In memoriam: Sharon Perlman, MD

Sharon Perlman, MD, an exceptional physician, colleague, teacher and patient advocate, died Dec. 11, 2016. She was 63.

Dr. Perlman was as a faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and, at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital (JHACH), was chair of the Division of Nephrology, medical director of the End Stage Renal Disease Program, medical director of the USF Specialty Clinic, and medical director of the Pediatric Nephrology Clinic. She also served as the chief of staff at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital for several years.

As a pediatric nephrologist, Dr. Perlman was a long-time advocate for providing supportive services to children with renal disease.

“Advocacy for the special needs of children with renal disease was a particular passion for Dr. Perlman and she tirelessly promoted the care for these children in the Tampa Bay region and nationwide. She was known nationally as a leader in her field and her advice was frequently sought by pediatricians across the country,” said Patrica Emmanuel, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

In recognition of her outstanding role as a clinician and child advocate, Dr. Perlman was awarded the JHACH Council C. Rudolph award in May 2016. This prestigious award honors physicians who have demonstrated excellence and compassion in caring for children in the community and region. In 2015 the Sharon Perlman Award of Excellence was established in her honor. The award is given to a resident who demonstrates excellence in patient care, strength of character and outstanding leadership.

“Her role as an outstanding teacher and mentor is one of her strongest legacies,” Dr. Emmanuel said. “During her 30 years of practice she defined the dedication and passion for education that has been our department’s legacy.”

In addition to her outstanding teaching and advocacy roles, Dr. Perlman was a dedicated and skilled clinician who was consistently named to the list of the Best Doctors in America and was very active in service to her profession at the local and national levels. She was a strong representative for USF at JHACH medical staff meetings, and served as the chief of staff at JHACH from 2007 to 2009. At the national level, she served as secretary-treasurer of the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology, and was president-elect in 2014 before she stepped down due to her illness. As a testament to her remarkable contributions to her field, Dr. Perlman was recently named a 2017 recipient of the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology’s Founders’ Award. The award, which recognizes individuals who have made a unique and lasting contribution to the field of pediatric nephrology, will be awarded posthumously at the Society’s annual meeting to be held in San Francisco in May, 2017.

Dr. Perlman joined the USF Pediatrics Division of Nephrology in 1994 after a several years in private practices in both Tampa and St. Petersburg. During her career in the Tampa Bay area she also served on the medical staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Tampa General Hospital, and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.  Prior to that, she served on the faculty at the Medical College of Georgia.

Dr. Perlman attended Albert Einstein College of Medicine, completed her pediatric residency at Tufts-New England Medicine and a chief residency at Emory University, and her nephrology fellowship at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.

Dr. Perlman is survived by her loving and adoring husband, Ron Frankel, two daughters, Jaymie (Tracy) and Meagen (Dom), two grandchildren, Jackson and Allison, her sisters, Lauren (Mike, deceased) and Robin P. (Robin W.), and their children, Mark (Danielle), Debbie (Tom), Stephen (Evonne), Eric and Michelle, as well as many nephew and nieces.

Funeral services are pending at this time, and will be announced by David C. Gross Funeral Homes. A funeral service will be held at Temple Beth El in St. Petersburg, FL, with burial at Sarasota National Cemetery, Sarasota, Florida.