Tom has been in communications for his entire professional life. Growing up in the iconic suburban community of Levittown, Pennsylvania, the first planned community of its kind in the country, led Tom to an undergraduate degree in Psychology at LaSalle College in Philadelphia. At LaSalle, Tom worked as a Resident Advisor and then a Head Resident, responsible for a coed dormitory of over 60 students. His interest in working with college students took him to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale for a Masters degree in Higher Education Administration.
At Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia Tom honed his communication skills as the University Judicial Officer for student academic and conduct code violations on a campus of 22,000 students. Tom had a beard at the time and word about campus was that if he was hearing your judicial case and began stroking his beard, you were in big trouble. Though suspension from the University and termination of residence hall living privileges were severe sanctions, Tom was known to be fair, considering all aspects of the case.
Tom then became Assistant Dean of Students at a 9,000 student state university in Missouri. He was responsible for the Judicial system and a number of other student programs. In coordinating the University Orientation Program, Tom began his public speaking career addressing new freshmen and their parents in large group meetings
A former colleague from Virginia Tech lured Tom to Wisconsin to change careers from higher education to physician recruitment. Tom traveled around the entire Midwest interviewing physician candidates and writing reports for clients who included solo physicians, physician groups and small-town hospitals seeking physicians.
After four years, Tom returned to the east coast where he opened the first satellite office for the Wisconsin based firm. After a stint with another healthcare recruitment firm which took Tom all over the country and four years at a Philadelphia psychiatric hospital in physician relations, brought Tom to Deborah Heart and Lung Center in New Jersey.
During his 25 year tenure at Deborah, with a department of eight staff, Tom managed all of this world-renowned heart center’s marketing and advertising efforts.
His expertise includes the full scope of healthcare marketing/advertising, including digital, TV, radio, outdoor, print, public relations, and outreach. His responsibilities also included the Center’s website, partnership programs with statewide organizations, quarterly physician and consumer publications, special events, and in-house graphic artists/videographer.
While at Deborah Tom created, developed and managed all of the following Center-side initiatives: Physician Relations Program, Customer Service Program, 800-General Information Line, Managed Care Contracting, and Patient Satisfaction Survey Program.
Deborah’s continued success as a stand-alone specialty hospital in a merge-mania, healthcare system marketplace was attributed to its timely and targeted advertising/marketing to consumers.
Tom especially enjoyed and was proud of the partnerships he set up with state-wide associations including among others, three NJ firefighter associations, the NJ State Police Benevolent Association, the NJEA, representing 192,000 teachers in NJ, the NJ Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars, the NJ State Parole Board, the NJ State Association of County Jail Wardens, the NJ Sheriffs Association, NJ Association of Chiefs of Police, the NJ State Trooper Fraternal Association and others. Tom was invited to speak at the Annual State meetings of these organizations, addressing from a couple of hundred members to over 9,000 NJ volunteer firefighters at one time.
While Tom has retired from Deborah Heart and Lung Center, he continues to provide part-time consulting services in healthcare communications. He is also passionate about his Native American Group Drumming spiritual work, leading group drumming retreats with up to 50 participants, and volunteering his time to lead veteran patients in drumming sessions at a local VA Medical Center.