With a superb track record as an innovator in advanced business strategies and solutions to socio-economic issues, Melanie provides her clients sharp, independent analysis and recommendations with a customized scope of work that delivers extraordinary results and unprecedented returns on investment. Since 2005, Ginn’s niche has been health care system transformation, uniting business principles, culture, and innovation to fuel proactive models that support academic achievement through population health management strategies. Through that work, Melanie has assembled an impressive team of subject matter experts to support her endeavors.
Melanie’s passion and genius lie in seeing possibilities and solutions amidst chaos. She specializes in creating functional business models that benefit children’s health, addressing multi-cultural health care disparities, and promoting return on investment measurements related to health care outcomes, particularly in relation to education and workforce achievement.
Melanie has served as a senior advisor, consultant, and collaborating partner to CVS Health and its Workforce Initiatives Group since 2007. In 2013, she led a groundbreaking pilot project, as the chief architect and strategist, along with funding partner CVS Health, that evolved to become what is now known as the SMART™ Student Health and Wellness Model. SMART (an acronym for School Health Model for Academics Reaching ALL Transforming Lives) is a school health solution dedicated to improving academic achievement in order to break the cycle of poverty, creating a new, antecedent component on the health care continuum.
The flagship SMART Clinic in Chicago transformed an existing failing clinic operation for pre-K–12 students. In year one, the Chicago site swiftly delivered dramatic results, receiving the highest praise from school administrators, who valued its full alignment with the school’s objectives. By year three, SMART directly reached and supported the academic achievement of over 85% of the student population. The school enjoyed unprecedented increases in attendance and Freshmen On-Track ratings, while also dramatically lowering disciplinary incident rates, which resulted in a 40% jump in the school’s quality rating.
Now, Melanie is considered one of the nation’s foremost private sector experts on school health solutions and innovation and continues to work closely with CVS Health Vice-President and Chief Diversity Officer, David Casey, as well as Senior Workforce Initiatives Director, Ernest DuPont, as a thought leader and strategist to translate and scale the learnings from SMART into meaningful, systemic, and cultural change in the health care, education, and workforce arenas. Following the early success of the Chicago SMART Student Health and Wellness Center Flagship, Melanie has been asked to apply and replicate the learnings from her work with CVS by new stakeholders across the country including, Brown University, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Heartland Health Centers, and numerous Washington D.C. advocacy and policy groups, Federally Qualified Health Centers, medical providers, and a state-wide initiative on behalf of the University of Alabama.
In 2015, Melanie had the honor of meeting Dr. Liza Cariaga-Lo, former Vice President for Academic Development, Diversity, and Inclusion and faculty member in the Education Department at Brown University, who was intrigued by the dramatic results that the emerging best practice model experienced in its first years of operation. She saw the enormous potential that SMART Clinics held for multitudes of stakeholders in education, health, and the workforce, and asked Ginn to co-author the initial White Paper on the model, which was presented at the inaugural SMART Congressional Breakfast Briefing and Symposium in Washington, D.C. in May of 2017. As a result, Melanie served as a Visiting Scholar at Brown University, offering a preview of the model to Brown University’s School of Public Health faculty and students.
In 2016, Melanie was thrilled to add a key partner, her husband, Stacy Ginn, J.D., organically expanding her scope and brand from Melanie Ginn and Associates to Ginn Group Collaborative. “Stace,” as he is known to colleagues and friends, is an attorney with an extensive finance background. He offers tremendous expertise and counsel to the GCC team and its clients, partners, and affiliates. Stace is instrumental in navigating the extensive scope of multi-party agreements required to create the new partnerships that are the hallmark of many of Melanie’s projects—in addition to the myriad of HIPAA, FERPA, and other regulatory issues entailed in working in educational and health care settings. The capacity to offer clients the comprehensive level of expertise that both “Ginns” bring to the table is a unique and powerful benefit held exclusively by Ginn Group Collaborative.
In May of 2018, the data collected from the nationally-recognized SMART Model was presented to the US Senate Republican Task Force on Hispanic Affairs, founded and led by Senator Orrin Hatch, whom Ginn had the opportunity to meet with following the presentation. Hatch has said of the SMART Model, “This is exactly what communities should be doing.”
In June of 2018 Ginn attended the “Healthy Students, Promising Futures Learning Collaborative” at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health in Washington, D.C. along with U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams; John Auerbach, President and CEO, Trust for America’s Health; and Jeff Kirsch, Vice President of National Policy & Advocacy, Healthy Schools Campaign. The topic was “Healthy Students, Promising Futures.”
