Full Name
Molly Welch-Marahar
Speaker Bio
As State Administrative Manager of the Strategic Alignment & Engagement Section in the Policy & Planning Division at the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Molly Welch Marahar oversees the implementation of MDHHS strategic priorities related to Social Determinants of Health, Opioids, and Health Information Technology. Previous to this role, Molly worked as an Opioid Policy Specialist in the Policy and Strategic Initiatives Section of Policy & Planning. In this role, she led strategic opioid initiatives focused on the justice-involved population, including expanding access to medications to treat opioid use disorder in jails and prisons and establishing programs to deflect individuals with substance use disorder from the arrest. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Molly served as a team lead on MDHHS COVID hotline and inbox, and as a deputy lead for content development.

Prior to her work with the State of Michigan, Molly worked for the Center for Health and Research Transformation at the University of Michigan leading projects in behavioral health, publishing briefs on health policy, and organizing local community action around opioids. Before beginning her career in policy, Molly worked in direct service as a peer recovery coach and case manager at Dawn Farm, and as a clerk at the Washtenaw County Public Defender. Her experience in direct service was the impetus behind Molly’s decision to work toward health policy that centers the experiences of the people served.

As a person in long term recovery from substance use disorder, Molly strives to elevate and reflect voices with lived experience to affect policy change and improve the landscape of resources for people who use drugs. Molly advocates for more equitable and accessible health care in her community through serving on several boards, committees, and patient advisory councils, including as regional board representative for Community Mental Health Partnership of Southeast Michigan and board trustee for Packard Health, a local federally qualified health center.

Molly holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of General Studies, also from the University of Michigan.
Molly Welch-Marahar