Doctoral Alumna Focus | Melany Rabideau, DOL

Hood alumna, Dr. Melany Rabideau, earned her doctorate in Organizational Leadership (DOL) in May 2020. This past August, Melany moved to Rwanda to serve as an Assistant Professor facility member of the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE).

Melany Rabideau, DOL

Graduation Year



  • Organizational Management (Certificate)


  • Education

"My experience at Hood while working on my doctoral degree has been a key source of inspiration to me in the development of the UGHE program."

Please tell us about your educational and career background.

I earned my Bachelor of Science in Public Health Science and Master of Public Health in Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park. I completed the Doctorate of Organizational Leadership from Hood College Graduate School this past May. My dissertation explored the lived experiences of emerging adult women and studied their perceived value of primary care and the patient-provider relationship.

My professional background focused in healthcare practice transformation by reversing under-performing operations through process design, fiscal stewardship, and patient-provider relationships. Equity has been a primary target of my work, with an emphasis on quality across the continuum of health services with a stress on primary care delivered at a local level.

I started my career as an Analyst for WellSpan Health and returned to my hometown of Frederick in 2014 to join Frederick Health In 2016, I was promoted to the Director of Quality Performance and Patient Analytics. While at Frederick Health, I used my data analytics expertise and business acumen to realign shift care from volume to value. Additionally, I built an infrastructure to support growth strategies for physician practices while developing a revenue generating care management department. We achieved NCQA PCMH Level 3 recognition and migrated the electronic medical record into a shared one chart design.

In 2019, I became the Director of Operational Excellence for Adventist HealthCare leading the system on their Baldrige journey toward excellence. In this role, I coached leaders across the organization on operational excellence and led a team of lean six sigma practitioners on multiple projects including the integration of new entities, such as Howard University Hospital. During the Covid-19 response efforts, my team led system wide hospital incident command teams for rapid process design and improvement to support front line healthcare workers in surge strategies for supplies, staffing, and capacity. This August, I moved to Rwanda to serve as an Assistant Professor facility member of the University of Global Health Equity.

Why did you choose Hood College Graduate School and the DOL Program in particular?

I love Frederick and completing my academic endeavors in the comforts of a place I call home kept me grounded.

I wanted to ensure my education was based on practical philosophy so I could apply my knowledge locally and abroad.

Hood College Graduate School challenges you to reach your potential while providing a supportive learning environment.

What did you enjoy most about Hood College Graduate School?

I enjoyed the friendships I made with my classmates as we learned from and with each other. 

The cohort learning model ensured everyone felt like a valuable member of the team and we strived for collective success. The doctoral journey is not linear and when things got stressful or uncertain, we were able to call upon each other for strength. I never felt alone at Hood College.

You moved to Rwanda to serve as an Assistant Professor at the University of Global Health Equity. Tell us how that came about and how you think your Hood doctoral degree has benefited you in this endeavor.

Global problems need global solutions and it has been a lifelong dream of mine to pivot my career internationally, particularly in Rwanda where they lead by example, providing accessible healthcare as a basic human right and valuing all lives equally.

The University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), a global health sciences university in the rural north of Rwanda, is revolutionizing health care education by empowering future health care leaders to radically change the way health care is delivered around the world. In my position there, I am developing and teaching UGHE's Leadership and Management program.

My experience at Hood while working on my doctoral degree has been a key source of inspiration to me in the development of the UGHE program. As I reflected on my journey studying organizational leadership at Hood College and experiences in the field, I visualized a tree which materialized into UGHE’s Leadership and Management curriculum framework.

Tell us about the upcoming conference you are scheduled to present at and what it has been like to prepare for it during a pandemic.

I am presenting 'An Exploration of the Emerging Adult Woman’s Perceived Value of Primary Care' in September at the 2020 Global Health Summit, which is being held virtually this year. You can get an idea of the type of content I’ll be discussing by reading my recent op-ed, “When Incremental Change is Not Enough — Dismantling Institutionalized Racism in Health Care Systems.”

This is my first time presenting at a conference, and due to the virtual nature of the event, my session has already been prerecorded. That process was easy and straightforward because I had already become familiar with recording while preparing my dissertation defense in the same manner. The recording for the conference is much shorter than my dissertation defense, however, yet my virtual defense helped me boil down my key takeaways into just a two-minute elevator speech.

The Graduate School Conference Fund supported my participation in this conference and I would like to voice a heartfelt “thank you” to them for this opportunity. Hood Graduate School is so supportive of their students and alumni.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I am a member of the Society of Women Geographers and sustainable travel and spending time in nature is incredibly fulfilling to me.

Prior to joining UGHE, I had a trip planned to visit Rwanda but it was canceled due to Covid-19. Rwanda is by far the most beautiful country I have ever seen and feel very lucky to call it home. You can follow my adventures on Instagram @melanyrabideau.

Inspired by Melany's story to #GOFURTHER  in your educational & career pursuits? Learn more about Hood College’s Doctorate of Organizational Leadership by clicking here.