Larry Abramson’s life was changed forever when he started experiencing lower back pain. What started as a minor annoyance led to him getting a kidney tumor removed at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. He was subsequently diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a rare kidney disease.
This fateful turn of events caused a friend who works for the National Kidney Foundation to ask him if he would be interested in working with the organization. One thing led to another, and in 2022 he was elected to the board of directors of the National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland and Delaware.
“I enjoy fundraising and I also really want others to benefit from the developments that the Kidney Foundation offers,” Abramson, 55, said of why he ran for a position on the NKFMDDE board. “Myself included.”
Though Abramson had been working in the health care industry before his diagnosis, he did not always intend to do medical work. After graduating from Wilkes College (now Wilkes University) in Wilkes Barre, Pa., he spent nearly 15 years working for Marriott. A chance encounter with a client who worked in the pharmaceutical industry sent him down the path
of working in health care.
He has since served as CEO of several medical practices. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he launched Strategic Healthcare Advisors, LLC, and has been its president since it first opened its doors.
Due to the severity of the pandemic, he and his new practice were very busy during 2020 and had a successful opening.
“Even during COVID times, medical practices were still busy,” he said. “Not just with COVID, but people still had kidney disease and other problems. … For me, it was almost a benefit to open up during COVID because there were so many people who were able to be helped.”
Outside of his medical practice, Abramson attends Beth Tfiloh Congregation and is the president of the synagogue’s men’s club. He also donates to other local Jewish organizations.
“My energy is local to our community, synagogue and family,” Abramson said.
Though his medical practices are secular, he works with a lot of Jewish clientele due to his location and affiliation with the community. He recently made deals with two Orthodox men who work in the medical field — a dentist and a podiatrist — who do not work on Fridays, so they rent out their office space to him on that day so he can work with underserved people in the area.
Ultimately, Abramson wants to help others, especially others like him who are battling kidney disease. He also wants to help people waiting for kidney transplants: While a person can live with one kidney, there are still many who need transplants and many who die waiting for them to become available. He wants to encourage more healthy people to donate kidneys.
“God has given us two kidneys, and people are dying every day,” he said. “To me, there’s got to be something [we can do], … an incredible idea that gets more people to donate kidneys so there’s not so many people dying.”
In the future, though, he plans to step away from the medical business so he can focus more on working with charitable foundations like the NKFMDDE.
“There’s thousands of volunteering opportunities and that’s really what it’s all about,” Abramson said. “Making sure that people are able to live a full life. That is my focus and [NKFMDDE] helps me get there.”