Tidelands Health vice president, physician sworn in as president of the American Medical Association
As the United States continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, a Tidelands Health physician and vice president will be leading the country’s premier physician organization and one of the top medical associations.
Dr. Gerald Harmon, vice president of medical affairs at Tidelands Health, was sworn in as president of the American Medical Association during a virtual ceremony Tuesday evening. Dr. Harmon is the association’s 176th president but only the third physician from South Carolina to serve in that role.
During his one-year term, Dr. Harmon will be the face of the AMA and work to help the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, drive the future of medicine, remove obstacles to patient care and lead the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to serve as AMA president during such a pivotal time for health care in our country,” Dr. Harmon said. “The AMA has tremendous influence, and I’m eager to bring my perspective as a family medicine specialist, front-line hospital physician, advocate and mentor to these national discussions.”
A Newberry native, Dr. Harmon has distinguished military and medical careers. He’s been a family medicine physician in Georgetown County for more than three decades and is vice president of medical affairs at Tidelands Health, a role he will keep during his AMA presidency.
“Our team at Tidelands Health and local leaders, patients and community members have known for years that Dr. Harmon is a skilled physician and humble leader who truly makes a difference through his work every day,” said Bruce Bailey, president and CEO of Tidelands Health. “Now, Dr. Harmon has the opportunity to have an even greater influence nationally through his role as president of the American Medical Association.
“The AMA certainly made a wise choice in electing Dr. Harmon president. Physicians, patients and the nation will benefit from his vast knowledge, expertise and genuine passion for the medical profession. We are so proud of Dr. Harmon and continue to be honored to have him as an esteemed leader, mentor and physician at Tidelands Health.”
A retired major general, Dr. Harmon served more than three decades in the U.S. Air Force and the Air National Guard in roles such as chief surgeon and assistant surgeon general. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he treated U.S. military personnel, enemy combatants and locals as a hospital commander. He also served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Dr. Harmon is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and earned his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. He is a clinical professor at MUSC and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and is a clinical faculty member of the Tidelands Health MUSC Family Medicine Residency Program.
He is a former president and chairman of the South Carolina Medical Association and serves in numerous volunteer and leadership roles in the Georgetown County community.
Dr. Harmon has been active in the AMA for more than 30 years. He has been an AMA board member since 2013 and served as board chairman in 2017-2018. In 1988, he served as a delegate to the AMA Young Physicians Section.
A Pawleys Island resident, Dr. Harmon and his wife, Linda, have three children and eight grandchildren.
Learn more about Dr. Harmon in a profile available here.
Watch a video of Dr. Harmon’s inauguration address here.