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Joseline Peña-Melnyk

Daily Record Staff//March 31, 2023

Joseline Peña-Melnyk

By Daily Record Staff

//March 31, 2023


Joseline -Melnyk

Delegate, Maryland House of Delegates


With a passion to advocate for equal health care, Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk, a Democrat representing District 21 (Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties), was named the chair last year of the Health and Government Operations Committee. She became a member of the committee in 2007 and served as vice chair from 2019 to 2022.

With a goal to reduce the number of Maryland residents that are uninsured, Peña-Melnyk worked in 2022 to increase access to health care for underserved populations. One of the bills the committee passed in 2022 provided undocumented pregnant women and her child the right to receive Medicaid coverage for up to one year. Another bill was creating a workgroup focusing on underrepresented behavioral health professionals that are Black, Asian American Pacific Islander, Latino or other ethnicities. She also focused her work on filling health care gaps in the COVID-19 pandemic aftermath.

Identifying and eliminating health disparities were the focus of several 2021 bills she sponsored including requiring health care officials to complete bias training before they renewed their licenses and creating the Maryland Health Equity Commission.

Born in the Dominican Republic, Peña-Melnyk immigrated to the United States as a child with her mother and sister. After being the first in her family to attend college, she went on to earn a Juris Doctor from State University of New York at Buffalo and worked as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office under Eric Holder. She has been a member of the Maryland General Assembly since 2007.

This profile is part of The Daily Record's Health Care Power List for 2023. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. See the full list at

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