- Personal Email: INTERNET
- Home Phone: (202) 785-3669home
An effective communicator and collaborator, Melisa Byrd has a recognized ability to foster agreement among diverse stakeholders. She understands how government operates at the national, state and local levels and advances public policy around Medicaid reform and emerging health issues, including reproductive health. From the beginning stages to the final product, Melisa anticipates and avoids potential roadblocks – prioritizing initiatives and providing a strategy to ensure success for her clients.
Melisa joined HMA from the District of Columbia Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF), which provides publicly funded healthcare coverage to over one‐third of the District’s residents. As chief of staff, Melisa supported the transition to value based purchasing across the Medicaid program, including a new managed care pay-for-performance (P4P) program and the development and implementation of health homes in DC. She oversaw the annual preparation and justification of the agency’s nearly $3 billion budget and advised the agency director on all major policy initiatives. Additionally, Melisa served as the point of contact with the mayor’s policy office and council on legislative matters.
With the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH), Melisa executed the secretary’s policy initiatives, including leading Medicaid waiver negotiations between state and federal governments. She advised executive staff on state and national policy issues and short and long-term strategic planning for the department.
Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Melisa established direct communication between DHH and the Office of the Federal Coordinator to convey DHH priorities and positions on recovery efforts. Melisa supported the Louisiana Health Care Redesign Collaborative in the development of a plan to redesign the New Orleans healthcare system through coverage expansion, health information technology and quality improvement.
Previously with the National Governors Association, Melisa advised governors’ offices and state agency leadership on emerging health issues and identified key issues related to chronic disease prevention and management, the health workforce, Medicaid and long-term care policy.
Melisa earned her bachelor’s degree in government from Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC.
When she’s not running after her two kids, Melisa enjoys walking around the Capitol Hill neighborhood in DC and curling up with a good book.