HealthNet President/CEO Booker Thomas Announces Plans to Retire Next Summer


HealthNet president and chief executive officer Booker Thomas has announced his plans to retire next July after more than 12 years of service to HealthNet and Indiana University Health.

Thomas, 69, began his work with HealthNet in 1999 as president and CEO. Under his leadership, the organization has grown from five locations and a budget of $12.9 million annually to a thriving network of seven primary care centers, two specialty care centers, nine school-based clinics, several outreach programs and an annual budget of $45 million. The number of patients served has more than doubled, to 50,000 a year.

Thomas is only the second president and CEO in HealthNet’s 43-year history. His leadership has led to all-time high scores in patient satisfaction, employee satisfaction, significant financial improvement and improved clinical results. In fact, HealthNet has garnered several awards under Thomas’ leadership, including the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Health Care Heroes award for community achievement in health care; recognition for outstanding primary care mission support from the Health Services Resource Administration’s Bureau of Primary Health Care; and the Tony and Mary Hulman Health Achievement Award from the Indiana Public Health Foundation in the field of preventive medicine and public health for improving access to health care for the uninsured and underinsured.

“We commend Booker for his years of service and congratulate him as he moves to this next phase of his life. His contributions to HealthNet have truly been exceptional,” said Daniel F. Evans, president and CEO, IU Health. HealthNet serves as an IU Health affiliate.

The HealthNet Board of Directors has formed a search committee and will conduct a nationwide search for Thomas’ replacement. A successor is expected to be selected by the first quarter of 2012 and will work with Thomas and the board of directors to ensure a smooth transition.

“This is an exciting time in HealthNet’s history, and we welcome the community’s input,” said Donald Trainor, M.D., HealthNet’s chief medical officer and a member of the search committee. “Our vision is to provide world class quality in community health care. As the state’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center and one of the largest in the U.S., we have the opportunity to lead at the local, state and national levels in advocating for the underserved and in finding innovative ways to improve health outcomes and reduce barriers to efficient, affordable health care. We look forward to continuing Booker’s legacy and setting a new standard for the delivery of compassionate health care and support services, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.”


Since 1968, HealthNet ( has been a mainstay in the Indianapolis community. Through its network of six community-based health centers, an OB/GYN care center, a pediatric and adolescent care center, a maternal-fetal medicine center and nine school-based clinics, HealthNet annually serves over 50,000 individuals and families. Many of them are uninsured or underinsured and live below the federal poverty level. HealthNet services include: primary and preventive health care; OB-GYN support and coaching for expectant mothers; Healthy Families and Better Indy Babies; dental services; Homeless Initiative Program; counseling, outreach and social service programs. HealthNet’s health centers include Barrington Health Center, Eastside Health Center, Martindale-Brightwood Health & Dental Center, People’s Health & Dental Center, Southeast Health & Dental Center, Southwest Health & Dental Center, the Care Center at the Tower, the Pediatric and Adolescent Care Center and the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Center. HealthNet is an affiliate of Indiana University Health.

Media Contact: Kay Johnson, HealthNet, (317) 435-9588,