Johnna Thomas

Executive Director

Arkansas Managed Care Organization

Little Rock

Johnna Thomas

Johnna Thomas wanted a career where she could help people, but she didn’t think it would be in the insurance industry.

That changed, though, after Thomas took a job at the newly formed Arkansas Managed Care Organization in Little Rock in 1994. She helped develop the preferred provider organization.

“It was a difficult task,” Thomas said.

At first, potential members were hesitant to join until they knew who was in the network. And potential providers wanted to know which employer groups were in the plan before they joined.

Now AMCO has 200,000 employee members and more than 4,000 doctors and 100 hospitals in its network.

Thomas, who was promoted to executive director of AMCO in 2003, attributes the growth of the company to building strong relationships with its members and providers. She also was able to help people with their insurance needs along the way.

“Relationships are key,” Thomas said. “We don’t try to be the biggest, but we try to be the best at what we do.”

Away from the office, Thomas is on the board of Our House Inc. of Little Rock, a shelter for the working homeless. She is also on the Arkansas State Medical Board’s Centralized Credentials Verification Advisory Committee.

“I’m a task-oriented person and enjoy challenges,” she said. “And I want to be a good role model for my son.”