The Institute for Innovation Board Members

Deirdre Mylod, PhD
Executive Director
Institute for Innovation

Dr. Deirdre Mylod is responsible for advancing the understanding of the entire patient experience –including patient satisfaction, clinical processes and outcomes. Through the Institute, Mylod partners with leading health care systems to examine and implement transformative concepts to improve the patient experience and reduce patient suffering. As a prominent thought leader in the industry, Mylod regularly lectures on topics including public policy, legislation, and the future of patient experience. Mylod has extensive expertise in survey development, methodology and statistics.

In addition, Mylod serves as the Senior Vice President of Decision Analytics & Research at Press Ganey. During more than 19 years at Press Ganey, Mylod has served in a variety of key leadership roles. Most recently, she served as the Vice President of Improvement Services and led the teams who deliver clients quality improvement strategies and solutions to enhance their performance in patient evaluations of care. Earlier, Mylod was responsible for developing Press Ganey’s HCAHPS initiative and managed clients’ participation in state reporting projects. 

Mylod is a liaison to the National Quality Forum and has served on committees on public reporting through the NQF. Mylod holds a master’s degree and PhD in psychology from the University of Notre Dame.


thomas-lee-institute-bioThomas H. Lee, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Press Ganey

Dr. Thomas Lee has more than three decades of experience in health care performance improvement as a practicing physician, a leader in provider organizations, researcher and health policy expert. He is a published author who has contributed significant leadership and research to improving patient care and outcomes. Dr. Lee has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to improving the patient experience, to better serve patients and reduce suffering as the industry works to control costs and improve quality. 

Dr. Lee is an internist and cardiologist and practices primary care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. As Chief Medical Officer at Press Ganey, Dr. Lee is responsible for developing clinical and operational strategies to help providers across the nation measure and improve the patient experience. The overarching goal is to reduce the suffering of patients as they undergo care and improve the value of that care. Dr. Lee previously served as Network President for Partners Healthcare System and CEO for Partners Community HealthCare, Inc., the integrated delivery system founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. In this capacity, Dr. Lee oversaw efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of care.

Dr. Lee is a member of the Board of Directors of Geisinger Health System, the Special Medical Advisory Committee (SMAC) of the Veterans Administration and the Panel of Health Advisors of the Congressional Budget Office, and a member of the Editorial Board of The New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Lee is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is currently on leave from both positions.

Dr. Lee frequently lectures on health care and the patient experience and has authored more than 250 academic articles and two books, Chaos and Organization in Health Care and Eugene Braunwald and the Rise of Modern Medicine

Named in his honor, the Thomas H. Lee Award for Excellence in Primary Care is given each year to recognize a primary care physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital who meets the needs of his or her patients exceptionally well. 

Dr. Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in history and science from Harvard College, a medical degree from Cornell University Medical College and a master’s degree in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.


jim-merlino-institute-bioJames Merlino, MD
President and Chief Medical Officer of the Strategic Consulting Division
Press Ganey

Dr. James Merlino joined Press Ganey as president and chief medical officer of the strategic consulting division in 2015. As an accomplished surgeon and industry leader in improving the patient experience, Jim draws from more than two decades of health care experience to oversee Press Ganey’s consultancy division. Under his leadership, the consultancy team helps providers improve the delivery of safe, high-quality care in a patient-centered environment.


Prior to joining Press Ganey, Jim served as chief experience officer and associate chief of staff at the Cleveland Clinic health system, as well as a practicing staff colorectal surgeon at the organization’s Digestive Disease Institute.  At Cleveland Clinic, Jim was responsible for leading strategic programs to improve the patient experience across the system.  He spearheaded numerous groundbreaking initiatives to ensure the highest standards for patient care, improve patient access and referring physician relations. He championed organizational cultural alignment around the patient as a key component of patient-centered care.

Previously, Jim practiced at the MetroHealth System, one of the largest safety-net hospitals in the country. There, he was involved in several quality initiatives, including implementing care paths for the management of complex colorectal surgery patients and advocating for the implementation of the American College of Surgeons NSQIP program to the organization.

Jim is actively involved in many industry organizations and non-profits dedicated to improving patient care. He is the founder and current president of the Association for Patient Experience, a nonprofit organization committed to enhancing the clinical, physical and emotional health care environment.  Jim is also a founding executive council member of the Institute for Innovation, a nonprofit research collaborative dedicated to advancing the science of improving patient care and performance.

Recognized as an expert in improving the patient experience, Jim is frequently invited to speak on strategies to redefine care around the needs of the patient, and has developed and led patient experience programming around the world. In 2013, Jim was named to HealthLeaders magazine’s list of “20 people who make healthcare better.” He has been widely published in academic papers, and in 2014, released his first book, “Service Fanatics: How to Build Superior Patient Experience the Cleveland Clinic Way.”

Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Baldwin-Wallace College and a medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Board certified in general and colorectal surgery, Jim completed his general surgery training at University Hospitals of Cleveland and his colorectal surgery fellowship at Cleveland Clinic.  During his residency, he took a two year research sabbatical to complete an AHRQ funded research fellowship in Health Services Research. He lives in Richfield, Ohio with his wife, Dr. Amy Merlino, who is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic.


patrick-ryan-institute-bioPatrick T. Ryan
Chief Executive Officer
Press Ganey

Patrick T. Ryan has more than three decades of experience working with health care leaders and providers, and a passion to continuously improve the safety, quality, and accessibility of care for patients. Ryan spearheaded the idea for the Institute and founded it through funding by Press Ganey.

As a client of Press Ganey for 12 years of his career, Ryan understands the value of insights derived from listening to the patient’s voice. A longtime health care executive with a deep understanding of the complexities of managing a health system, as Press Ganey’s CEO, Ryan has now set out with the Press Ganey team to transform the industry’s approach to understanding, measuring and improving the patient experience. 
Through Ryan’s leadership, Press Ganey has advanced the concept of reducing patient suffering by addressing avoidable defects in care to achieve a truly patient-centered culture. 

Throughout his career in health care, Ryan has served on numerous public, private and charitable boards. Ryan currently serves on the board of trustees of the Lahey Clinic, a physician-driven medical center and teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine, as well as the board of Atrius Health, one of the largest physician groups in the nation. Ryan frequently meets and presents to health systems and provides commentary and perspective for media. 

Prior to joining Press Ganey, Ryan served as the CEO of The Broadlane Group, a leading provider of cost management and supply chain solutions to acute, post-acute, and outpatient service markets. Ryan served as the CEO and a director of PolyMedica Corporation, until its acquisition by Medco Health Solutions in 2007. Operating under the well-known Liberty Medical Supply brand, PolyMedica was the nation's largest direct-to-consumer provider of blood glucose testing supplies and related services for more than 1 million active patients throughout the United States. Ryan also served as an executive leader at Physicians Dialysis, Inc., Principalcare Inc., ImageAmerica Inc., and R.B. Diagnostics.

Ryan is actively involved in numerous community efforts and has served on charitable boards throughout his career. He is keenly focused on advancing the quality of education and sports activities for economically disadvantaged youth through various family scholarship programs. He presently serves on the board of directors of Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut and is a director of Affiliated Managers Group, Inc.

Ryan holds a bachelor of arts in political science and sociology from the University of Rochester.