In August of 2018 Aramark Corporation joined Legacy Funder CVS Health to advance student health and education through the SMART Model with a 5-year, multi-million-dollar grant from its Charitable Fund.
In October of 2018, Ginn was recognized with the “Transformational Leader Award” at the 2018 Heartland Health Centers’ From the Heart Gala in Chicago. Award recipients were selected from individuals who are outstanding examples of transformative thinking. Honorees alongside Ginn included Kim Foxx, Cook County State’s Attorney, and Mark Ishaug, CEO, Thresholds.
In December of 2018, Legacy funder CVS Health and Aramark sponsored the 2nd Annual SMART Student Health and Wellness Congressional Breakfast Briefing and Symposium in D.C., hosted by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Ginn Group Collaborative, which featured the presentation to Congress of a new formative evaluation of the SMART Model by Brown University’s Dr. Liza Cariaga-Lo entitled, “SMART Leadership: Transformative Change Agents and The Essential Culture & Climate for Achieving Health and Education Outcomes.” The event was attended by Representative Terri Sewell of Alabama’s 7th congressional district.
The two-day, inter-disciplinary, multi-sector event is an opportunity for key stakeholders and grassroots professionals implementing the SMART Model to collaborate and share their personal connections to this emerging best practice.
SMART expansion in 2018 included two new SMART clinics in Pickens County Alabama, in partnership with the University of Alabama and Pickens County Primary Care, and two additional clinics within Chicago Public Schools at Gale Community Academy and Hibbard Elementary.
As a corollary to her work, and because of her desire to measure, research, and manage in a way that produces better health outcomes, Melanie co-created the customization of a software application tool, eTHOS (Electronic Tracker of Health Outcomes System), which is currently used as the Knowledge Management System by all SMART Centers. This cloud-based, HIPAA compliant tool allows entities to track and report, in real time, on individual and aggregate population health and educational data and subsequently design individual and collective interventions based on those findings. Additionally, one of GGC’s most powerful analytical tools is Expected Value-Return on Investment (EV-ROI), a methodology for monetizing outcomes developed by its co-collaborator, Andrew Gluck, MBA, of Social Capital Valuations, LLC. Together they pioneered an application for health, social, and community-based programs.
Before founding GGC, Melanie was recruited to the Ohio River Valley region to oversee the creation and construction of the 52-acre, state-of-the-art Cincinnati Bengals Summer Training Camp facility at Georgetown College—a landmark venture she directed from the business plan through construction to annual operations. Construction included an “Olympic-style village” with a tri-level stadium, conference and training center, practice fields, and residential housing. This role required her to engage and negotiate with a wide variety of stakeholders, including the National Football League (NFL), Bengals’ Owner, Mike Brown, city and state officials, and major corporations like Toyota Manufacturing of North America. The expansive new facilities drew unprecedented national publicity—as well as the attention of the NFL—as a model project for future infrastructure collaborations and the league’s shift to leveraging summer training camp as a fan engagement opportunity. The facilities and the training camp’s marketing events were featured in Sports Illustrated, a myriad of media outlets, and on HBO’s Emmy award-winning series, Hard Knocks.
Melanie was sought for the NFL project due to her extensive experience in economic development work in Washington State, where she gained significant standing at a very young age for her innovation in the areas of public-private partnerships, finance, human resources, public relations, fundraising, and capital project development. A significant testament to this was her leadership in securing funding and overseeing the construction of a new Visitor’s Center and Chamber of Commerce headquarters in the City of Anacortes’s Historic District, which launched a successful multimillion-dollar downtown revitalization that is evident to this day.
Wherever her next challenge takes her, at the heart of her success is the courage to pioneer on “the road less traveled”—and in most cases, “never traveled”— as well as a commitment to deliver cutting-edge solutions that produce measurable outcomes with a high return on investment for her public and private sector clients and their stakeholders.
Melanie is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and public relations. She also attended the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) postgraduate program for Organizational Development at Stanford University. She is the co-author of numerous white papers including, “The Economic Impact of School-Based Health Centers”; “Adoption of School-Based Healthcare (SBHC) Innovation Model”; “The Consequences of Youth Risky Behavior”; and “The Value of Risk Assessments for Adolescent Students.” She has also published an array of Expected Value-Return on Investment analyses on school-based health, relationship and marriage education, and youth programs.