Melony G. Griffith 
President & CEO 
Maryland Hospital Association

Growing up in Great Falls, Mont., raised by two military veterans and public servants, I was deeply influenced by my parents' unwavering commitment to serving our community. They recognized — and taught me early on — that small actions can make a big difference.

I watched while my parents developed the Joseph Project, which provided food and clothing for community members in need, as well as a program that gave free rides on local transit to military veterans.

They saw people in need and did something — a practice I have carried on and instilled in my two amazing sons. These acts and this strong belief in a commitment to service drive who I am as a person and have fueled my career.

These early lessons, life experiences, educational opportunities and professional roles have prepared me for a career focused on public service and health.

After earning my undergraduate degree in Montana, I earned a Master of Social Work at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and soon began my first role as a clinical social worker at Capitol Hill Hospital, where I saw my first patient with AIDS.

Shortly thereafter I began volunteering at the Whitman Walker Clinic and ultimately started the region's first AIDS support group for Black men in the late ‘80s.

This experience was educational and motivational and led me to look for ways to effect broader change. I accepted an opportunity to coordinate a health education initiative for the National Basketball Players Association at Johns Hopkins University.

Understanding the transformative power of collective action, I transitioned into public service, running for elected office despite some initial setbacks, including losing my first campaign to serve in the Maryland House of Delegates.

I ultimately served 22 years as a state legislator. My final five years were spent in the Senate and included serving as the body’s first Black woman President Pro Tempore.

Over these more than two decades in office, I served alongside dedicated public servants who have inspired me and helped shape my approach to this work.

These leaders have given their time and talents to improve the well-being of our state, and I am honored to know them and continue to collaborate with them in my new role.

In my first four months at MHA, I have been equally impressed by teams working hard every day at our member hospitals and health systems to advance health and health care in our state.

Throughout my career, I have sought to blend my deep commitment to health care with a desire to have an impact through public service. My role as President & CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association does exactly that.

Now, as MHA’s first Black CEO, I am looking forward to continuing this lifelong journey of service and commitment to making our communities healthier. 

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