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Janet PerloffProfessor Janet Perloff Fossett Mourned

(August 31,2004)

Janet Perloff Fossett, professor and associate dean for research at UAlbany’s School of Social Welfare, passed away August 29 at her home in Delmar, N.Y., after a long illness. She was 50.

A native of New York City, Perloff received both her master’s degree in social work and her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. In Chicago, she held research positions at the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Veterans Administration; she also taught at the University of Illinois. Perloff joined the UAlbany faculty in 1989, serving in faculty and administrative positions in the schools of Social Welfare and Public Health. Her research interests focused on the financing and delivery of health care for low-income and other disadvantaged populations, and the impact of Medicaid and other health policies on access to maternal and child health care. The co-author of Medicaid and Pediatric Primary Care (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987), she also wrote numerous articles about Medicaid, prenatal care, and Medicaid participation by physicians. Perloff received the University’s Excellence in Academic Service Award in 2003.

After she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000, Perloff became an advocate and spokesperson for other women with breast cancer and for their families. In addition to making appearances in local media, she assisted breast cancer organizations with their fundraising and programming efforts. With her School of Social Welfare colleague, Research Assistant Professor Victoria Rizzo, Perloff also co-wrote Conversations from the Heart: Resources for Talking With Children About a Parent’s Serious Illness (

Survivors include her husband, James W. Fossett; their son, Jeffrey Fossett; her mother, Sondra Perloff; and two sisters.

Contributions may be made in her memory to the Janet D. Perloff Lecture/Scholarship Fund. Checks, payable to the University at Albany Foundation with the designation “Janet D. Perloff Fund” on the memo line, may be sent to Mary Beth Nelligan-Goodman, School of Social Welfare, University at Albany, 135 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12222.