top of page

About Melissa Pynnonen, MD, MSc

Home > About

Professor of Otolaryngology, Michigan Medicine

Current Role:

Chief of Rhinology and Skull Base Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology.


Melissa Pynnonen, a distinguished figure in the field of Otolaryngology, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her role at Michigan Medicine.

Student Outdoors

Melissa began her academic journey at Western Michigan University, subsequently earning her medical

degree from the University of Michigan. She completed her residency in otolaryngology at the University of Michigan, and complimented her medical training with a Master of Health Care Research (MSc) from the University of Michigan. She is a certified Executive Coach and is pursuing a Master of Organization Development at Bowling Green State University’s Schmidthorst College of Business.

Professional Achievements

Melissa Pynnonen brings over 20 years of dynamic leadership experience to the realm of healthcare consulting. As Medical Director for a multi-specialty clinic at the University of Michigan, Dr. Pynnonen spearheaded initiatives that fostered a culture of collaboration and innovation, leading to remarkable financial growth and developing recognition as a preferred site among providers and staff.


Under Dr. Pynnonen's guidance, the center thrived, surpassing visit and revenue projections in its first year. Her team played pivotal roles in two transformative initiatives aimed at enhancing primary care services. By joining a multi-year Primary Care Transformation initiative, they successfully improved patient access and care quality. Additionally, through a collaborative change process, they developed and implemented team-based care, enhancing both patient experience and provider efficiency.



Business Team

Amidst the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Pynnonen demonstrated exceptional leadership by

effectively repurposing the clinic to accommodate the needs of the community. Her team absorbed 13 primary care clinics into their operations, while also spearheading the implementation of Covid testing and treatment protocols. Throughout this period, Dr. Pynnonen ensured the safety and well-being ofboth patients and staff. Now, drawing upon her extensive expertise and demonstrated success, Dr. Pynnonen is dedicated to empowering organizations to excel through leadership coaching and team development. Effective leadership hinges on a solid grounding in personal values, enabling leaders to guide with clarity and assurance. Cultivating a positive culture is essential for teams to flourish. Dr. Pynnonen specializes in

bolstering teams through the enhancement of emotional intelligence, fostering a positive work environment, and driving lasting change through collaborative efforts.

Leadership Philosophy

Melissa’s experience during the pandemic highlighted her commitment to compassion, humility, and authenticity, especially in times of crisis. She believes in the power of these values to create a positive impact in healthcare and beyond.


Executive Coaching and Lifelong Learning

Coaching Approach:

Melissa is dedicated to continuous learning, and executive coaching has played a transformative role in her own career journey. She is commited to assisting healthcare executives as a strategic thinking

partner, guiding her clients through gentle challenges to help them realize their full potential.

Personal Interests:

Outside of her professional life, Melissa enjoys traveling, learning piano, and cherishing life’s small joys, often celebrated over meals with friends.

bottom of page