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Thomas Piemme

Thomas E. Piemme, MD, one of the founding leaders of the American College of Informatics (ACMI) and the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), passed away April 17, 2021, in Peoria, Ariz., near Phoenix. Tom taught at the University of Pittsburgh for some years before moving to Washington, D.C., in 1970, to become director of the Division of General Medicine and subsequently Director and Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education (CME) at the George Washington University School of Medicine. Tom was the Executive Director of the Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care (SCAMC). The first SCAMC meeting in 1977 welcomed around 225 attendees. By the early 1980s, the national meeting attracted 2,000 industry attendees. Because of Tom’s tireless work, he was able to help spawn significant growth within the organization, ultimately expanding the Board to include informatics professionals.

In 1983 he convened with Morris F. Collen, Marsden Scott Blois, Donald A.B Lindberg and Edward H. Shortliffe to officially found ACMI and name the first class of Fellows. The growth of ACMI and SCAMC eventually led to the agreements to begin AMIA by the end of the 1980s. Throughout the years, Tom remained very involved with ACMI and AMIA and continued to attend the annual meetings.

Tom was a wonderful, smart leader and influencer, as well as a cherished friend to many colleagues in the informatics community. We hope that this page and his personal history of contributions to our field will help others to appreciate why many former colleagues remember him with great fondness and respect.