Melissa Welch Named Chief Medical Officer for Center for Elders’ Independence


Melissa Welch, MD, MPH, a Bay Area leader in managed care, long-term care, and cultural diversity, has been named Chief Medical Officer for Center for Elders’ Independence (CEI). Dr. Welch has successfully improved quality, operations, and critical financial results in a in a number of leading health care organizations during a career that spans more than 25 years as a physician executive. Her CEI appointment is effective immediately.

Now in its 36th year in the East Bay, CEI helps at-risk seniors live at home, rather than in nursing homes, through its national model of care known as PACE (the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly), which has been replicated in 255 PACE centers in 31 states.

“I am delighted that Dr. Welch is joining CEI during these challenging times in health care,” said Linda Trowbridge, chief executive officer. “Her passion for improving clinical outcomes and her extensive experience in care management for seniors will be valuable contributions to CEI’s leadership team and our continued success in providing quality health care for seniors.”

Most recently, Dr. Welch served as Chief Operating Officer for the San Francisco-based Institute on Aging, where she stabilized its operations in community healthcare, including a local PACE program, and integrated behavioral health services. Previously, she was Vice President, Clinical Quality, Network and Markets Support at Blue Shield of California. She concluded ten years at Aetna as National Head of Regional Care Management, where she led care management for 15 million commercial insurance and Medicare members.

Earlier in her career, Dr. Welch served as Chief Medical Officer for San Francisco’s Community Health Network, an integrated health care delivery system, and Medical Director for a San Francisco community clinic. Additionally, she was an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

“I am excited to join CEI and its exceptional PACE model of care,” said Dr. Welch.” Physicians need a team to care for at-risk patients because we can’t do it alone. With PACE, our doctors coordinate closely with caregivers, nurses, therapists, social workers, and other specialists to improve health outcomes and quality of life. Even though PACE seniors have  health challenges that qualify them for nursing home level of care, more than 96 percent continue to live and thrive at home with outstanding support from CEI, ” she added.

As President of Welch Perspectives, Dr. Welch offers mentoring, leadership development training, and strategic health care consulting for health professionals. She was Principal and Founder of Perspectives of Differences Diversity Training and Consultation for Health Professionals, and is an experienced diversity and cultural competence trainer. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Welch is Board Certified in Primary Care and Internal Medicine. She received a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Campaign, her philanthropic interests include raising awareness for the prevention of heart disease in women.

For more information about Center for Elders’ Independence, visit or call (510) 433-1150.


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