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Melva T. Covington, MPH, MBA, PhD Co-Founder,
Managing Director 


Dr. Melva T. Covington has served in leadership roles over the past 20 years focused on research and advocacy in evidence generation, disruptive technologies, expanded access to vulnerable populations, and promoting inclusion in business systems. In addition to being a co-founder of PEP!IN and founder of AGAPE Strategic Solutions of Maryland start-ups, she also serves as Senior Pastor of Abundant Life Bible Church in Hyattsville, MD. She has a strong background in health economics and outcomes research (HEOR), public health practice, qualitative research designs, and market intelligence. These competencies enable her to combine diversity, equity, and inclusion insight with deep analytic expertise for application across therapeutic areas, healthcare channels, clinical operations management, and policy development.

Melva has leadership experience in multiple functional areas, including strategic planning, business development, medical affairs, health policy, and stakeholder engagement. She has also served as US and Global lead in RWE/HEOR Strategy, Evidence Generation, Clinical Operations, Market Access, and Scientific Communications. Her contributions include commercializing launch excellence, executing real-world analysis, and developing patient registries, customer engagement models, and patient recruitment strategies. She is very engaged in building leadership skills and mentoring others in their personal and professional growth.

"From The Time That I Was a Little Girl, I Was Incredibly Curious."

From the time that I was a little girl, I was incredibly curious. I wanted to tinker with things or get into places I was not supposed to be. For example, when I was about six, my mom bought me a ballerina doll that spun around when you pressed the tiara on her head. My blessed mom looked adoringly, expecting me to appreciate its beauty as the doll performed a perfect silhouette while balancing on one toe. Instead, I immediately popped off its head to see inside and try to understand the mechanics behind the spin. What was in there that made her work and enabled this toy to defy the odds of gravity? Early on, I wanted to challenge the assumptions and expectations of what my role should be.   

However, nothing was more impactful to my worldview than my first graduate classes in public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I sat puzzled as to why nearly every health statistic associated with people of color was negative – really bad stats. Surely there was some positive news or aspect about races or cultures, other than the majority, that were profiled positively!

That began my quest as a researcher to find, understand, and present evidence that showed, in no uncertain terms, that value existed in diverse communities and not merely the risk factors associated with poor outcomes. After all, I grew up in a nurturing, middle-class environment in Washington, DC, surrounded by a family who instilled in my two brothers and me that nothing was impossible if you had faith and love. I did not see or experience the level of devastation that I was reading about in the research reports. Instead, my spiritual and cultural environment reinforced that I was in charge of my destiny and had the power to create my value as I perceived it. It was not dependent on an external paradigm that did not see or understand my contribution! That, to me, is the backbone of what we are doing at PEP!IN.  We believe that every person has the ability, tenacity, and even the God-created right as human beings to make good decisions and rise to the levels of gifting within themselves. If you fall, have the grit to get up and try it again! Now I am under no illusion that eliminating disparities in health outcomes seems impossible to achieve and at odds with rational thought. But that is where empowered people, communities, and systems come in.  What I don’t have, someone else might, and together we can build a path to achieve what seems unachievable. The common factor is….what we believe! Nothing is impossible to them that believe!

Therefore, I believe that we can create a pathway to eliminate disparities in racial, ethnic, and socially based outcomes through a platform of evidence-driven tools, research, and relationship networks that compel us to do better – think better – see the possibilities better! This is the motivation behind empowered thinking. Why? Because it is in there, just like that ballerina doll!


If you're serious about being an active participant in addressing the issues surrounding maternal health and morbidity and the lack of diversity in clinical trials. Let's connect.

Melva Covington, MPH, MBA, PhD

Co-Founder and Managing Director

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