I'm Melanie Hartman.
I grew up outside Pittsburgh, PA, in a loving home that valued family, education, hard work, and integrity. My maternal grandparents were Italian immigrants who believed family always came first, and who saw our communities as extensions of our nuclear families. I was just 15 when my dad contracted viral encephalitis and fell into a coma. The next six weeks were heart-wrenching as we considered the sadness and uncertainty that a life without him would bring. Thankfully, he survived, but, as the eldest of three daughters, I now felt responsible for making sure my family was always taken care of. I studied diligently through high school and college to obtain my B.S. in Pharmacy, became a staff pharmacist in a retail chain pharmacy after graduation and ultimately, a pharmacy manager in Pittsburgh. When I was 25, my dad was diagnosed with cancer, and I switched to the evening shift so I could care for him during the day while my mother and sisters stayed with him in the evenings. A few years after my father’s passing, my personal life brought me to Michigan. I worked as a staff pharmacist at the University of Michigan Medical Center and later entered Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, where I earned my MD degree at age 37. My husband, Gary, was an engineer in the automotive industry until he founded a small business in Oakland County manufacturing medical devices. His company is now producing ventilator parts for the fight against COVID-19. I’ve called Michigan “home” since 1994, and I’m so proud that this is the place Gary and I chose to further our careers and start our family.
Caring for others requires adaptability and resilience.
Throughout my life, I’ve learned that caring for others requires adaptability and resilience. I experienced this directly after our first child was born and I paused my medical career to raise our family. We also decided to home educate our children and quickly became passionate about education. In conjunction with similarly minded parents, we established and led a group of students and families with similar education goals, including coordinating courses with local university professors and experiential field trips. When our daughters began attending Stoney Creek High School, I served on the PTSA Executive Board as Vice President of Membership and later as Green Schools Chair, where I obtained Recycle Bank grants and helped to found the Green Club with my daughter and establish a more robust recycling program within the school. I’ve also been a board member of the Oakland Youth Orchestras, Tuesday Musicale, and the Stoney Creek Music Boosters. I’m proud to have given my time and energy to our schools and community organizations that play such a vital role in shaping our children’s futures.
My experience working at the Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic in Pontiac, which provides free medical and dental care to underserved residents, as well as being a member of of the Rochester Community Emergency Response Team, has shown me the importance of standing up for one another and sharing your unique skills and talents with your community.
Experience to guide
us through unprecedented times.
I became motivated to get involved with the Michigan Democratic Party during Hillary Clinton’s first campaign in 2008, and my daughters and I worked on Obama’s campaign once he became the Presidential nominee. Most recently, I’ve spent eight years as a precinct delegate, helping to register people to vote and sharing information about the Democratic candidates running in our district. I have also served as an officer on the Oakland County Democratic Party board, and am a delegate of both the Michigan Democratic 8th Congressional District and the MDP State Central Committee. Learning about how these important Democratic organizations function and helping candidates up and down the ballot run for office has driven me to become even more involved in the leadership of our county. Now, I want to use my experience as a long-term Oakland County resident, medical professional, and engaged community member to guide us through the unprecedented times ahead.
"As both a doctor and an active member of the community, Melanie has dedicated her life to helping others. She is exactly the kind of thoughtful and innovative public servant Oakland County needs!"
- Tim Greimel, Former Democratic House Leader
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