Greg Merritt grew up in rural Loami, Illinois (pop. 800) where he escaped poverty through education. He is the first in his extended family to receive a college degree and the only family member who has earned a Ph.D. He received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Higher Education Administration (focused on Teaching and Learning) and his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Bradley University. He spent more than 30 years working in University Housing (18 of those at the University of Michigan), helping residents to build positive communities that appreciate and celebrate diversity, helping residents and staff to learn from one another, and experimenting with innovative ways to design buildings and programs.
After experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest and a heart attack in 2012, he decided to live his gifted second life in a new second career as the Founder of Patient is Partner, where he brings his experience as an educator, a community builder and a “questionologist” to the healthcare world and hopes to find ways to create authentic partnerships between patients (their family and care partners) and the healthcare team.
He has spent the past three years studying, speaking, and writing on the topic of authentic patient partnerships both in research and practice. Some of the partnerships have included PCORI research, Ascension Graduate Medical Education, Million Hearts, Health e-heart Alliance, Savvy Co-op, Wego Health, and Michigan Medicine.
He is grateful to his bride of 20 years, his three dogs who keep him walking, and the folks at Michigan Medicine for saving his life.