Panamanian- American Latina Dedicated to Serving the Underserved
Panamanian- American Latina Dedicated to Serving the Underserved

Meet Melida Akiti, Hispanic Woman of Distinction, Vice President Ambulatory & Community Services, Memorial Healthcare Systems

 “Our role is to bring up other women, especially in today’s society where division is more prevalent than unity.  Many of us come from a multi generation home so we learn tolerance and acceptance. We are resilient, we are strong, and we are inclusive.”

For the last five years, Melida Akiti has dedicated her time to serving the underserved in both her professional and volunteer life. In her role at Memorial, she is responsible for providing primary care services to the uninsured. As a result of her dedication and resourcefulness, she has created one of the best primary care services, for it is culturally sensitive and recognizes the importance of respecting the dignity of those in need.

Born in Panama, a Black Latina, Melida has recently been appointed to serve on the Broward County Racial Task Force, after a national movement which brought attention to the fact that underserved communities have been marginalized.

Her volunteer work is also most impressive.  She has been on the board of ChildNet since 2014, and was Chair from 2017-2019, during which time her chairmanship led to the transformation of the organization. In that role, she was responsible for the Children Welfare System for Broward and Palm Beach.

Dedicated to her passion for the underserved, Melida also represented the hospital district on the Homeless Coalition dedicated to providing permanent homes for our homeless population.  In addition, as a longtime board member of Hispanic Unity, she raised funds that provided access and awareness to newly arrived immigrants into the community. And as a board member of Brother Big Sister, she shares her love and passion for foster children.

The first Black Latina to be elected as Board Chair of the Health Foundation of South Florida, a $150 million dollar Foundation with a goal to improve the health of the marginalize community, Melida was gratified to approve a $1.5 million to be used for COVID pandemic support. This is not only for testing, but it is also for the education of those in the black and Hispanic community who are reluctant to be vaccinated.

Melida earned her Master of Social Work at Barry University. She has been recognized by numerous organizations including as follows: the Broward County US Conference on Aid Recognition and the Healthy Mother, Healthy Babies “Mother of the Year,” to name a few. Melida has been married for 34 years to her husband John; they have one daughter, and live in Davie, Florida.

  We are proud to announce the 2021 Hispanic Women of Distinction and the Latina Pioneer of the Year. 2021 Honorees:

MELIDA AKITI, VP Ambulatory & Community Service, Memorial Healthcare Systems (Broward)

YINETH SANCHEZ ASLAN – GEICO Staff Counsel, Law offices of George L. Cimballa, III (Broward)

MARIA S. ANTUNA – CEO Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County – (Palm Beach)

ERBI BLANCO-TRUE – Community Development Manager, IBERIABANK, First Horizon Bank (Miami)

THAYRA “Tye” HAUSHEER – Volunteer Community Leader AARP Florida (Miami)

HEIDI ALZATE KAUFMAN – Founder/President Heidi Alzate Consuting (Broward) JACQUELINE LOPEZ-DEVINE – Chief Clinical Officer/Chief Nursing Officer, Trustbridge ( Palm Beach)

JESSICA MARRA – Attorney, Law Firm of Kelley Kronenberg – (Broward)

JAENE MIRANDA – Pres/CEO Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County (Palm Beach)

LUBBY NAVARRO – School Board Member Miami-Dade County/Director of Government Affairs Memorial Healthcare Systems (Miami)

KIMBERLY VALENTIN – Hospice Liasion Amedisys Hospice (Broward)

CAROLINA VEIRA – Dir. Community & Corporate Partnerships IMC Health (Miami)

Juliette Ashley Valle, 2021 Hispanic Woman of Distinction Up & Comer Award JOIN US on September 10th to honor these fantastic women! Tickets $95 per person, table sponsorship $1500. For more information, sponsorship opportunities and updates visit or on Facebook.

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