graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor degree in occupational therapy. Melanie created a group in Washington, D.C. for treating toddlers with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and worked to support the caregivers for those children. In Long Beach, Werts worked at Long Beach Memorial Hospital for occupational therapy and trained nursing aides on rehabilitation. Then she transitioned to home health agencies in the city. “I liked working one-on-one with a patient, getting to know the family, helping them return home or stay in their home and coming up with creative solutions to the challenges caused by disability,” Werts said in a statement. She is a member of Assistance League of Long Beach, AAUW and the Historical Society of Long Beach and an honorary board member of Long Beach Day Nursery.