Melissa Clark, M.D., a 1999 graduate of Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, has been appointed chief medical officer (CMO) for CCI Health & Wellness Services (CCI) in Silver Spring, Maryland. CCI is a nonprofit community health organization serving 33,000 patients in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland.
Some of Clark’s primary goals as CMO include helping CCI get through the pandemic and the economic pressures it has brought, to address the racial health disparities that are apparent in the counties that CCI serves, and to help make CCI an employer of choice. While serving as CMO, Clark will continue to see patients as a family physician in Silver Spring, Maryland.
“The staff at CCI are some of the most compassionate and caring people I have worked with throughout my career, and I hope that I can lead in a way that helps them know that their hard work and dedication is seen and highly valued by leadership,” said Clark. “CCI is always there for the community. For example, during the pandemic we never closed. We help people find the resources they need, we take care of everybody, all the time.”
Clark finds purpose in improving the health and well-being of communities made vulnerable by social, economic and cultural barriers. Her knowledge of public health, racial health disparities and community health expanded with her roles at CCI.
“I came to understand that every patient has barriers to care and part of our collective team’s job is to help as much as we can in removing those barriers,” Clark said.
“Dr. Clark has served us well in all capacities and is routinely lauded by patients and staff. I feel confident that the care and growth of our clinical division is in capable hands, and I look forward to the ways that she will enhance our services and patient care agency-wide,” said Sonya J. Bruton, CEO and president of CCI.
Helping patients, families and communities be healthier is why Clark went into medicine. Clark’s career began in 2002 as a family physician in Chicago. While in Chicago she also served as medical director with a home health organization. In 2010 she relocated to Maryland, and served with several clinics, as a director of health and wellness, family physician and an integrative family physician.
When asked how the Boonshoft School of Medicine prepared her for her career, Clark said, “Working with Dr. Gary LeRoy, when I rotated through the East Dayton Health Center as a medical student, really influenced my desire to become a family physician and to help underserved communities. The collaborative nature of the family medicine department and their encouragement for me to pursue my interests helped me to have profound respect for all the members of the care team, where ever I have practiced. I am so grateful to all my teachers at BSOM. The family medicine department made everything seem less scary, and wonderful people like Dr. Bruce Binder always supported me.”
As a medical student, Clark volunteered at the East Dayton Health Center and Center for Healthy Communities in Dayton.
“This volunteer experience opened my eyes to racial health disparities, and how important it is to address them,” she said.
She participated in Phi Rho Sigma and served as a teaching assistant for first year neuroscience clinical cases and as an advisor and tutor with the Horizons in Medicine Program.
Clark completed family medicine residency training at the University of Illinois at Chicago Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology, with minors in chemistry and sociology, from Wittenberg University. She was born in Dayton and grew up in the suburbs of Chicago.