We are a team of dedicated partners and collaborators working together to make an impact.
Susan M. Bissett, PhD
Formerly the Assistant Dean at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, Dr. Susan Bissett is fiercely committed to public health and health education. She has implemented and developed opioid prescription and medication safety programs aimed to educate young people and the public about the dangers of prescription and illicit drug use/misuse.
Dr. Bissett has written over 100 articles to date with her most recent publications focusing on metrics for pharmacy student success, harm reduction programming, medication safety, and increasing the pipeline of health care professionals in Appalachia. Her professional experiences have included: teaching communication, pharmacy, and social science courses on several campuses; developing curriculum for pharmacy and scholarship programs as well as first-year programs; assisting with the development of learning outcomes and rubrics for pharmacy, communication, and writing courses; and the implementation of a digital portfolio for pharmacy education and assessment.
Tinina McCourt is enthusiastic about creating programs to educate college students about the importance of medication safety here in West Virginia. Prior to joining the WVDII education team, Ms. McCourt had spent time working with TRiO programs to help support college-bound high school students as well as fellow college students achieve their academic goals.
As a recent graduate of Concord University, Ms. McCourt has earned her Bachelor’s in Science majoring in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology, including minors in Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies. During her undergraduate years, she was also an active McNair Scholar who conducted research on LGBT online dating in Appalachia.
Ms. McCourt continues to be in the process of earning her master’s degree in Sociology, where she will gain the tools necessary to progress in the non-profit sector and help to make a positive impact on her home state here in the mountains.
Director of Educational Programs
Bruce Whitten is passionate about helping West Virginians lead healthier lives. He brings a diverse set of experiences to the WVDII and is excited about taking Don’t Keep Rx AroundTM programming to the next level.
Bruce has spent the past 3 years in the role of Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Specialist with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. During his time there, he completed training in numerous curricula and has delivered presentations and lessons to thousands of students across West Virginia. He helped develop and appeared in Real Talk, a video series created for students, teachers, and parents, centered around personal responsibility.
Bruce received a bachelor’s in advertising and marketing communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and spent time working in public relations, media planning, and ad sales. In addition, he earned a bachelor’s in health sciences from WV State University. He is currently in his final semester at Marshall where he’ll graduate with a master’s in public health in May of 2022.
Mia Manfredi is the Executive Assistant to Dr. Bissett, President of the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute. She has over 15 years of experience in office management primarily in the legal field where she worked in Criminal Defense and Family Law. There she worked diligently assisting adult and juvenile clients enter into treatment programs both privately and through the Kanawha County Drug Court Program. Ms. Manfredi’s background provides unique insight to the opioid epidemic and the struggles facing West Virginians.
Mia’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s in Psychology as well as multiple certifications in health and fitness. She enjoys teaching Pilates and Lagree in her spare time so that she may encourage others to live their best lives.
Jenny Fox joined the WVDII team to focus on sustaining and expanding the mission of the organization through increased brand awareness and funding acquisition. Jenny has spent most of her career working with non-profit organizations focused on strategic growth, start-ups, and market expansion. Her expertise is in the translation of research data and outcomes into storytelling.
In her most recent position at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, Jenny was responsible for the expansion of professional training services throughout the nation and, through the process, developed a passion for helping communities in the Appalachian region. As a person in long-term recovery, Jenny's personal mission is to prevent others from experiencing the disease of addiction and make recovery accessible for all.
Grant Writer & Evaluation Partner
Content, Creative, and Media Partner
Marketing & Technology Consultant and AR/VR Developer