News Release

Joanna Thomas, M.D., named medical director for Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Fayetteville location


Max Heuer @ 501-378-2131

Fayetteville, Ark. (Aug. 22, 2011) — Joanna Thomas, M.D., from Liverpool, England, has been named medical director for Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Fayetteville location, according to Mel Blackwood, senior executive of Regional Operations and northwest regional executive.

The Fayetteville location, one of seven full-service offices operated by Arkansas Blue Cross, serves nine counties: Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Marion, Newton, Searcy and Washington. A 24-member team is focused on customer service, individual and group products sales and marketing, medical management and provider services in Northwest Arkansas.

As medical director of the Fayetteville location, Dr. Thomas will manage all medical delivery system activities in the region and participate as a member of the senior management group. Her responsibilities will include establishing an effective medical executive leadership presence with customers, providers and company staff members, and serving as a physician liaison in Northwest Arkansas.

Dr. Thomas graduated from the University of Liverpool School of Medicine in 1984. She completed her residency in family medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)/ Area Health Education Centers in Northwest Arkansas (AHEC-NW). In 1993, Dr. Thomas was named a diplomate of the American Board of Family Medicine and was recertified in 1999 and 2005. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. She received the Red Sash teaching award from the UAMS graduating classes of 1996, 1997, 2006 and 2011.

Dr. Thomas and her husband, David, have two children — Julian and Sebastian.

Founded in 1948, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is the largest health insurer in Arkansas. Arkansas Blue Cross and its affiliates have more than 2,700 employees. If combined, the 39 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans collectively provide health care coverage for 93 million Americans.