Donald L. Mellman

Donald L. Mellman, MD, MPH, MBA, FACS, FACHE


The mission of Don’s 36-year healthcare career has always been to provide access to the highest quality care; first, during his 26 years of private practice as a board certified neurosurgeon on a doctor-patient basis, and then, additionally, for the last ten years in policy and management on populations of patients both in the United States and abroad. Closely aligned with this mission are his concerns with the ethics of the business of healthcare and issues of social and economic justice.

He has a particular focus on systemic problems that lead to adverse patient outcomes. He creates successful professional relationships through the encouragement, development and mentoring of physician and executive managerial and leadership skills. To assist in resolution of conflict in all varieties of healthcare issues, he is a qualified arbitrator and a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Mediator.

Since 2007, Don has performed, pro bono, outpatient neurosurgical care of indigent patients and evaluations of persons who have been tortured and are seeking asylum in the United States. He has extensive experience with Defense and Plaintiff Medical-Legal issues, Neurosurgical Independent Medical Evaluations and Chart Reviews, including formal reports and testimony. He has active medical licenses in Florida and California.

Don is a change agent, a problem solver and a creator of a positive organizational culture. He offers relationship management services both to the healthcare institution and to its key partners. His technical, organizational and negotiation knowledge and skills allow him to successfully manage the complex relationship issues that are always present in the provider sector of healthcare. His background as chief medical officer at two teaching institutions, one private and the other public; his practice of neurosurgery; leadership roles on various national, state, and local committees chartered to improve access, quality, and efficiency of care; and his advanced business and public health education give him a unique multifaceted perspective on those relationship issues. A high sense of integrity and knowing the need for civility and collegiality in a non-punitive work environment allow his personal skills in mediations, difficult conversations, conflict management and relationship building to create an appropriate atmosphere for needed change in the areas of clinical quality, patient safety and utilization of resources.

Don is able to speak the languages of the physician, public health and the business of healthcare. His experience allows him to connect with physicians who are in active practice as well as with management leaders so that partnerships may be created to allow organizations to develop and implement a successful competitive strategy in the always changing socioeconomic environment. His strong sense of integrity and an ever-present focus on the patient gives him credibility in the provider setting. He is able to communicate his core values and ethics so that individuals and groups can succeed in a value-driven milieu. His relevant skill sets are demonstrated by his board certification in neurosurgery and Fellowship status in the American College of Surgeons and the American College of Healthcare Executives as well as being certified by the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners and the Health Care Compliance Board. He also is a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Service of the American Health Lawyers Association. He has lectured and written peer-reviewed articles on health care issues of conflict, governance and leadership.

His clinical and administrative leadership with the Hillsborough County Hospital Authority, the Hillsborough County Indigent Healthcare Plan and the Judeo Christian Indigent Health Clinic (Tampa) demonstrate his focus on access. His work as a chief medical officer and his advisory capacity with domestic and international NGOs has always centered on ethics and social and economic justice as well as the access and quality of health care. His membership and work with Survivors of Torture, Physicians for Human Rights, the United Nations Association, the Committee on Foreign Relations,

the Clearwater/Tampa Bay Area Task Force on Human Trafficking, and Physicians for Social Responsibility – he is a co-founder of the Tampa Bay PSR chapter and served on the Board of Directors of the national organization - demonstrate his concern for societal and global issues. He has worked in the healthcare systems of Kosova and Gaza. He examines refugees who have been tortured and who are seeking asylum in the US. Domestically and internationally, he has presented and moderated discussions of issues concerning conflict in the hospital as well as social and economic justice, including the matter of physicians’ role in torture.

He has served as the Chief Medical Director of the Child-, Elder-, and Sexual Abuse Programs at Riverside County (CA) Regional Medical Center. His intensity and determination are shown in his treks in Africa (Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro) and completion of marathons, such as Pike’s Peak, and triathlons, such as Alcatraz.


Don received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Lehigh University (1962), his MD fromHahnemann University (1966), a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Florida (1993), and a Master of Public Health from Harvard University (2001).

After two years of general surgery (1966-68) at The Boston City Hospital and two years of active duty (1968-70) with the US Navy, he completed his neurosurgery training (1974) at the Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. He resides in Tampa, FL. Don has three children: Deborah Anne a MBA (American University), is a strategy advisor to the U.S. Department of Transportation; David, a PhD molecular pharmacologist (University of Wisconsin, Madison) is a law student at Marquette University; and Jim, a PhD biomaterials engineer (University of Florida) is a senior scientist and packaging engineer with Pfizer, Ltd. in Cambridge, England. Don is grandfather to Debbie’s twins, Daniela and Jacob.