Dr. Melnyk is vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer, dean and professor of the College of Nursing, professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the College of Medicine and executive director of the Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare. Melnyk is recognized nationally and globally for her clinical knowledge, expertise in evidence-based practice and intervention research and her innovative approaches to a wide range of health care and wellness challenges.
In her role as Chief Wellness Officer, Melnyk works to build and sustain a wellness culture that supports healthy behaviors and improved population health outcomes using an evidence-based quality improvement model that targets the grass roots of the organization through top leadership. Melnyk directs Buckeye Wellness, which empowers teams of students, faculty and staff to lead wellness initiatives and model healthy behaviors throughout the University. She created #mindstrong, an evidence-based cognitive skills-building program with a goal of improving resilience and self-protective factors for the overall well-being of college students, faculty and staff.
Melnyk founded the One University Health and Wellness Council, which includes leaders from every entity supporting well-being on campus, to drive and measure outcomes of a comprehensive wellness strategic plan for Ohio State students, employees and the surrounding community. Together, they developed Ohio State’s wellness vision: “To become the healthiest university and community on the globe.” Melnyk founded and is immediate past president of the National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities, a collaborative organization to improve population health in the nation’s institutions of higher learning that currently serves over 65 universities across the nation.
Melnyk’s work spans evidence-based practice, intervention research, child and adolescent mental health and health and wellness. A frequent keynote speaker at national and international conferences, Melnyk has consulted with hundreds of healthcare systems and colleges worldwide on improving quality of care and population health outcomes by implementing and sustaining evidence-based practice. As a member of the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-being and Resilience, Melnyk is working to address the national crisis of healthcare provider burnout.
Melnyk is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, a division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine whose members counsel government and private sector leaders to help them make informed health decisions. She also is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the National Academies of Practice and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Melnyk founded the National Interprofessional Education and Practice Collaborative to advance the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Million Hearts® initiative and its goal of preventing one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. She has over $33 million dollars of sponsored funding from federal agencies and foundations, is co-editor of five books and author of over 350 publications.
Melnyk earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from West Virginia University, her Master of Science degree with a specialization in nursing care of children and pediatric nurse practitioner from the University of Pittsburgh and her PhD in clinical research from the University of Rochester, where she also completed her post-master’s certificate as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.