Gerald F. `Jerry' Petrik, 70, state insurance official


Gerald F. "Jerry" Petrik, a retired accountant who managed a state health insurance program, died of cancer Tuesday at his Fenwick Island, Del., home. The former Towson resident was 70.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Gardenville, he attended St. Anthony's Parochial School and was a 1953 graduate of Loyola High School, where he played baseball and coached freshman football. He earned a degree in 1957 from Loyola College and sat on the student council. He then served in the Army as a lieutenant.

"Jerry was the kind of person who never raised his voice," said Dr. Lawrence Pazourek, a longtime friend who is a retired St. Joseph Medical Center radiologist and Glen Arm resident. "He was always meticulous, a person I always admired."

Mr. Petrik became a certified public accountant and was the chief financial officer at the James Lawrence Kernan Hospital near Dickeyville. When John Deaton Medical Center opened in the Inner Harbor, Mr. Petrik joined its administration and worked in finance.

He subsequently worked in financial analysis at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Maryland. On numerous occasions, he represented the insurer before the state's Health Services Cost Review Commission.

"Jerry was an important part of keeping hospital rates down on behalf of Blue Cross subscribers," said Hal Cohen, a former executive director of the cost review commission. "He was definitely an articulate advocate."

Before his 2004 retirement, he was chief of benefits and analysis at the Maryland Heath Care Commission, a state agency located in Northwest Baltimore, where he worked for 12 years.

Mr. Petrik oversaw a state program called the Comprehensive Standard Health Benefit Plan, a program that provides health insurance for about 475,000 persons who are employed at businesses with 49 or fewer workers.

"Jerry was the kind of guy who kept the morale up. He always had a joke ready," said Bridget Zombro, the health care commission's associate deputy director. "He liked working with the state because he thought his work made a difference."

He was a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and ran an annual fall educational institute for it at Ocean City.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church, Willow Avenue, Overlea.

Survivors include his wife of 48 years, the former Patricia F. Boothe; two sons, Gerard F. "Rod" Petrik Jr. of Pasadena and Martin Clement Petrik of Columbia; a daughter, M. Susan Petrik King of Bishopville; a sister, Mary Anne Petrik of Lutherville; and eight grandchildren.

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