Melissa Parkerton’s 25-year career in healthcare has always been motivated by a fascination with the way that people create change - as individuals, as team members, or as full organizations. Early in her career, she coordinated diabetes care improvement across a network of 23 primary care facilities, learning first hand about the process of changing habits and shifting culture. Since then, she has supported individual change and transition both as a child and family therapist and as a life coach. She has also focused on large scale change, directing the UCLA/RAND evaluation of a national nursing empowerment project. From 2010 until 2017, Melissa focused on patient safety initiatives with the Oregon Patient Safety Commission. During that time, she served as Collaborative Director, leading 5 quality improvement collaboratives with hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and dialysis facilities; she served as Director of Early Discussion and Resolution, creating a new program mandated by state law to foster direct communication between patients and healthcare providers in the wake of medical harm; and she served as the Interim Executive Director, overseeing all day-to-day operations, developing the new biennial budget, and working with the board on a new strategic plan.
From 2017 to 2019, Melissa lived in Bangalore, India where she worked with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and CARE India on a program to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality. She also volunteered with Shanti Bhavan, a school created to interrupt the cycle of intergenerational poverty in India, creating a mentorship program to support graduates through university and their early careers. In the rest of her time, she wrote a book about the incredibly diverse people of Bangalore. She continues to serve as faculty for IHI.
Armed with an MA in Applied Behavioral Science, certifications as an IHI Improvement Advisor and a Prosci Change Management Professional, and a long history or guiding people through challenging transitions, Melissa is always eager to dive into a new situation and see how she can best be of service.