50 Notable Alumni

Dr. Audra Thomas

Assistant Director of Emergency Medicine, Carle Foundation Hospital

Associate in Applied Science

General Studies


After graduating from Parkland in 1989, Audra attended the University of Illinois and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology in 1991 as well as an M.D. in 1996. She completed her residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and remarked, “Being at Harbor gave me an experience that one gets only at a county hospital in one of the biggest urban centers in the country. The Spanish I learned from my Lithuanian Spanish teacher at Parkland served me well as 75% of the patients spoke Spanish only.”

Since medical school, she and her husband Joe – also a Parkland Notable Alumni – lived in different locations while he finished his PhD and started his career as a professor of Christian History. During that time, Audra was the EMS Co-Director and Attending Physician at Infinity Health Care in Wisconsin; Attending Physician at EmCare, Inc. in Pennsylvania; Attending Physician at Grandview Hospital in Pennsylvania; Attending Physician at Heartland Emergency Specialist, LLC in Bloomington, Illinois; and is currently the Assistant Director of Emergency Medicine at Carle Foundation Hospital as well as a Clinical Instructor for the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Urbana. At Carle, Audra is actively involved in maintaining excellence in stroke care, recruiting new physicians to Carle, and quality review and teaching medical students at the bedside.

Audra is a volunteer at Judah Christian School in a variety of roles and is active in her church, including a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic to serve the Haitians living in the Batey area.  She is also involved with CU at Home, a mission to the homeless.

Audra’s recalls her time at Parkland as “…one of significant growth both in scholarship and personally.  I had no idea how significantly my life would change in the future as I moved from LA to Philadelphia and back again.  Parkland was a great first step in preparing me for the challenges that were ahead.”