Melissa Thompson is a patient advocate, health/care strategist, technologist, entrepreneur, cancer patient and a voice for change.
One of Thompson’s proudest achievement was when “Melissa Law for Fertility Preservation", was enacted by Governor Dannel Malloy on June 20, 2017.
Thompson was the driving force behind the creation and enactment of an eponymous policy change — one that requires insurance coverage for fertility treatment based on medical necessity and ensures that those with or facing issues of medical necessity would not have to wait a year before qualifying for fertility coverage.
Thompson advocated for a policy change based upon the fact that the definition of infertility allowed for an insurance policy carve-out that inherently excluded and marginalized certain patient populations. As a newly diagnosed cancer patient who came to Greenwich IVF with the goal of reliable fertility preservation, but left having sustained more harm than benefit, Thompson also began speaking out about those complicit in wrongdoings.
Ultimately, Thompson took the problem she faced to create a solution for others, one that will help the lives and families of future patients, and she is still blazing trails to continue to face issues in this area,
Through a combination of creativity, dedication, empathy, and authenticity, Melissa advocates for patient-driven innovation and exponential progress in healthcare systems and policy, HIT, cancer, and chronic disease management - through speaking engagements, policy initiatives, and consulting.
The companies with which she has worked range from a solution that addresses financial toxicity in cancer care by providing patients access to financial resources, to middleware as a hospital’s value-based care management tool to mitigate compliance risk.
Boards and PresentationsMelissa Thompson is on the Board of Fertility Within Reach - an organization dedicated to increasing access to fertility treatment and benefits.
Thompson has been a featured speaker on healthcare innovation, advocacy and financial toxicity in cancer care. Her speaking engagements include The Financial Times’ Digital Health Summit, Women in Government's Annual Legislative Summit, The Oncofertility Consortium's Annual Conference, New England Fertility Society, PAN Foundation's Cost-Sharing Roundtable, New York Pharma Forum, The Beryl Institute's inaugural Patient Grand Rounds, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic's Medical Innovation Summit, Google, JP Morgan Healthcare, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Stupid Cancer’s CancerCon, and The Beryl Institute’s Patient Experience Conference.
Melissa Thompson is a proud member of the the Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFACQ) at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In this capacity, she is the patient representative on the Pharmacy QA Committee, the Fertility + Cancer Advisory Board, the Integrative Medicine Advisory Board, as well as on several Technology, Informatics, Strategy, and Innovation initiatives.
ResearchThompson is the Patient Co-Investigator on a grant-based initiative to improve access to supportive and end-of-life care, using telemedicine to enable Sloan Kettering providers reach patients at home.
Thompson has advised the Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) initiative, as an NIH/NCI Patient Advocate. She is also is a standing member of the Merit Review Board for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Initiative (PCORI), with a concentration on the Improving Healthcare Systems grant track.
EntrepreneurMelissa Thompson was the founder and CEO of TalkSession – a healthcare technology platform that virtually integrated mental healthcare providers with patients, using superior predictive analytics for remote patient monitoring and care.
Thompson was lauded as Entrepreneur of the Year and Innovator of the Year, awarded by the International Women in Business (2013), selected as a “Healthcare Transformer” for the GE & StartUp Health Academy, and is a proud alumna of the 2013 Life Sciences class of Springboard Enterprises — a non-profit that supports female-founded businesses in healthcare and life sciences.
WIRED’s Dec. 2013 issue featured TalkSession, guest-curated by Bill Gates, as a “game-changer” under Gates’ headline essay, “Let’s Fix the World.“
In September 2013, TalkSession was highlighted by the White House as an innovative technology that would change the future of behavioral healthcare in a presentation attended by President Barack Obama and live-streamed on WhiteHouse.gov.
Previously, Thompson was an Analyst at Goldman Sachs where she traded emerging market derivative securities and also in commodity derivative hedge fund sales.
EducationMelissa Thompson holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, a BA in Economics and Chinese from Barnard College and studied at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China. She has taken additional coursework at Yale School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Cancer Biology, Breast Cancer, Genomic Data, and Data Science.
AwardsThompson was recently listed as a “Top 40 Under 40” by Connecticut Magazine; she was awarded the Ruth Ravich Award for Patient Advocacy, and in June 2018, named a “Top 40 Under 40 in Cancer”, recognizing individuals shaping the future of cancer care.
Thompson resides in Connecticut with her daughter.