Meet our staff

With a wide range of expertise, Premier Research Institute’s staff includes economists, scientists, researchers, healthcare specialists and system analysts. Driven by the challenge of solving complex problems, we are committed to improving the quality and cost of healthcare.

John Martin, MPH

Executive director

In his role as executive director, John Martin leads the operations of the Premier Research Institute. With oversight of research activities and strategic product methodology development, Martin works with healthcare organizations, product development teams and field representatives on research and methodology issues.

With over 15 years of healthcare research experience, Martin has worked with pharmaceutical, nonprofit, academic and governmental agencies on projects ranging from clinical research to outcomes and health economic research. He also serves on the Improving Health Systems Advisory Panel for PCORI.

Martin earned his bachelor’s degree from Sterling College, a master’s degree in public health from the University of Kansas and is a doctoral candidate at Rutgers University, School of Public Health.


Michael Duan, MS


In his role as statistician, Michael Duan leads methodological development of hospital outcome measures and oversees the implementation of those methods in hospital Web applications. With over 10 years of experience in healthcare data, Duan bridges the gap between clinical topics and technical data languages.

With a proven track record of success with institutions such as the Commonwealth Fund, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Duan has supported multiple Premier research initiatives and collaborations with healthcare research organizations.

Duan earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Sichuan University in China and a master’s degree in applied economics from Wright State University.

Mary Crimmins, MA

Director qualitative research

In her role as director qualitative research, Mary Crimmins conducts survey research, qualitative analysis and program evaluation in support of healthcare transformation. She leads the development of mixed methods studies to promote understanding of the multiple factors that influence the success of emerging processes and practices.

With over 14 years of experience in health services research, Crimmins has specialized in evaluating learning communities and knowledge development efforts. Prior to joining Premier she conducted several studies for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Her current research interests are Accountable Care Organizations, population health, and the use of health information to improve patient outcomes. Crimmins previously worked on software development projects for safety net organizations and served as faculty for community health worker programs. Crimmins trained as a sociologist and received her BA from Antioch College and her MA from the University of Chicago.

Marla Kugel, MPH

Principal research scientist

In her role as principal research scientist, Marla Kugel conducts analyses, using publicly available data sources as well as Premier member data collected through Premier applications, to measure improvement and support policy changes to new and updated Medicare regulations and legislation. She helps develop and maintain models that measure the hospital-specific financial impact of healthcare reform based on federal policies that affect Medicare provider payments.

Kugel is experienced with the analyses of large databases, including Medicare administrative data, the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS).

Kugel earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in chronic disease epidemiology from the Yale School of Epidemiology and Public Health.


Timothy Lowe, PhD

Director, healthcare research

In his role as director, healthcare research, Timothy Lowe provides research and analytical support for patient safety and healthcare quality improvement for hospitals, clinics, colleges/universities and government agencies. He leads the development of waste measures and is the inventor of the Premier patented Waste Index.

With over 15 years of experience in large and small scale outcome studies using state and federal data assets, Lowe specializes in outcomes evaluation, quantitative and qualitative analysis and scientific writing. Lowe is also a lecturer at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Lowe previously worked at Carolinas HealthCare System, Carolinas Center for Injury Prevention and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. He developed the statewide Patient Safety Reporting System for New Jersey hospitals and the preliminary design for the Web-based nursing home quality reporting system for the State of Maryland. He also created the first Web-based pediatric quality assessment system for a U.S. hospital.

Lowe is a licensed nursing home administrator and social worker with a bachelor’s degree from Hope College and a Master of Social Work degree and PhD from Rutgers University.


Dwight Neilson, MS

Senior research analyst

In his role as senior research analyst, Dwight Neilson is responsible for data management and analytical programming.

Neilson has extensive experience in the analysis of data for epidemiologic studies for pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, health services utilization studies, Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS), health plan member utilization of healthcare services, physician performance metrics, and healthcare education effectiveness research.

A SAS certified base programmer, Neilson earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics from Temple University and a master’s degree in applied statistics from West Chester University.