Tamara S. Melton

Tamara S. Melton

Director of Health Informatics


Morrison Healthcare

Atlanta, GA USA


Give yourself credit for what you already know...you have value.

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Tamara S. Melton

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Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Growing up, she loved to cook and always thought she would be a chef—she applied and was accepted to culinary school, but she had an epiphany that it wasn’t really what she wanted.
Inspired by her family members’ struggles with diabetes, she switched her major to nutrition and dietetics.
Ended up passing out at the sight of blood during her nutrition support rotation, which made her realize that working in the hospital scene was not for her.
After getting her graduate degree in nutrition, she taught part time at Georgia State University and worked in weight management for nonprofits.
At age 28, she got an opportunity to play a critical role in developing the new health informatics program at Georgia State University, where she served as program director for four years.
In order to broaden her knowledge of the field of health informatics, she did a certificate program at Duke University where she was the only non-nurse in the program.
She ran into an old college friend at a conference who helped her get her current position at Morrison Healthcare—says, ”They were looking for a dietician who knew about data. That’s me!”
Says she has always had an entrepreneurial heart—she consults and educates about nutrition, develops wellness programs, and hosts workshops.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Nutrition Sciences
University of North Florida
graduate
Graduate
Nutrition Sciences
Georgia State University
doctorate
Doctorate
Medical Informatics
Duke University
certification
Certification/License
Dietetics/Dietitian
certification
Certification/License
Management Information Systems, General
Career

Career

Director of Health Informatics

I serve as an internal consultant on initiatives that utilize technology or data analytics.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Medicine
Medicine
Food
Food
Helping People
Helping People

Day to Day

Lots of phone calls! I work at home or in our corporate offices, seeing a technology solution we've worked on for months actually help these folks do their jobs better or makes a task easier for them, or improves our care for our patients. I also get to visit our accounts and work with them on projects. It could be visiting a hospital kitchen where we run the food service operations. We'll shadow the employees as they test out a new technology, such as a new app we've developed.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

How to read people to see what makes them tick. That's a huge component in the success of any project. Also, learning the nuances of developing software or databases in a real-world environment. Finally, learning to be confident in failing. It's an essential skill in informatics. We are usually the first people doing what we're doing, so we are going to make mistakes. However, we need the room to make these mistakes so that we can get to the correct solution.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Do your research early in high school to see what scholarships you can get. The best gift you can give yourself is not just an education - it's an education with as little student loan debt as possible. Having funding for school is the difference between pursuing the field of study in college you really want to pursue, or having to choose a major just because it will take less time/money.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Nutrition Sciences
graduate
Graduate
Nutrition Sciences
doctorate
Doctorate
Medical Informatics
certification
Certification/License
Dietetics/Dietitian
certification
Certification/License
Management Information Systems, General
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I can't work in health if I can't stand the sight of blood. "

After passing out at the sight of blood during my nutrition support rotation, I paniced thinking this field was not for me. I realized that my degree and the skills I had in data analytics could take me out of the hospital scene , so I followed that path.

Challenges I Overcame

Financial
Financial

I knew my parents couldn't afford to send me to college. In high school, I heard of a scholarship called Bright Futures. If I got a high enough GPA, I could have 100% of my tuition covered.

First-Generation College Student
First-Generation College Student

I was the first person in my immediate family to go to a 4 year college, and then later to graduate school. This meant I had to find people who could provide some tips and encouragement on how to navigate all of the obstacles that would arise.

Racial Discrimination
Racial Discrimination

I am an African-American woman in corporate America which tends to mean that I don't often see people who look like me at work.