I want to take a collective pause with you for a moment to recognize a very special individual in The Sullivan Group’s world, Dr. Tom Syzek. Tom has decided to step down from his position as TSG’s VP of e-Learning. I hesitate to say retire because Tom has a long list of things that will keep him busy, including swimming across Tampa Bay regularly in support of our veterans, long treks at high altitudes, family activities, and who knows what’s next!
I know that whatever the next chapter is for Tom, he will approach it with the same energy, thoughtfulness, creativity, friendliness and loving spirit that defines him. If you have had the great fortune of working with Tom over the years, you definitely know what I am talking about.
Tom is a very special individual and I have had the great privilege of working with him for almost two decades.
Two decades! Our relationship began 20 years ago when we restarted and reinvigorated the ACEP medical-legal committee. We were able to recruit risk, safety and medical-legal superstars from across the country and had a great time doing it. As the head of risk and safety for Premier, Tom’s EM group, and president of Premier’s Cayman captive company, Tom found that TSG’s online courses were just what the group needed to supplement an incredible risk reduction program. His success in that role at Premier is second to none.
Tom’s interest in risk and patient safety drew him to TSG, and he has assisted in course creation and editing and rounding out the emergency medicine offerings. When Tom left clinical practice, we jumped at the opportunity to bring him on board full time as the VP for e-Learning. In that role, Tom continued to build the EM library and he became the driving force behind creation and growth of the TSG Risk Collaborative. The Collaborative was a coming together of some of the great minds in risk and safety across many different specialties, both physician and nursing. With Tom’s depth in risk and safety and his ability to coordinate and communicate, the Risk Collaborative thrived under his leadership.
Like everyone else at TSG, Tom wore many hats. It did not matter what new project we decided to focus on; Tom was invaluable in our efforts over the years. Fondly known as the “cold water guy,” Tom often played devil’s advocate; he had a knack for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of new ideas and developments and gently bring us back to earth!
Although no one can step fully into Tom’s oversized shoes, I would like to introduce you to Dr. Stassia Sullivan, who will make every attempt to do just that. Stassia is a board-certified emergency physician. After completing her emergency medicine residency at the Hackensack University Medical Center, Stassia and her husband Grae moved to Bainbridge Island, Washington, where Stassia works full time at Silverdale Hospital. By the way, Stassia is also my daughter! Having listened to risk and safety from her father for the last 30 plus years, some of it sunk in and she is very excited to join TSG as our new VP of e-Learning. She has coordinated the transition with Tom and we look forward to the Risk Collaborative and our many clients meeting and getting to know Stassia.
All that said, Tom Syzek, we wish you all the best. I know you and I will remain friends forever, and I am certain that everyone at TSG feels the same. Have the most wonderful retirement ever! I know our paths will continue to cross. A most sincere thanks from all of us at TSG and from the countless numbers of patients you have served, and in many cases saved, through your heartfelt work, your passion, and your commitment to making the world a better place.
Dan Sullivan, MD, JD, FACEP
President & CEO
The Sullivan Group