Linda Thomas-Hemak, M.D., Named to Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Advisory Council

Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak has been appointed to Pennsylvania’s Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Advisory Council for a two-year term. The Council was established by statute to assist the Department of Human Services (formerly the Department of Public Welfare) in ensuring comprehensive review and development of a PCMH model for Pennsylvania.

Specifically, the Council will be advising on ways to contain Pennsylvania’s Medicaid costs and increase quality of care using a standard and certified PCMH approach.

A Patient-Centered Medical Home focuses on the patient as a whole (including physical and mental needs) and connects a team of health care providers and community services with each patient. Patients are encouraged and empowered to learn about, manage and organize their own care at the level they choose. The patients’ families also become core members of the care team.

The PCMH model is widely recognized in the medical community as a means of improving health care in America. Primary care offices in Northeastern Pennsylvania, including The Wright Center for Primary Care locations in Scranton, Jermyn and Clarks Summit, follow the PCMH approach to care and have also been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

“We have an amazing opportunity to drive innovations in healthcare within Pennsylvania. Many of our patients have complex health needs and require medical and social services. There is a very real benefit for the patient and the economy by taking a whole-patient approach to health care and wellness. I am humbled by the opportunity to serve,” said Thomas-Hemak.

Pennsylvania’s PCMH Advisory Council is comprised of family physicians, obstetricians, gynecologists, nurse practitioners, internists, pediatricians, pharmacists, hospitals and health systems, PCMHs, mental health care providers, community health centers, managed care organizations licensed in Pennsylvania and physician assistants.

Dr. Thomas-Hemak was recommended by Daniel B. Kimball, Jr., M.D., FACP, President of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and Senator John Blake for inclusion onto Pennsylvania’s PCMH Advisory Council.

Dr. Thomas-Hemak, President and CEO of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education and Wright Center Medical Group, is a board-certified Internist and Pediatrician actively practicing and teaching in her Northeastern Pennsylvania hometown community classroom. She avidly supports Patient-Centered Medical Home delivery, promoting patient-centric, team-based care; meaningful use of enabling health information technology, patient driven agendas and self-management, integrated behavioral/mental health services and enriched community resource networks.

She leads The Wright Center for Primary Care’s Mid-Valley Practice, an NCQA Level 3 Medical Home and thriving inter-professional showcase for primary care workforce development, inclusively collaborating with twelve academic affiliates. As a leader in PA’s Chronic Care Initiative, the Mid Valley Practice was one of thirty practices selected for Robert Wood Johnson Foundations’ Primary Care Teams: Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices initiative. At The Wright Center, Dr. Thomas-Hemak leads a pioneering regional and national Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Consortium to address primary care workforce shortage and mal-distribution. She also directs the Internal Medicine residency.

A graduate of Baylor College of Medicine and Harvard’s Combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency, she is faculty and past founding board member for The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC). Her favorite professional activity is patient care delivery to multi-generation families in her community, optimized by point of care medical education. Read her full bio here.

 

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