Melissa Hayden Cook
President and chief executive officer
Sharp Health Plan
"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. 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 in 2005, Melissa has led an organization-wide effort to make high-quality health care accessible to San Diegans. Through narrow network product innovation and integration with the Sharp delivery system, Melissa has been able to make health insurance more affordable, and has expanded coverage to the uninsured. Under her leadership, Sharp Health Plan has been consistently recognized in California and nationally for its high-quality care and service, providing award-winning health care to more than 140,000 members in San Diego and Riverside counties.
Melissa brings nearly 30 years of experience in the health care industry. During her tenure with Sharp, Melissa has served in a variety of senior leadership roles, including most recently as the senior vice president of marketing for Sharp HealthCare.
Melissa sits on the board of the California Association of Health Plans (CAHP), and the Health Plan Alliance (HPA) board, a national association of not-for-profit health plans. She is also a member of the North San Diego Business Chamber Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors for Health Sciences High and Middle College, a charter school dedicated to developing the next generation of health care professionals.
Recognized as a top health care leader, Melissa received a San Diego YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry Award for outstanding achievements in her profession, and was selected as one of San Diego Metropolitan magazine's Top 40 under 40. She was also named among the San Diego 500, an annual listing published by the San Diego Business Journal of the 500 most influential business leaders in San Diego County.