• Melissa Ward, PhD, MPH, is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Community-Based Research Institute. A social epidemiologist by training, her research interests include disparities in access to substance abuse treatment and women’s health. Dr. Ward has extensive experience in health equity research and program management, and has provided technical support for numerous projects sponsored by federal and international agencies. Currently, she coordinates and manages the Research Infrastructure Core for FIU’s Research Center in Minority Institutions (FIU-RCMI). In 2019, Dr. Ward was awarded an FIU-RCMI pilot grant for a mixed-methods research project examining barriers to treatment for women with opioid use disorder. From 2016-2017, Dr. Ward participated in the inaugural cohort of FIU’s Presidential Leadership Program. She has worked at FIU since 2013; prior to joining the FIU-RCMI team in 2018, she worked as a Research Analyst and Medical Simulation Manager in the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. Prior to coming to FIU, Dr. Ward worked in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University (GW) coordinating monitoring and evaluating the Medical Education Partnership Initiative, a $130 million international health program in 12 African countries administered by the Department of State, HRSA, and NIH. Dr. Ward also completed a GW Global Health Service Fellowship in the Public Health Information and GIS Unit at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

selected publications

research interests

  • Women's Health, Opioid Use Disorder, HIV, Social Epidemiology, Health Disparities

full name

  • Melissa Ward-Peterson


Recent publications and grants in Scholars@FIU

publication subject areas

  • Biomedical Social Sciences
  • Business & Economics
  • Demography
  • Education & Educational Research
  • General & Internal Medicine
  • Health Care Sciences & Services
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
  • Research & Experimental Medicine
  • Science & Technology - Other Topics
  • Substance Abuse
Citation index-derived subject areas the researcher has published in