National Health Equity Advisory Board Member Spotlight: Dr. Melissa Clarke


Dr. Melissa E. Clarke is an innovative leader in population health, clinical quality and health equity for Fortune 500 companies and healthcare organizations. Board certified in medical quality, Dr. Clarke is the chief population health officer at 3M Health Information Systems, where she determines strategy for working with healthcare organizations on transforming to value-based payment, enhancing clinical quality, and improving health outcomes all through a health equity lens. 

Dr. Clarke previously served as vice president for population health at an integrated clinical network in Washington, DC where she pioneered innovative care strategies to improve health outcomes, with a focus on underserved populations. She implemented a whole person care model that included integration of behavioral and physical health; a telehealth care coordination program; and pharmacogenomics to inform pharmacists in medication therapy management. Prior to that, she was senior medical director at Aetna-owned Active Health Management, a population health management company, which managed more than 18 million covered lives. 

Dr. Clarke served as the former board chair of Unity Healthcare, the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in DC. An emergency medicine physician, Dr. Clarke’s career started at Howard University, where she was faculty in emergency medicine and assistant dean for medical education. There she led grants worth more than $11 million in medical education, telehealth, and health literacy. 

Dr. Clarke’s work in health equity and health literacy is extensive. Her company, the BHE Group, creates multi-media health content for multiple platforms and consults on improving health literacy for communities of color. She authored the popular patient advocacy book, “Excuse Me Doctor, I’ve Got What?” which has been adapted into a curriculum, the Be Health Empowered Series, for low-health literacy audiences. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked to establish a community-based response to the pandemic with faith institutions through both Choose Healthy Life and the Leadership Council for Health Communities and trained more than120 community health workers in support of this work. She was appointed as a member of the District of Columbia Health Department Scientific Committee for the Safe and Equitable Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines and is a co-founder of the Black Coalition Against COVID (BCAC), which has advised the White House COVID taskforce on the pandemic effects in communities of color. Dr. Clarke serves as a health equity subject matter expert and keynote speaker for numerous organizations and has a robust media presence including as host of a weekly streaming health show to empower healthcare consumers, and as a medical contributor on the nationally syndicated Russ Parr Morning Show on Radio One. 

Dr. Clarke graduated from Harvard University, the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, and Georgetown/George Washington Universities for residency and currently resides in Silver Spring, MD.

Learn more about the National Health Equity Advisory Board or 3M Health Information Systems

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