OBITUARY

Joel Grossman M.D.

August 24, 1941July 18, 2020

Dr. Joel Grossman, psychiatrist, founder and former CEO of South Florida Utilization Review (SFUR), beloved husband and father, of Miami, Florida, passed away peacefully on July 18, 2020 at the age of 78 after a successful kidney transplant but an insurmountable struggle with rectal cancer. Born in Newark, NJ, he was the son of Helen “Honey” Cohen and Robert Grossman and brother of Dr. Richard “Dick” Grossman of Sherman Oaks, CA, all departed before him. Joel is remembered as a kind and caring man of deep intellectual curiosity who listened with empathy and compassion, delighted in practical jokes, nurtured independence in his two daughters, supported his wife’s accomplished career, mentored his junior employees, and sustained his pet tortoises.

After early years in Hillside, NJ, Joel moved at age 7 with his family to Miami Beach. He went to Nautilus Elementary School and graduated in 1959 at Miami Beach High School, where he forged cherished and life-long friendships. After attending Duke University and the University of Florida, he graduated at age 24 from the University of Tennessee Medical School and completed his internship and psychiatry residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital from 1965 to 1969. Captain Grossman served in the 324th General Hospital of the US Army Reserve. Lured to Southern California for training at the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Institute, Dr. Grossman established a psychiatry practice first in Beverly Hills, CA then at Mercy Hospital after moving back to Miami.

After 17 years of psychiatry practice, Dr. Grossman founded South Florida Utilization Review, a medical billing review company he created and grew from scratch. Deepening his expertise, he achieved certification from the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review. At SFUR, Joel had a devoted team of young employees who supported the growth of the company and whose studies and careers he encouraged. After 30 years of success, the company was acquired, now existing as SFUR in Atlanta.

Joel is survived by his wife of 37 years, former President Divina Grossman of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Their meeting in 1980 occurred when he was called on consultation for a patient at Mount Sinai Medical Center whose staff nurse was Divina. They married in 1983 and raised two daughters, Regina Grossman (Michael Hopper) of New York City and Claire Grossman of Oakland, CA. A loving and engaged father who once chaired the Pinecrest Elementary School Annual Fair, Joel taught his daughters not only self-reliance and the importance of having a career, but also how to bike, swim, snorkel, fish, and explore Biscayne Bay on motorboat. Enthralled by world cultures and peoples, Joel traveled with his family to some 70 countries, traipsing through Java, Indonesia to see ancient Borobudur and climb Mount Bromo; cruising through Patagonia following Darwin’s path through the Straits of Magellan; and viewing wildlife on safari in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, and Tanzania, among other places.

In addition to Joel’s wife and daughters, grieving his loss are his brother Dr. Jack Grossman (Barbara), sisters-in-law Sandy Francis and Elizabeth Rice Grossman (widow of Richard), nephews Jeffrey, Dr. Peter Grossman (Rebecca) and Dr. Robert Grossman, and siblings-in-law Edel (Sonny) Avecilla, Minette (Paul) Sheridan, Cesar (Bles) Sanchez, Dina Sanchez, and Chito (Joan) Sanchez. The family is immensely grateful to all the doctors and nurses who cared for Joel at the Miami Transplant Institute, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Baptist Hospital, and at home with Vitas Healthcare, as well as his caregivers during the last seven months of life. Joel will be missed by his tortoises, especially Precious, who has been in his care since the 1970’s.

The funeral service will be held gravesite outdoors at Riverside Gordon Memorial Chapel at Mount Nebo (Kendall), 5900 S.W. 77 Avenue on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at 10:00 AM and will be officiated by Cantor Rachelle Nelson of Temple Beth Am in Miami. Donning of masks and social distancing will be observed. A memorial service and celebration of Joel’s life will be held post-pandemic on a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in honor of Dr. Joel Grossman to the Galapagos Conservancy, Temple Beth Am Tikkun Olam General Fund, and the Miami Transplant Institute Fund for Excellence at the Jackson Health System.

Services

  • Graveside Service

    Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Memories

Joel Grossman M.D.

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Donald Losman

July 30, 2020

I want to express my wife's and my own deepest sympathies to Devina and family. I have only one specific memory to share and it relates to our first meeting.

I met Joey when I transferred to Beach High in the tenth grade -- so many new, strange faces, it was quite intimidating. I had lost my way or something and needed help. I looked for a friendly face. Joey greeted the puzzled new kid with warmth and a smile. We chatted and I felt like I'd made a friend, and indeed I had. We interfaced often in those high school years and there was always a gleam in his eyes. That gleam was still apparent at our 50th high school reunion. I regret that I didn't get to talk with him more. After we all had sat down, it seemed imprudent to scream across the table. Alas, that was the last time I saw Joey (had I known that I would indeed have screamed). He will nonetheless remain alive in my thoughts and memories.

Don Losman

Maria Perez

July 21, 2020

Dr Grossman was an amazing boss and mentor. The news hit me hard this morning as I was not expecting such a loss. I worked for him while attending UM in the early 2000s for my undergrad, and he was an incredible person to work for, so extremely kind, hilarious, but always fair and professional. I learned so much working with him about the medical field that it paved the way for all my future careers. From quizzing me when I had finals, to trying to convince me to go to Law School, to his funny jokes and stories, seeing how great he danced with his wife at my wedding... I have so many fond memories of Dr G and his family. I last spoke to him some time in 2018 or 2019 and he still remembered me very well and asked about my family. I will forever be grateful for the day he chose me to work for him at SFUR with Lizet, and I know he is resting in peace. My heart goes out to Dr Divina and the entire family.
Maria Perez-Bhatt & Family

Helen Gonzales

July 21, 2020

I have known Joel for more than 30 years and considered him a loving kindhearted warm and caring friend. A loving husband and doting father to his 2 daughters and for sure to his pets (tortoises). He will be missed and leave a void in the lives of his loving family and friends. The only consolation is that he’s in a better happier place and we will see him again; his memory will linger in the hearts of all the people he has touched in his lifetime.
To Divina and family I feel the pain and void of losing someone you love and I pray that in time it will be easier.
Love you and blessings to everyone
Helen

Joanne Saunders-Costa

July 20, 2020

Dearest Divina and beautiful family, I am so heartbroken to hear of Joel's passing. He was such a wonderful vibrant man. I first met him with Divina at UMD. Every time I had the pleasure of seeing him..always a smile a fun word and he remembered me. Your family is beautiful and strong. Your love was clear and apparent..just a beautiful family. Please accept my deepest sympathy and heartfelt prayers. May you find strength during this time. May Joel soar in the heavens and rest in love in your hearts every day. In love and sympathy..Joanne Costa

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

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