Melissa Lyon is the Public Health Director for Erie County (PA) Department of Health. She has been serving as the Director since 2014. Her main role and her passion are to engage communities in the decision making process to create a healthy, thriving community. She strives to ensure that health is represented in every community conversation and decision. The national trend is to forge strong public-private partnerships to tackle the health priorities of a community. She desires Erie, PA to become a model city for health and wellness through public-private partnership.
She earned her Master’s in Public Health from Kaplan University while working full-time as the Site Manager for an internationally recognized clinical research site, Great Lakes Medical Research, located in Westfield, New York. Her undergraduate work was completed in 1995 at the SUNY at Fredonia. There she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry.
Melissa became certified in public health in 2019. She has over nine years of public health field experience while employed at the Chautauqua County Health Department in New York. She worked in a variety of public health capacities including environmental health and inspections, health promotion and education, public health emergency preparedness, and community collaboration and coalition building.
Melissa ties her passion for public health back to her three years of service with the United States Peace Corps, Cameroon West Africa from 1998-2001. She remains awestruck over the huge impact that small and simple public health interventions can have on the positive health outcomes of a community.
Melissa is also an adjunct faculty at State University of New York at Fredonia, Gannon University and guest lecturer at a number of regional universities. She is an active member of the Health Administration Sector of the American Public Health Association.
She especially enjoys inspiring others to find their passion through education and mentorship.