Closely related to that has been Thomas' involvement as treasurer and board member of the Health Industry Council of the North Texas Region. “It's the place where all participants in the healthcare business can debate issues and come up with solutions,” he says. “Payers, physicians, health solution groups—all of those groups have their own organizations—but they come together to talk about technology, capital raising, innovation, wellness programs.”
On behalf of service people and their families, Thomas launched a Patriot Support Initiative within Irving, Texas-based MedSynergies and connected with the existing Allies in Service program, a not-for-profit that helps Dallas-area veterans and their families that's headed by legendary Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach.
The Patriot Support Initiative has given employees and executives the impetus to compile and send care packages to their colleagues and families who have taken leave to serve in the Armed Forces. The program also generates small donations that enable families to continue music lessons, for example, or provide gifts card for dinners out that might not otherwise happen—“things that, quite frankly, they wouldn't spend their own money on,” Thomas says.
Through Allies in Service, MedSynergies attempts to hire veterans for available opportunities; in fact, Thomas has committed to 15% of the 500 positions the company expects to add through 2013. “We're trying to find people who can contribute to our business and have a job and career,” he says. “We have pretty high expectations.”
Finally, as a sufferer of Crohn's disease himself, Thomas is especially empathetic toward young people with inflammatory bowel disorders, and through his efforts MedSynergies has launched the 13-year-old Camp Magic, now operated by the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, which provides children an opportunity to go to camp just like their peers.
“The kids have the ability to act like normal kids—fish, swim, go on horseback rides,” Thomas says. “I have the disease, so it's pretty easy for me to get involved.” As a counselor for 10 years, he adds, “I learned more about my disease from those kids than from the physicians.”
"He's an extremely charismatic and dynamic person," says Joe Boyd, board chairman of MedSynergies. "That energy is not just something he carries to work; he carries it to his community activities as well. He's extremely concerned and has always been for men and women in the service." And Thomas' natural passion for his fellow irritable bowel sufferers is highly evident in this support of Camp Magic, Boyd adds. "He's done a tremendous amount to fund that activity."