General News

Remembering Sharon Perlman, M.D.

Posted on Dec 13, 2016

A message from Dr. Jonathan Ellen and Dr. Tony Napolitano:

The Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital community mourns the loss of our colleague and friend Sharon A. Perlman, M.D., who passed away on Sunday morning, December 11, after a lengthy and brave battle with cancer.  

Dr. Perlman was a compassionate physician and educator, appreciated and admired by her colleagues at both Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and in the University of South Florida (USF) Morsani College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, and respected by hundreds of pediatric resident physicians she helped to train. She also taught physicians who were completing nephrology training, providing valuable insight on renal disease in children and teens. In May 2016 she was honored by the medical staff at Johns Hopkins All Children’s with the Councill Rudolph Award for outstanding service to patients and the community as the hospital’s director of pediatric nephrology.

Above all, Dr. Perlman was treasured by her patients and their families. Upon joining Johns Hopkins All Children’s in 1988, she provided compassionate care in every area of the hospital when there was an issue that could impact a child’s renal health. Some needed her expertise for only a few months, while others continued on as patients until adulthood. She provided ongoing care and hope for patients who needed or had received a kidney transplant, encouraging and sometimes challenging patients to be as active and healthy as possible.

For nearly three decades, she was the guiding force of our pediatric nephrology program and a leader on a medical staff.  She served as chair of the division of pediatric nephrology, chief of the medical staff, and was an active member of several medical staff committees and advisory groups. She was also the medical director of the JHACH dialysis unit, guiding its growth and helping design a state-of-the-art dialysis unit in the new hospital when it opened in 2010.  A stalwart champion of the medical staff, she mentored many and found special joy in helping young female physicians as they began their physician careers and she impacted a generation of physicians who now provide care for many children in our state. 

At both the state and national level, Dr. Perlman was a compelling voice for patients with renal disease, working to ensure access to specialized services and trying to help kidney transplant patients receive the care and medication needed for long-term health. She held numerous leadership positions with the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology and received its Founders Award in May 2016.  Dr. Perlman also served on the board of directors of the Renal Physicians Association, a national organization dedicated to quality of care and advocacy.

We will miss her and will continue to be inspired by the level of excellence Dr. Perlman expected each day.

Dr. Perlman, age 63, is survived by her husband, Ron Frankel, and two daughters, Jaymie and Meagen, two grandchildren, Jackson and Allison, two sisters, nieces and nephews.   She and Ron rescued greyhounds and have been a constant participant in the JHACH volunteer pet therapy program.

A service will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, December 19 at Temple Beth El in St. Petersburg with burial at Sarasota National Cemetery in Sarasota.


Jonathan Ellen, M.D.
President, CEO and Physician-in-Chief
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
Vice Dean and Professor of Pediatrics  
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine  
Tony Napolitano, M.D.
Chair of Medicine
Medical Director, Strategic Affiliations and Transport
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital     

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