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AHLA's Impact Report

Impact Story: Thomas N. Shorter

Paying it Forward to the Future Generation of Lawyers

Thomas N. Shorter

Tom Shorter has served in leadership roles on AHLA’s Annual Meeting Program Planning Committee, Labor and Employment Practice Group, Diversity+Inclusion Council, and the AHLA’s Board of Directors. Tom is a partner at Husch Blackwell and counsels health care clients on regulatory, labor, and employment issues. 

He has spoken frequently at in-person programs, contributed to AHLA’s publications, is a donor, and served as AHLA President in 2022-2023.

It is no secret that I have a passion for health law education and the mission of the American Health Law Association. When I started my career in regulatory law, health law was not on my radar, but as I progressed, I was invited to attend an AHLA conference. That conference was so jam-packed with critical information that it felt like I was drinking from a fire hose! This preliminary event showed me how the field of health law could benefit medical facilities and patients who need care. 

I have always wanted to make a difference in the world and have found fulfillment in this industry. This noble profession has given me many opportunities to impact the health and happiness of patients, healthcare providers, and lawyers. With over 17 years of health law experience under my belt, I relish providing people with the solutions they need to find healing and health. 

There are many opportunities available for members to get engaged in every aspect of health law. I have found every resource provided by AHLA to be a constant source of support to me in different ways throughout my career journey. As a young associate, AHLA publications were paramount in helping me understand critical aspects of health law and gain the knowledge I needed to do my job well. The fact that AHLA conferences offer CLE credits is one of the most lucrative benefits of AHLA membership. The programs, events, and webinars have given me invaluable opportunities to connect with others and network with the best of the best. 

AHLA’s overall environment is education driven and collegial. I have been impressed with the caliber of health law experts at the top of their game who consistently find opportunities to learn from their peers and pay their knowledge forward to the next generation of health law leaders. I have enjoyed networking and interacting with AHLA program speakers who have become life-long friends and constant sources of support throughout my career. Their insight and influence helped to shape who I am today. I have now provided my knowledge as a speaker at these events and strive to influence others to become future health law leaders.

As I look to the future, I plan on spending the rest of my career paying it forward. I enjoy mentoring young professionals and want to influence them to become leaders and speakers for health law. The best advice I could give to those starting their health law journey is to get involved in as many AHLA resources and opportunities as possible. The more members engage in all aspects of health law, the greater potential they will have to gain impactful opportunities that will shape their careers.