Melissa "Mel" Henriksen
Senior Research Specialist
Phone: (815) 753-0323
Melissa "Mel" Henriksen, MA, is a Senior Research Specialist at CGS. For the past 10 years she has managed funded projects for the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN), the National Association of Development Agencies (NADO), the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as state and local organizations focused on healthcare and economic and community development.
Most recently, Mel has worked on county-wide economic development plans, community outreach, workforce initiatives and the economic and community impact of Illinois critical access hospitals. These projects have included coordinating surveys, community focus groups, working with hospital and healthcare leaders to identify potential challenges and solutions, and presenting report findings to key stakeholders at the local, state and national levels. She spent several years on the staff of a regional planning agency in Iowa working with local government agencies on planning and economic development projects.
Melissa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Communication and a Master of Arts in Public Policy, both from the University of Northern Iowa. She is a board member for the Illinois Rural Health Association and is the chair of its Research and Education and Conference Committee. In addition she is a Kettering Foundation Research Fellow and recently received the ICAHN Service Award for her research in rural healthcare and economic impact.
Outside of CGS, Mel loves to play volleyball, do anything outdoors, and hang out with her nieces and nephews any chance she gets.