Jay A. Perman, MD, was appointed president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) effective July 1, 2010. He has quickly made a huge impact on UMB, the state’s only public health, law, and human services university, by stressing civility, interprofessional research and education, and outreach to the community. A pediatric gastroenterologist, Perman continues to practice medicine through his weekly President’s Clinic, where he teaches team-based health care to students of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, dentistry, social work, and law while treating pediatric patients.
Perman also is the driving force behind the University’s 2011-2016 strategic plan. In addition, he has formed an Interprofessional Education Task Force, a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, and has improved internal communications with a monthly newsletter, group Q&A sessions, and a 24-hour “Ask the President” Web link. In November 2011, he co-hosted the state’s first Summit on Childhood Obesity with the state of Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), which attracted 400 health care professionals, educators, researchers, and government officials. It spawned the Institute for a Healthiest Maryland, which Perman co-chairs with Joshua Sharfstein, MD, secretary of the DHMH. The Institute seeks to measurably improve the health of Maryland citizens by supporting community transformation efforts, translating public health research into practice, and providing technical assistance to local health departments and community organizations. A principal focus of this effort is childhood obesity.
Perman’s collaborative nature also served him well when the University System of Maryland Board of Regents approved MPowering the State, an innovative and structured collaboration between UMB and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). Perman and UMCP President Wallace D. Loh, PhD, continue to work together to lead this initiative that will leverage the considerable strengths of the two universities to attract exceptional faculty, better serve students, improve technology transfer, effectively commercialize research for the betterment of mankind, and position the state in a new economic reality.
Perman has stressed civility in various forums, including using it as the primary topic in the 2012-2013 President’s Symposium and White Paper Project. This is an interprofessional initiative that engages faculty, staff, and students from all of UMB’s schools and academic programs in a yearlong conversation on a topic that is of interest to the University and its community. Urban renewal was the 2011-2012 topic embraced by Perman, who, among his other West Baltimore outreach initiatives, is co-chair of the Westside Task Force with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Perman returned to the UMB campus where he chaired the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine from 1999 to 2004. He served as dean and vice president for clinical affairs at the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Medicine from 2004 to 2010. At UK, Perman was responsible for the leadership and professional management of the College of Medicine’s research, educational, clinical and administrative activities, academic departments, and research centers. Total all-source revenues grew by $150 million to $500 million in Fiscal Year 2009 under his leadership.
Perman received a Doctor of Medicine degree with Distinction in 1972 from Northwestern University. Following his residency in pediatrics at Northwestern University Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago in 1975, he completed a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at Harvard Medical School and at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston in 1977.
From 1977 to 1984, he was an assistant professor and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. Perman first came to Baltimore to work at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from 1984 to 1996, serving as a professor of pediatrics and head of several divisions. From 1996 to 1999, Perman was the Jessie Ball duPont Professor and chair in the Department of Pediatrics at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical College of Virginia in Richmond.
Perman's long and distinguished career includes service on many national, state, and local organizations, boards, and committees including the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Deans, The Children's Cancer Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Greater Baltimore Committee. While at UK, he received the President's Award for Diversity and the Public Health Hero Award from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County government, and he has been listed among The Best Doctors in America since 2001. He is a past president of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, a former section chair of the American Gastroenterological Association, and a former Executive Committee member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Perman also currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Greater Baltimore Committee, the Hippodrome Foundation, and the Downtown Partnership.
A native of Chicago, Perman and his wife, Andrea, a research nurse, have four adult children and reside in Baltimore.