• Melissa Ward, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work at Florida International University. A social epidemiologist by training, her research interests include disparities in access to substance use treatment and women’s health. Dr. Ward has extensive experience in health equity research and program management, and has provided technical support for numerous projects sponsored by federal and international agencies. In addition to her research activities, she coordinates and manages the Research Infrastructure Core for FIU’s Research Center in Minority Institutions (FIU-RCMI). In 2019, Dr. Ward was awarded an FIU-RCMI pilot grant for a mixed-methods research project examining barriers to treatment for women with opioid use disorder. From 2016-2017, Dr. Ward participated in the inaugural cohort of FIU’s Presidential Leadership Program. She has worked at FIU since 2013; prior to joining the FIU-RCMI team in 2018, she worked as a Research Analyst and Medical Simulation Manager in the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. Prior to coming to FIU, Dr. Ward worked in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University (GW) coordinating monitoring and evaluation of the Medical Education Partnership Initiative, a $130 million international health program in 12 African countries administered by the Department of State, HRSA, and NIH. Dr. Ward also completed a GW Global Health Service Fellowship in the Public Health Information and GIS Unit at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

research interests

  • Women's Health, Opioid Use Disorder, HIV, Social Epidemiology, Health Disparities

selected scholarly works & creative activities

full name

  • Melissa Ward