Russell Melmed

Russell MelmedName: Russell Melmed

Occupation: Epidemiologist, Ledge Light Health District

Why does health equity matter to you?

What can I say, I’m a recovering younger brother who still bristles in empathy at all forms of injustice. As an employee of a public health department, I have the agency backing to make a real impact in eliminating health inequities. Take that, older brother (name withheld to protect his guilty).

What’s in your leadership toolkit?

I like to keep a heavy pipe wrench in my toolkit. It is useful for dealing with old, rigid structures that don’t tend to loosen with anything other than the most firm, consistent pressure applied at just the right point.

What is your not-so-secret guilty pleasure?

Treehouse Masters on Animal Planet. It took me more than a year to build what was an ultimately poorly-constructed, over-budget treehouse for my own kids. The show reminds me what a person with real knowledge and skill can do and it gives me pause before I start the next cockamamie plan for my family!