnering with healthcare providers in Greensboro and High Point to assist with the adoption of best practices that empowers staff to offer quality sexual and reproductive health services to teens. Prior to joining SHIFT NC, Ja’Nell was a member of the NC Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiatives (TPPI) team of the NC Department of Health and Human Services. Her previous work experiences of providing technical assistance to health departments and educating middle school students on sexual and reproductive health inspires her to be passionate about seeing youth grow to become holistically healthy adults. She is a graduate of Guilford College, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Business.
Jason Arrol, Senior Health Communications Specialist
Jason Arrol focuses on health communications, including The Playbook and Prepared Parent. Jason has created communications campaigns in non-profits and higher education for over 15 years. Most recently, Jason served as the Digital Media Manager at the National Center for Transgender Equality in Washington, DC, lifting up transgender stories and devising campaigns to change policy at all levels of U.S. government. At the University of Maryland, Jason worked with the Health Promotion team to advocate for positive health outcomes in the UMD community. And at Levine School, Jason documented and promoted music education, supporting efforts to provide free or low-cost music education to underserved populations in the Washington DC area.
Kia Thacker, MPH, Director of Programs
Kia Thacker, MPH, has a passion for public health, social justice and health equity. She holds a BA in Sociology from UNC Chapel Hill and a Master of Public Health Degree from UNC Greensboro. Kia serves as the Director of Programs where she works to improve sexual health outcomes for youth, particularly vulnerable youth in North Carolina. She currently oversees the Alamance Youth Connected Initiative aimed at utilizing systems-thinking and systems-change approaches to scale-up programs and connect young people to health care services in the community. She also manages the Every Teen Counts Initiative that focuses on strengthening the capacities of the Juvenile Justice and Foster Care Systems in North Carolina to better integrate evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs within these systems.
Linda Chamiec-Case, MSW, MSPH, Capacity-Building Specialist
Linda is a Capacity Building Specialist on the Every Teen Counts Initiative. Linda previously worked at Compass Center and UNC Student Wellness in the areas of sexual health education and interpersonal violence prevention and response. She has worked with foster care systems through her MSW field placement with Guardian ad Litem of Orange and Chatham Counties and continues to volunteer there as a GAL. Linda has also worked in public health economics research at RTI International and has a Master's of Social Work and a Master's of Science in Public Health from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Lisa Garland, MPH, Senior Program Specialist
Lisa is a Senior Program Specialist with our Alamance Youth Connected Initiative. In her role, Lisa provides training and technical assistance to community partners implementing evidence-based programs as well as leads parent engagement strategies in the community. She previously worked at the NC Department of Health and Human Services with the occupational and environmental epidemiology branch. Prior to that Lisa worked at Planned Parenthood South Atlantic (PPSAT) as the community health educator for the triangle. At PPSAT she managed several programs for youth and worked as program lead for the Affordable Care Act Project. Lisa has also worked in the Bronx, NY as a community health organizer and completed one year of service in the AmeriCorps program. During her time in NY she counseled students, conducted sexual health workshops, and organized various health trainings. Lisa has a Bachelor's in Sociology from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master's in Public Health from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Melinda DeJongh, Director of Resources and Special Projects
Melinda is SHIFT NC’s lead grant writer, and coordinates the Annual Conference and the Resource Library. She has been with SHIFT NC since 1999, which means she remembers when the fax machine was the most-used piece of technology in the office. Melinda holds a Bachelor’s in English from Guilford College, with a concentration in Women's Studies.
Meredith Burns, MPH, Research and Evaluation Specialist
Meredith is the Evaluation Specialist for All Together Now, Healthy Tomorrow Alliance, and High Point Access initiatives. They have experience working in abortion research, maternal health case management, and LGBTQ+ programming and inclusion. Meredith has also published original research in the Maternal and Child Health Journal. They hold a Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology, Spanish, and Women's Studies from James Madison University.
Pat Hilliard, Administrative Coordinator
Pat provides in-office support for training and program activities, as well as coordination for public events. Pat received her Bachelor’s in English and Religion from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest.
Sally Swanson, MSW, MSPH, Chief Program Officer
Sally oversees SHIFT NC's programs department, the department that coordinates all signature initiatives. She has also earned the alternate title "Director of Awesomeness." Previously, she directed the Gaston Youth Connected initiative, a nationally-recognized prevention project that reduced teen birth rates in Gaston County by more than 40%. Sally previously worked in HIV prevention, counseling, and testing, as well as in domestic violence services. She holds Master’s degrees in Social Work and Public Health from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Tamara D. Robertson, MPH, CHES, Senior Capacity-Building Specialist
Tamara Robertson is the Senior Capacity Building Specialist for the Foster Care System on the Every Teen Counts Initiative. Prior to joining SHIFT NC, Tamara was a Public Health Educator with Wake County Human Services in the HIV/STD Community Program and interned with the Coastal Health District's Adolescent Health and Youth Development Department in Savannah, Georgia. Tamara earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies from Georgia Southern University and Master of Public Health from Armstrong State University.
Tania Connaughton-Espino, MPH, Director of Training and Evaluation
As Director of Training and Evaluation, Tania works to identify and develop opportunities for SHIFT NC to serve the needs of other organizations with our capacity, intellectual property, and consulting services. Between September 2015-June 2018, Tania served as Project Director for the NC Youth Connected initiative, which focused on reducing teen pregnancy rates by 50% in Cumberland and Wayne counties. Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Tania came to North Carolina to obtain her Master’s in Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill. Tania has managed local and statewide reproductive health programs, providing technical assistance, conducting program evaluation, and preparing manuscripts for publication. She has worked extensively with the Latino community on reproductive health issues and developed Spanish-language family planning and women’s health resources. She also has experience implementing evidence-based curricula and developing trainings for a variety of audiences including lay health advisors, health professionals and youth. Tania served as the Team Leader for the NC Division of Public Health’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiatives (TPPI) and provided technical assistance to TPPI-funded projects in Eastern NC and projects funded under the Personal Responsibility and Education Program (PREP).
Jessica “Tommy” White, MPH, LGBTQ Capacity Manager
Tommy leads the development and delivery of trainings to create safer and more supportive schools, health centers, and other youth-serving environments for LGBTQ+ youth. They also develop strategic partnerships at the state and local levels to maximize resources for supporting LGBTQ+ youth, and they collaborate across SHIFT NC initiatives to ensure the integration of LGBTQ identities and experiences. Tommy’s decade of experience as an educator ranges from sexual health counseling; to interactive theater workshops; to youth aquatics instruction; to a successful, national public education campaign to influence federal policies affecting LGBTQ couples. In their recent role with the statewide Building Integrated Communities (BIC) initiative at UNC-Chapel Hill, Tommy facilitated partnerships with local NC government officials, schools, faith groups, and immigrant and refugee leaders to launch the Hispanic Advisory Council of Sanford/Lee County, the Winston-Salem Newcomers’ Pipeline, and other local strategies for building relationships and supporting marginalized residents’ engagement with local government. Tommy’s peer-reviewed research publications examine social support and mental health services utilization among LGBTQ youth and sexual minority women. They hold a Master’s in Public Health from Boston University with a focus on public health advocacy, communications, and program design and evaluation.