At Vanderbilt, Thomas founded La Escalera de Escalante—a bilingual library and literacy program for Latino children in Nashville. The program began with weekly classes hosted at a dedicated apartment unit within a predominantly Hispanic apartment complex. Thanks to the initiative of other Ingram Scholars and Vanderbilt students, the programming developed to include homework help, English classes for adults, healthy cooking classes, and a club for the girls and the boys. He spent a summer conducting a market assessment of Mozambique to support the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health and The HealthStore Foundation. As an engineering student, he and his teammates designed an affordable biogas digester to provide a less expensive source of cooking fuel, for which they were awarded the Thomas G. Arnold Design Prize. In addition to his community involvement, he also competed for the Vanderbilt Men’s Cross Country team.
As a medical student at Vanderbilt, Thomas remained active as a board intern for the Siloam Family Health Center. He led an initiative to improve comprehensive care of the clinic’s 400 diabetic patients. Siloam experienced significant improvements among several clinical performance measures, including a more than threefold increase in the number of patients with high cholesterol who were appropriately treated with a statin.
Thomas is now an emergency medicine resident at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.