Thomas S. Keefe is the Senior Director of Regional Affairs for HIMSS, the largest U.S. cause-based, not-for-profit healthcare association focused on the optimal use of information technology and management systems for the betterment of healthcare.
Located in the HIMSS Arlington, Va. office, Keefe works to build more influence at the state, local and regional levels of government for HIMSS members. His position includes working as a liaison to leverage the extensive grassroots capabilities of HIMSS 54 chapters and HIE Roundtable. He has built extensive relationships with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD), the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) and the National Governors Association that expand HIMSS influence on public policy at the state and national level.
Keefe has 45 years of experience in the private sector and government, working on complex issues including employment rights, training, benefits, worker safety and health, homelessness and other socioeconomic concerns.
Before joining HIMSS in 2005, Keefe spent more than a decade in the nation’s capital holding prominent positions in the executive branch of the government and government relations consulting groups. During that time, he built strong working relationships with key decision makers in all branches of the government. Through his combination of experience and expertise, he provides HIMSS members a powerful advantage in helping to develop state legislative and policy strategies that affect health IT.
Under his leadership, HIMSS members have participated in numerous State HIT Days, which are some of the most important HIMSS events each year. Supported by HIMSS Chapters and HIMSS Regional Affairs team, State HIT Days aim to raise awareness to select HIT and management systems policy. A State HIT Day may include meetings with legislators, site visits to healthcare facilities and presentations from policy experts. While the State HIT Days initially only focused on face-to-face meetings with legislators at state capitols, Tom is now working with HIMSS chapters to hold hybrid advocacy days where those chapter members who are unable to attend in person can participate by allowing them to train virtually and submit correspondence to state officials over the telephone, internet, or even regular US mail! This will allow for a transition towards the first ever completely virtual advocacy day!
Keefe earned a MA in Labor and Policy Studies from the State University of New York and a BA in Political Science from Ramapo College of New Jersey. He served two years active duty in the United States Army, including 10 months in Vietnam. He is a long time veteran’s advocate and is the principal HIMSS liaison to the Gold Star Wives and other Veterans Service Organizations that work with HIMSS to advance health IT in the veterans’ community.