Cleveland Clinic nabs James Merlino from Press Ganey

Cleveland Clinic building
Merlino will oversee the Office of Patient Experience, Enterprise Quality & Safety and the Office of Continuous Improvement at Cleveland Clinic. (Courtesy of Cleveland Clinic)

Cleveland Clinic named James Merlino, M.D., to its newly created post of chief clinical transformation officer. 

In this position, Merlino will oversee the Office of Patient Experience, Enterprise Quality & Safety and the Office of Continuous Improvement. He will report directly to Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic, M.D.

He will begin the role Dec. 1. 


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James Merlino
(Cleveland Clinic)

Merlino has been an executive at South Bend, Indiana-based healthcare company Press Ganey, most recently as its chief transformation officer, for nearly five years. He also served as president and chief medical officer of Press Ganey's strategic consulting division and led "transformational strategy engagements" with more than 70 of the nation’s largest healthcare organizations.

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This is a return to Cleveland Clinic for Melino, where he previously served as a colorectal surgeon as well as chief experience officer and associate chief of staff from 2009 to 2014.

“By welcoming Dr. Merlino back to Cleveland Clinic, we’re gaining a national expert in the fields of patient experience and quality and safety,” Mihaljevic said in a statement. “His experiences make him uniquely qualified to lead our clinical transformation program and to continue building on our successes in quality, safety, and patient experience.”

Merlino holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Baldwin-Wallace College and a medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He completed his general surgery training at University Hospitals of Cleveland and his colorectal surgery fellowship at Cleveland Clinic.

Merlino's wife, Amy Merlino, M.D., is Cleveland Clinic’s chief medical information officer and a maternal-fetal medicine specialist.