2020 | HFSA

Remembering Former HFSA President Thomas Force, MD

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Thomas Force headshot

Thomas L. Force, MD died on November 30 in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Force’s long and distinguished career included serving as President of the Heart Failure Society of America from 2012 to 2014.

He was born March 25, 1951 in Vandalia, Illinois. After attending Harvard Medical School, Tom continued to live in the Boston area for many years, prior to moving to Philadelphia and later Nashville.

Dr. Force completed his residency at the University of Vermont and then his cardiology fellowship at West Roxbury, VA Medical Center in Boston. He moved to Massachusetts General Hospital in 1985 to run the Preventive Cardiology Program and served as Director of the Stress Testing Laboratories.

He was a Professor of Medicine and Director of the Cardiac Myocyte Biology Laboratory, Molecular Cardiology Research Institute at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, and the James C. Wilson Professor of Medicine and Clinical Director for the Center for Translational Medicine at Jefferson Medical College from 2005-2012, before moving the Center to Temple University School of Medicine from 2012-2014. He held the Grossman Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine and was Director of Cardiovascular Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center prior to his retirement in 2016.

He was a member of the editorial board of Circulation and the Journal of Biological Chemistry, held numerous leadership positions in the American Heart Association and the Heart Failure Society of America, and had over 150 peer reviewed publications. Tom was internationally recognized for his work in the field of cardio-oncology and received multiple grants to support his research.

Dr. Force served as President of HFSA during a time of great change. HFSA had just completed a significant reorganization and had moved from Minnesota to the Washington, DC region. Dr. Force worked to enhance HFSA’s efforts in patient advocacy and advanced heart failure training. He also worked to increase the role of basic scientists at HFSA, leading to the establishment of the Tom Force Lecture given annually at HFSA’s Annual Scientific meeting.

Even more so, his colleagues remember his enthusiasm for science and his passion for understanding and discovery, presented with a smile on his face and a glint in his eye.

“During Tom’s tenure as President of HFSA, he was engaging and genuinely interested in meeting with members; he had a big smile, hearty laugh and would discuss diverse topics; from family and travel to the latest basic science in his field of work that focused on cancer treatment-related cardiotoxicity,” said Nancy Albert, PhD, RN, President of the Heart Failure Society of America. “Tom was an open and welcoming leader and, during his tenure, the HFSA experienced a growth in new members. We will miss his presence and forever remember his passion for life, his family and his work.”

In addition to his wife, Wendy Buck, Tom is survived by his children Meghan Force (m. Alex Rein, grandsons Matthew and Henry), Emily Force, and his stepchildren Alison and Morgan Buck. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Janet Gillmore.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Truro Conservation Trust, Great Hollow Beach Project, PO Box 327, North Truro, MA 02652 or Abe’s Garden Alzheimer’s and Memory Care Center of Excellence, 115 Woodmont Blvd, Nashville, TN 37205.