The Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital community mourns the loss of our esteemed friend and colleague Frank Diamond, M.D., who passed away Sunday night following a long illness. Dr. Diamond, a pediatric endocrinologist and diabetes specialist, retired from the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital medical staff in 2016 after nearly 40 years of caring for children from throughout our region and beyond.
“He made a lasting impact as a clinician, researcher, educator and advocate,” said Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital President and Vice Dean Jonathan Ellen, M.D. “Above all, he was devoted to the well-being of patients. Dr. Diamond began his career as a community-based pediatric specialist and always kept a strong focus on the needs of children and their families, helping them learn to master the challenges of their illness and become healthy and active young adults. He generously shared this patient-centered approach with us until he retired last year.”
Dr. Diamond moved to Pinellas County in 1978 after completing his pediatric endocrinology fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. After 10 years in community-based private practice, he joined the faculty of the University of South Florida College of Medicine and the endocrinology program at All Children’s Hospital (now Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital). He shared a wealth of knowledge with medical students, pediatric residents and fellows and conducted research into the complex biochemical factors associated with obesity, receiving the Dean’s Award in 2008. In 2012, he and his colleagues Allen W. Root, M.D., Pallavi Iyer, M.D., and Suzanne Jackman, M.D., joined All Children’s Specialty Physicians, a multi-specialty physician practice group, in the division of endocrinology.
“Dr. Diamond will be remembered as a remarkably kind and gentle physician,” said Tony Napolitano, M.D., chair of pediatric medicine. “His colleagues at the hospital and community pediatricians across the region learned so much from him over the years, and children and families have been the true beneficiaries of his knowledge and compassion.”
Three Florida governors appointed Dr. Diamond to the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County, where he advocated for child health and served one term as the board’s chair. He was a strong advocate for children with diabetes and other endocrine disorders, serving for a decade as president of the Florida Camp for Children and Youth with Diabetes. He was a charter member of the Pinellas County Pediatric Society and a member of the Florida Endocrine Society and the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society (and its director in 2004). He played a critical role in establishing the Fit4Allkids weight management and fitness program at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and studied clinical outcomes in program participants as a principal investigator for a Department of Health & Human Services grant.
In September 2016 Dr. Diamond received the Councill Rudolph Award from the hospital’s medical staff in recognition of his legacy of excellence and compassion in caring for children in the community and region. The award is named for Pinellas County’s first pediatrician.
His expertise also had an impact far beyond Florida. Dr. Diamond cared for patients with growth hormone resistance in Ecuador and several other countries. He was professor emeritus at the Universidad de Quito (Quito, Ecuador) and an honorary member of the College of Medicine Doctors of Azuay (Cuenca, Ecuador).
Dr. Diamond and his wife, attorney Sandra Fascell Diamond, have a long history of helping to advance the hospital’s mission and the care of children with complex and chronic illness. Sandra Diamond is vice chair of the hospital board and previously led both the All Children’s Health System and All Children’s Foundation boards. In 2008 the couple was honored with the Foundation’s William Belcher Award for their leadership, commitment and advocacy on behalf of the hospital and its patients.
Dr. Diamond is also survived by two children and two grandchildren. Ben Diamond, an attorney who represents St. Petersburg in the Florida House of Representatives, and his wife, Christina Diamond, have a son, Frankie. Daughter Sarah Diamond, M.D., is an assistant professor of medicine at Oregon Health Sciences Center. She and her husband, Steve Neiman, are the parents of Jane Neiman.
Services will be held on Thursday, May 11 at 10:30 a.m. at Temple B’nai Israel, 1685 S. Belcher Road, Clearwater, followed by a private interment. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Florida Diabetes Camp at P.O. Box 14136 Gainesville, FL 32604-2136 or online at www.floridadiabetescamp.org.
The Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital community extends deepest sympathies to the Diamond family and our profound appreciation for Dr. Diamond’s legacy of compassionate care.