Identifying and Addressing Barriers to Classroom Success, Creating Optimal Conditions for Learning

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Melanie Ginn, President and CEO of Ginn Group Collaborative and Architect of the SMART Model is joined by David Casey, Vice President of Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer of CVS Health; Ernie DuPont, Senior Director of Workforce Initiatives, CVS Health; Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09); and Karen Cutler, Vice President of Public Affairs at Aramark, at the 2019 SMART Congressional and Industry Leaders’ Panel on Capitol Hill following the unveiling of Ginn’s SMART Chronicle: 6 Years of SMART Model Impact, Data, and Outcomes.


Welcome to The Ginn Group

Ginn Group Collaborative (GGC), led by President and CEO Melanie Ginn, is a nationally recognized design management firm with a proven track record in delivering exceptional outcomes and incisive analysis for clients. GGC brings objective and insightful perspective and expertise to review, research, develop, and deliver advanced business and legal analysis, strategies, and solutions. The GGC team is comprised of an exceptionally “deep bench” of talented multi-disciplinary professionals. Every aspect of their work is infused with an entrepreneurial spirit, a drive for excellence, a fearless willingness to take the road less traveled, and a passion for solving problems with the most efficacious, cost-effective, and swiftest solutions. As one client exclaimed, “Melanie is like a Corporate Sherpa, providing guidance that delivers incredible results!”

Capital Projects and Facility Development

Planning, Functional Design and Budgeting, Infrastructure, Construction and Architectural Oversight, and Stakeholder Engagement

Socio-Economic Entrepreneurialism through Public-Private Partnership - SMART with Collaborating Partner CVS Health

Advancing and integrating healthcare, education, and workforce development delivery channels, Business Model Analysis, Innovation and Evaluation, Financial Analysis, Expected Value-Return on Investment (EV-ROI), Due Diligence, and Research

Innovative Business Development, Analysis and Planning

Research and Development, Finance, Legal, Business Plans, Staffing and Culture, Contracts, Marketing, and Corporate Communications


The SMART solution aims to break the cycle of poverty, proactively deploying an Active Access strategy to deliver Active Care that is changing the trajectory of lives by identifying and reducing barriers to academic achievement and competence. Focused on educational outcomes, the model provides preventive and integrative physical and behavioral health care that is. Ginn designed the SMART business model to support the goal of ensuring the wellness of every student in an educational setting, not just treating the acute needs of the minority.

The creation of SMART and its customized data collection system, eTHOSRx, are just two examples of the Ginn Group’s passion for bringing business and entrepreneurial zest to solve some of the most critical issues of the day. It was developed with the funding support and thought-leader collaboration of CVS Health’s Workforce Initiatives department, in recognition of the significant interconnections between health, education, and workforce.

What Our Clients and Partners Say

  • When noting the evolution of the public school system and its hallmark features, I can see the day when SMART Student Health and Wellness Centers are as normative within public education as libraries—one in every school. It is paramount that students in the classroom be physically and mentally healthy, providing each the best opportunity to participate and learn. SMART identifies and reduces the barriers to student success and creates/improves the conditions that maximize the capacity for educators to teach.

    Dr. Peter Hlebowitsh Dean of the College of Education, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • In 25 years of working with schools and communities to improve the lives of at-risk children and youth, I have never seen an approach or intervention with the capacity that the SMART model has to bring about dramatic improvements. By bringing together proven health and behavioral health care methods in a new and unique delivery model, Ginn Group Collaborative and CVS Health has forged the tool we have been looking for to help our children.

    Dr. Karl Hamner Director of the Office of Evaluation and School Improvement, College of Education, The University of Alabama
  • [Melanie] partnered with the communications and marketing unit as a trusted and knowledgeable consultant who provides expert advice and assistance with major projects. She has brought a broad range of valuable skill sets, and her core capabilities include administration, communication, customer service, leadership, planning, analytical skills, professionalism, resourcefulness, dependability, and personal qualities that make working with her very fun, enjoyable, and effective.

    Alberta Olivia Lang Senior Manager of Workforce Initiatives, CVS Health
  • The Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s mission has been expanded thanks to Melanie’s connectivity, strategy, and vision. From working with us to develop a sustainable and measurable track for Latino talent into healthcare fields with CVS Health to spearheading innovative research and models that deliver economic impacts, like SMART, she facilitates and brokers-bringing partners together for the common cause of moving communities and America forward.

    Antonio Tijerino President & CEO, Hispanic Heritage Foundation
  • Our work as a thought-leader partner and sponsor of the SMART model is completely in line with our corporate principals—supporting innovation in health care delivery channels that increase access, increase quality and reduce costs.

    David Casey VP, Workforce Strategies President and Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health
  • If school systems and communities are looking for innovative and effective school-based health solutions, they should look no further than Melanie Ginn and the SMART Student Health Model. Melanie has developed and implemented a model that delivers strong and sustained health and educational outcomes that will have a far-reaching impact on individual students, their families, and their schools and communities.

    Dr. Liza Cariaga-Lo Vice-President for Academic Development, Diversity, and Inclusion, Brown University
  • For too many of our students, the barriers to good physical and emotional health are negatively impacting their capacity to learn and subsequent socio-economic life trajectories. The SMART model’s approach to ensuring the wellness of every student in the building, with the purpose of academic achievement, is unique and yields powerful results.

    Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky 9th District, Illinois
  • CVS is proud to have played a part in supporting and actively participating in the type of public-private partnership that fueled a high impact, lower cost socio-economic solution like SMART that, at its core, aims to break the cycle of poverty and positively change the trajectory of young lives.

    Ernest DuPont Senior Director, Workforce Initiatives, CVS Health