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James Merlino, MD, is the Chief Experience Officer of Cleveland Clinic Health System and is a practicing staff colorectal surgeon. He is the founder and current president of the Association for Patient Experience. He leads initiatives to improve the patient experience, physician-patient communication, patient access, and referring physician relations across the Cleveland Clinic Health System. He speaks to boards, physicians, and other healthcare leaders throughout the world on the importance of aligning healthcare culture around the patient and delivering on strategies to improve the patient experience. He has authored several articles and is widely quoted in publications. His work and comments have appeared in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and Yahoo Finance, among many other outlets. In 2013, HealthLeaders magazine named him one of "20 People Who Make Healthcare Better."

Dr. Merlino received his undergraduate degree in business administration at Baldwin-Wallace College and his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in general surgery at University Hospitals of Cleveland, and his fellowship in colorectal surgery at Cleveland Clinic. During his residency, he took a two-year research sabbatical to complete an AHRQfunded research fellowship in health services research. Dr. Merlino is certified by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery and the American Board of General Surgery. His wife, Amy, is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic.

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