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School of Medicine Columbia

Orr named assistant dean of continuous professional development and strategic affairs

Posted July 8, 2020 | By Alyssa Yancey (

Following the retirement of Morris “Moss” Blachman, Ph.D., who has been a longtime leader at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Matt Orr, Ph.D., has been named assistant dean of continous professional development and strategic affairs.

Matt Orr, Ph.D, a faculty member in the School of Medicine since 2008, has been named as the new Assistant Dean of Continuous Professional Development and Strategic Affairs, effective July 1, 2020. A clinical associate professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine,  Orr has served as the senior associate in the Office of Continuous Professional Development and Strategic Affairs since 2015. Prior to joining the faculty, Orr served in faculty positions at Kansas State University, Converse College, and Mercer University. 

Orr’s areas of special expertise include motivational interviewing, continuing professional development, executive leadership, and provider well-being. In 2018, he received the Sharm Steadman Excellence in Family Medicine Education Award from the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium (AHEC). He has been active in physician executive leadership courses within Prisma Health, and is currently co-chairing the School of Medicine’s Culture Task Force. 

Blachman, who retired on June 30, 2020, joined the university in 1979, and dedicated the first two decades of his career to teaching and research focusing on international studies, with a special interest in affairs of Latin American nations. During this period he also became internationally recognized as a scholar and consultant on leadership and institutional effectiveness. In 1996, he joined the UofSC School of Medicine as a clinical professor and the assistant dean in the Office of Continuous Professional Development and Strategic Affairs. He was promoted to associate dean in 2012. Over the past decade, he also has assisted Palmetto Health, now Prisma Health, with physician executive development.

Blachman has been recognized as a national leader in continuing medical education, being named as an inaugural fellow of the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education (SACME), and receiving the prestigious Outstanding Service Award for SACME.  His body of scholarly work includes co-authoring four books and publishing over 40 peer-reviewed articles.

Blachman’s contributions to the UofSC SOM Columbia are too many to enumerate. During his career, he has played key roles in the development and execution of numerous School of Medicine strategic plans, mentored dozens of faculty and staff, and worked with virtually every department on leadership development and/or strategic planning. Blachman will remain a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the UofSC SOM Columbia.

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