Dr. Gerald Harmon, a decorated South Carolina physician, will step into the interim dean role at the School of Medicine Columbia on Aug. 1. He succeeds Dr. Les Hall, who is retiring after more than eight years as dean.
In his interim appointment, Harmon will maintain relationships with the school’s clinical partners, including Prisma Health, as well as keep a steady focus on high-impact research and improving the health of South Carolinians.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Harmon to the team. His longstanding commitment to the people and physicians in our state and country will pay dividends for South Carolina,” says Dr. Jonathan Gleason, chief clinical officer for Prisma Health and clinical professor at the School of Medicine.
Harmon will work with leadership to ensure that all graduate programs within medicine are represented and that the upcoming accreditation process is seamless. He also hopes to set up for success the future dean in the launch of the new home for the SOMC at the Bull Street District.
“My priorities as interim dean will be to continue the outstanding work and successes of Dean Les Hall and the team before me as we build a new medical school campus in Columbia and coordinate the delivery of health care for our state and the medical education of our health care team,” Harmon says.
Harmon is the immediate past president of the American Medical Association, and he currently serves as vice president of medical affairs at Tidelands Health as well as a family physician at Tidelands Health Family Medicine.
Harmon received his bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of South Carolina and his M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina, where he also completed an internship in clinical pharmacology. He did his residency in family medicine at Eglin Air Force Base Regional Hospital and served as chief resident there. Harmon also received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from USC in 2018. Both he and his wife, Linda, consider themselves “Gamecocks to the core,” and the Harmon family has eight degrees from USC between the five of them.
“I want to thank Dean Hall for his steadfast leadership, particularly in the unique challenges of the last three years,” Provost Donna Arnett says. “Dr. Harmon is an accomplished physician and experienced hospital administrator who will be an asset to help guide the School of Medicine Columbia through this time of transition.”