"Columbus needs to prioritize a 'whole community' approach. We need to lean on the talents of the business, academic, health care and nonprofit communities to grow Columbus."

Future 50 Class of 2020

Melissa Wervey Arnold

CEO, American Academy of Pediatrics Ohio Chapter

About: Melissa Wervey Arnold has provided leadership for the American Academy of Pediatrics, Ohio chapter, an organization with 3,000 Ohio pediatricians and residents, since 2005. 

During her tenure, she has helped develop programs on issues such as obesity, mental wellness and smoking cessation. She also secured funding enabling the programs to be free for AAP Ohio members. In 2018, 875,000 children were impacted by the programs coming out of Arnold’s chapter.

Arnold is known as someone who is always ready to take a phone call from colleagues, friends or family members who need her help. She recently traveled to several states to train and mentor new or struggling AAP executive directors, giving them guidance and support in a variety of areas.

Outside of work: Arnold is a member of Kiwanis and Junior League of Columbus; she also serves as one of the youngest members in the history of the Ohio University Alumni Association Board of Directors, and as part of the university’s Foundation Board of Directors.

50 ideas to move the region forward. Here's who else is in the Future 50 Class of 2020.

What does Columbus need to thrive? “Columbus needs to prioritize a ‘whole community’ approach. We need to lean on the talents of the business, academic, health care and nonprofit communities to grow Columbus. We should not just rely on corporate growth but rather look to various community leaders to provide a stronger workforce and community together, including a focus on physical and mental health care, cultural activities, athletics, mass transportation and technology.”

Arnold’s idea: “The Future 50 class could take a multi-disciplinary team approach by spreading knowledge to parents, schools, businesses and community organizations to teach recognition of adolescent suicide risk through depression screening. The number of screenings and messaging can be tracked to show quantifiable change. By working on this program, the class could come together as leaders to address a problem for the next generation to lead our community.” 

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