Melissa Hayden Cook
"The Sharp Experience is a culture of caring and excellence; it is transforming the health care experience by making life better, one person at a time."
Melissa Hayden Cook is the president and chief executive officer of Sharp Health Plan. She has served in this capacity since 2005. She has nearly 30 years of experience in the health care industry, serving for three years on Sharp Health Plan's Board of Directors and for seven years as senior vice president of marketing for Sharp HealthCare.
A native San Diegan and University of San Diego graduate, Melissa is passionate about making a difference in San Diego's health care landscape. Since joining Sharp Health Plan, Melissa has led a pronounced, organization-wide effort to make high quality health care accessible to San Diegans. Through narrow network product innovation and integration with the delivery system, Melissa has been able to make health insurance more affordable for local businesses, which has in turn led to profitable, double-digit growth of the health plan. She has also set a community standard for wellness through the introduction of the Best Health wellness program.
She is a member of the Board of Directors for Health Sciences High and Middle College, a charter school dedicated to developing the next generation of health care leaders. Melissa sits on the board of the California Association of Health Plans (CAHP) and is also a member of the CAHP Foundation board. She also serves on the board of the Health Plan Alliance (HPA), a national association of not-for-profit health plans. Locally, she also serves on North San Diego Business Chamber Board of Directors.
Melissa has been recognized for her work in the health care industry. In 1996, she received a San Diego YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry Award for outstanding achievements in her profession. In 2000, she was selected as one of San Diego Metropolitan magazine's "Top 40 under 40."
Sharp Health Plan has been nationally recognized as a leader for developing innovative health insurance products. Sharp Health Plan has received more than $4 million in grants to support their efforts to insure the uninsured.