Melissa Stafford Jones is the Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region IX. Region IX includes California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau, and Federated States of Micronesia. Melissa was appointed to her position in November 2014.
Prior to her appointment as Regional Director, Melissa was President & CEO of the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH) for eight years. While at CAPH, Melissa led the organization’s work to advance public policies that support the essential role of the safety net and improve access to care for low-income and uninsured patients. In particular, Melissa was involved in the implementation of health reform in California, particularly related to coverage expansion, delivery system transformation and re-structuring of health care financing and payment systems. Prior to her appointment as President & CEO, Melissa led CAPH’s state and federal legislative program for six years as Vice President and Director of Policy.
Before 2000, Melissa was Regional Vice President with the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California. As Regional Vice President she provided local issue management, coordinated grassroots advocacy, and facilitated collaborative community health improvement efforts amongst hospitals and other community groups. Melissa held the position of Senior Research Analyst for the Nevada State Legislature, providing policy analysis and research and assisting legislators in the development of policy and legislation. She also served on the administrative leadership team at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in the mid 1990s.
Melissa holds a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelors of Science in Biology from Saint Mary’s College of California. She is married to husband Chris, a high school science teacher, and has two children, Douglas and Juliet.