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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, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, law, and social work. Interprofessional, team-based care is a priority of Perman’s: In 2013, he established the Center for Interprofessional Education to train all UMB students to provide high-quality, affordable health care and human services within a team-based model.
Perman is strengthening UMB’s role in improving the health and well-being of its closest neighbors. In 2013, he established the Center for Community-Based Engagement and Learning to expand UMB’s scholarly work on behalf of children and families in West Baltimore. He subsequently inaugurated the Office of Community Engagement to coordinate UMB’s varied outreach projects — again, with special emphasis on West Baltimore — and to leverage resources so that the University may respond quickly and effectively to identified community needs.
In fall 2015, Perman opened the UMB Community Engagement Center in West Baltimore to provide direct health, employment, legal, financial, and social services to nearby residents and to engage with them in neighborhood-strengthening advocacy projects. Perman has instituted local hiring and purchasing programs, provided financial and operational support to nearby neighborhood associations, and established a fund for revitalization projects undertaken by the Southwest Baltimore community. His UMB CURE Scholars Program is an intensive, long-term mentoring program for West Baltimore middle school students, intended to excite them about science and ultimately prepare them for rewarding careers in research and health care.
With Wallace Loh, PhD, president of the University of Maryland, College Park, Perman leads the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership. Through this structured alliance, the two universities have grown their scholarly collaboration, significantly increasing the number of faculty with appointments on both campuses and the volume of joint research undertaken. A collaborative commercialization office has boosted faculty inventions; technology licenses and licensing revenue; and university startups. Moreover, joint academic programs allow students access to a greater breadth of courses, research opportunities, and degrees.
Named one of Maryland’s Most Admired CEOs in 2013 by The Daily Record, Perman is focused on creating a dynamic University culture. He began this effort by establishing a consistent identity for UMB, its seven schools, and its close clinical partner, the University of Maryland Medical System. He has since created a number of cross-University groups to build and nurture a cohesive community of students, faculty, and staff, and he’s ushered in a series of UMBwide events to spur dialogue on issues of institutional significance. For instance, a yearlong Symposium and White Paper Project has tackled such topics as civility, community engagement, and interprofessionalism, and a Core Values Speaker Series brings renowned leaders to campus for a conversation on the values that guide UMB’s work.
Perman’s commitment to urban renewal is manifest in his prolific civic service. With former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Perman co-chaired the UniverCity Partnership, an effort to revitalize Baltimore City’s Westside. He chairs the board of directors of the Downtown Partnership, dedicated to improving urban vibrancy and quality of life. Moreover, he serves on the boards of the Greater Baltimore Committee, which advances economic growth, job creation, and workforce development; Baltimore–DC Campus Compact, which promotes academic and co-curricular civic service; and Baltimore’s Promise, which works to secure the health, safety, and success of the city’s youth. Perman is an ex officio member of the boards of directors of the University of Maryland Medical System and the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Perman’s leadership at UMB marks a return to the campus; he chaired the Department of Pediatrics in the University’s School of Medicine (1999‒2004), before leaving to serve as dean and vice president for clinical affairs at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine (2004‒10).
Perman received a Doctor of Medicine degree with Distinction in 1972 from Northwestern University. After his residency in pediatrics at Northwestern University Children’s Memorial Hospital (1975), he completed a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at Harvard Medical School and at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston (1977).
From 1977 to 1984, Perman was an assistant professor and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. He first came to Baltimore to work at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1984‒96), serving as a professor of pediatrics and head of several divisions. Perman was then named the Jessie Ball duPont Professor and chair in the Department of Pediatrics at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medical College of Virginia (1996‒99).
Perman’s career includes service on many national and regional boards and committees, including the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Deans, the Children’s Cancer Foundation, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Perman is a past president of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, a former section chair of the American Gastroenterological Association, and a former executive committee member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He has been listed among “The Best Doctors in America” since 2001.
A native of Chicago, Perman and his wife, Andrea, a research nurse, have four adult children and reside in Baltimore.