Melissa has acquired over 16 years of healthcare experience in a variety of settings, and holds seven years in leadership positions for membership associations.  Her previous employment included four years at the Colorado State Office of Rural Health (SORH) where her director position advanced from workforce, to outreach, business development and strategic partnerships.  She facilitated rural hospitals’ community health needs assessments and strategic planning development.  Additionally, Melissa spent six years as an executive overseeing long-term care services for 200 adults with developmental disabilities and two years acting as an Executive Director for independently incorporated dental safety net programs in 20 states who worked through a larger national organization.  She holds experience successfully writing policy and lobbying in multiple states.  This experience as a developed leader demonstrates her abilities to manage conflict and plan at organizational and tactical levels.

Melissa is the Principal of Vertical Strategies, an organization dedicated to increasing the capacity and strategic development of nonprofits, specifically in the healthcare sector.  One of her strengths is to engage in long-term projects where nonprofits are launched and sustainability is established.  In addition to her work as Principal, Melissa is an assistant professor at Regis University teaching seven courses, accompanied with curricula development and advising.  In 2016 she was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation three-year fellowship in the first cohort of their Culture of Health Leaders program.