DR. JIM PALERMO, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Dr. Palermo, a 29-year resident of Brevard County, touched the lives of countless people during his 22-year practice of general, vascular and non-cardiac thoracic surgery.
In 2002 he transitioned from clinical practice, in which his impact was on an individual patient level, and accepted a position as full-time chief medical officer and vice president of quality management of Health First. Dr. Palermo made this career transformation based on his conviction that he could personally have a greater impact on improving the quality of healthcare on the Space Coast by more globally addressing quality and patient safety issues as a physician healthcare executive. During his ten years at Health First he was instrumental in establishing the patient-centered, patient- safe quality healthcare and service for which Health First is known throughout the Central Florida area.
An accomplished author and sought-after expert in the healthcare industry, Dr. Palermo is now an independent consultant focused on healthcare quality and safety, and physician leadership development. He also serves on the board of directors of Florida Medical Quality Assurance Inc., a nationally recognized federal, state and private healthcare contractor dedicated to improving and ensuring the quality and safety of patient care across multiple states.
Dr. Palermo is a graduate of Washington University in St.Louis, the University of Missouri School of Medicine, did his surgical residency in the U.S. Army at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, is a Fellow of the American College of Surgery, and also attained a Masters of Science Degree in healthcare management in 2004 at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Dr. Palermo’s wife Kerry, a registered nurse to whom he’s been married 36 years, partners with him to run the Banyan Tree Ranch in Merritt Island, where they breed, raise and show American Quarter Horses and Labrador Retrievers.
His son, Joe, a well recognized local outdoorsman and Captain-owner of one of the most successful off-shore fishing charter businesses at Port Canaveral for the past 10 years, has a bachelors degree in business, and a masters degree in healthcare administration from UCF, and is a sales executive for a surgical device distributor covering the Central Florida and Space Coast areas.
Dr. Palermo’s daughter, Michelle, was a varsity cheerleader at Merritt Island High School and state champion competitor in High School Rodeo, before attending and graduating with a BS in communications from the University of Georgia. She’s following in her father’s footsteps in the healthcare delivery field, completed her masters degree as a physician assistant (PA) from NOVA Southeast in Jacksonville last year and now is a PA with Brevard Emergency Services, working at both Holmes Regional Medical Center and Palm Bay Hospital emergency departments.