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School of Medicine Columbia

In Memoriam of Tan J. Platt, M.D.

A message from Dean Les Hall:

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia and the state of South Carolina lost an outstanding physician, leader, colleague, and friend on August 19, 2020, with the passing of Dr. Tan J. Platt. 

After completing his medical degree at Columbia University and residency training in Colorado, Dr. Platt began his medical career as a rural family physician in South Dakota with the National Health Service Corps. He joined the faculty of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in 1986. He served the School of Medicine as the chief contracting officer, and contributed as associate professor, vice chair, and clinic director within the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. An esteemed educator, Dr. Platt has served as a role model of a compassionate family medicine physician for hundreds of medical students and family medicine residents who now practice in South Carolina and throughout the U.S.

Dr. Platt’s impact has been profound and enduring. He has served as a medical director for the SC Department of Health and Human Services since 2008, working closely with policy-makers and payers to implement equitable and high-quality medical programs to support South Carolina citizens. With a special compassion for children and for individuals with disabilities, he has served on the SC Developmental Disabilities Council, the SC Autism Medical Advisory Committee, and the Department of Disability and Special Needs Collaborative Advisory Committee. He served as medical director of both the Babcock Center and the Epworth Children’s Home for over 20 years and of both the Burton Center and Chessco for 16 years. He is a long-time member of the South Carolina Academy of Family Physicians, serving as President and board member, as well as being honored as “Physician of the Year” in 2010.

 I do not believe I ever encountered Dr. Platt without him offering a kind word about others. All of his work was motivated by caring for others, grounded in the belief that each of us can make a difference.  While never seeking the spotlight, Dr. Platt’s selfless devotion to duty has elevated the quality of health for thousands of South Carolina’s citizens. His lifetime of service is in the highest traditions of the medical profession. His dedication to duty and service to others will continue to serve as an inspiration to me and thousands of others in the years to come.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a private funeral service was held. A recording of the service is available online.  

Posted by Alyssa Yancey ( | Sept. 1, 2020

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