Bill Thomas Joins Holiday Retirement as Chief Wellness Officer

Dr. Bill Thomas, a well-known senior care pioneer and the originator of the Green House senior living model, is joining the executive team at the nation’s largest independent living provider. He will also continue to do work for Carmel, Indiana-based Mainstreet Health, where he has been director of innovative health care for just over a year.

Thomas has officially joined Lake Oswego, Oregon-based Holiday Retirement, according to a company press release. The Harvard-trained geriatrician will now serve as the provider’s first-ever chief wellness officer.

In his new role, Thomas will work to empower Holiday employees and improve the company’s resident enrichment programs.

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“His forward-thinking approach to aging wellness will help us continue to modernize what we do here at Holiday, as well as advance a new approach to aging in America,” CEO Lilly Donohue said in the press release.

Staying on with Mainstreet

Thomas will continue to work with Mainstreet, the nation’s largest developer of transitional care facilities, despite his new role at Holiday, Mainstreet Vice President of Marketing Chance Benbow told Senior Housing News. Specifically, Thomas is working on initiatives for Mainstreet Health, the company’s operating arm.

“We’re also excited that he is continuing to push the envelope to disrupt our industry and take it to even greater heights with other partners,” Benbow said.

Thomas joined Mainstreet in January 2016 “to do something disruptive,” Mainstreet founder and CEO Zeke Turner said at the time. That “something” was partly revealed in February 2016, when Thomas told Senior Housing News he would help Mainstreet unveil “an entirely new model” in 2017, or “a revolutionary new product … under the code name TNG—The Next Generation.”

“If you can, think of me as a car designer, and I’ve got the next model under a sheet, a Tesla or something,” Thomas told Senior Housing News.

Thomas’ new small house model for Mainstreet has yet to be introduced, but it’s been branded and the design is “basically done,” Turner told Senior Housing News in February.

“Right now we’re just working on the operationalizing of the model to make sure that we can do it the right way and make the impact that we want,” Turner said. “That’s where Dr. Thomas really comes in.”

Mainstreet hopes to break ground on the new model sometime in the mid-to-late summer—which is later than the company initially anticipated.

“We actually had gone down a path to get it in the ground last year… [but] I didn’t think we’d pushed the envelope enough on reinvention,” Turner said. “We actually went back to the design board and started over.”

Holiday, meanwhile, is optimistic about Thomas’ future with the company.

“A new generation of older adults and their families is looking for operators like Holiday to think differently and offer services designed for what they want,” Donohue said. “Dr. Bill Thomas will help Holiday do just that.”

Thomas’ hiring is not the only thing new at Holiday, as the provider recently abandoned its long-standing management model in favor of a more traditional one.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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