During our meeting October 28, 2019, we recognized Melissa Bhatnagar as our Featured Rotarian for October.  She talked to our club about her early family life, her career, some of her avocational interests, and her participation in our club projects.  Melissa joined our club June 17, 2019, with classification Pharmacist; and she was sponsored by Executive Secretary John Ross, our featured Rotarian for last month.
 
Melissa Bhatnagar is a patient safety professional and licensed pharmacist with over 15 years of diverse experience in the healthcare industry. Melissa recently joined Modernizing Medicine Headquarters in Boca Raton, as Director of Patient Safety. Modernizing Medicine is a software company that develops specialty-specific electronic health record (EHR) technology,
 
Her experience also includes 10 years at a medical malpractice insurance company in NYC focused on improving patient safety and leading a physician office practice risk reduction initiative for a consortium of large academic medical centers including Johns Hopkins Medicine, Yale New Haven Health System, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital, and others. As a clinical business analyst for MCIC, she developed reports and analyses of high-loss clinical departments which led to promotion to Associate Director of Patient Safety. Prior to that, Melissa was an inpatient pharmacist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
 
Taking us back to her first Rotary exposure with her parents, Melissa told us about how her dad, Ashutosh obtained a Rotary Scholarship opportunity when he and her mom, Alka, were both in Rotaract in Haridwar, India.  When they came to the US they were hosted by Dr. Chris Heisler and his wife Gloria, which developed into a long term friendship.  Melissa's father, Ashutosh's experience in Rotary brought her to our club and we eagerly welcomed her into our fellowship.
 
Continuing through some of the cultural aspects of her family experiences, Melissa told us about her pleasure dancing, especially for family gatherings.  Melissa told us about the traditional Indian dance Bharatanatyam.  Presumably the oldest classical dance in India, it was initiated in the Hindu temples of Tamil Nadu and eventually flourished in South India. Origin dates back to 2nd century CE (AD). Accompanists include a singer, music, and particularly the guru who directs and conducts the performance. Pictured at left, Melissa gathered with many young friends in preparation for performance. On the right we see her dancing at a family gathering.
 
She reviewed for us her educational pursuit and initial career experiences: she obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and a dual degree Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from the London School of Economics (LSE) & the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). 
 
Along with education and healthcare, Melissa is passionate about spending time with family and friends, traveling, and exploring new restaurants. Melissa took us on a pictorial tour around the world with food descriptions that almost brought the flavors and aromas into the room. She enjoys spending her time between Florida and the Virginia/Washington DC area and is always looking for the next travel destination to create new memories! 
 
Melissa is currently our club liaison with the FAU HS Interact Club.  Welcome to Rotary Boca Raton Sunset, Featured Rotarian for October 2019 Melissa Bhatnagar!
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