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Advocate Spotlight: Melanie Carvell

by Pamela M. on Monday, April 7, 2014

Melanie Carvell is a physical therapist and Director of Sanford’s Women’s Health Center in Bismarck, North Dakota. Melanie also leads Sanford Health’s Wellness at Work team which was chosen as an American Heart Association “Fit Friendly Worksite” this year.  She has also headed up the program Women’s Heart Advantage, taking the leading role in providing heart screenings in her community. She has been a volunteer for the Heart Association for many years, with one of her highlights being a lobbyist for the Go Red campaign on Capitol Hill.

In her spare time Melanie is an accomplished triathlete who competes nationally and internationally. She is a six-time All American and has represented the United States on 8 World Championship triathlon teams, winning a bronze medal in Germany in 1999. Melanie has been North Dakota‘s Sportscasters and Sportswriters Athlete of the Year as well as the North Dakota Prairie Rose Games top female athlete. In 2003 she received the “Picture of Health” award from the State of North Dakota for being the top leader in advancing women’s health.

But her biggest accomplishment and passion is passing on her love of wellness to others. She has directed the *** Cancer Walk/Run for the past 18 years and also directs the Great American Bike Race to benefit families of children with cerebral palsy and related disorders. Melanie also hosts the Arthritis Walk Run and volunteers with the Bismarck Marathon.  This year she and several other Bismarck runners formed a running group for local kids at risk called “Team Kaizen.”  She loves teaching running, triathlon, and cross country workshops to local groups and really enjoys motivational speaking and being a media spokesperson on health.  It is always her mission to get more people involved in the joys and benefits of physical activity. Melanie’s inspirational book Running with the Antelope, Lessons of Life, Fitness and Grit on the Northern Plains is due to be published this June by the Dakota Institute. Her hope with the book is that it will inspire others to become more active and to never give up hope when faced with challenges.

Melanie and her husband Charles have three grown children and two grandchildren.

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