Linda Thomas-Hemak, MD, FACP, FAAP is the Chief Executive Officer of The Wright Center for Community Health and President of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education.
She was born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania. After graduating as a Michael DeBakey Scholar from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and completing Harvard’s Combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency in Boston, Massachusetts, she returned to her hometown community to practice primary care. She joined The Wright Center for Community Health, formerly The Wright Center Medical Group, in 2000, became President in 2007 and its chief executive in 2012.
Her physician responsibilities and commitment to workforce development positioned her to become Program Director of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education’s ACGME- accredited, allopathic internal medicine residency in 2007. As Program Director, she successfully led the integration of the ACGME, Patient-Centered Medical Home and EMR Meaningful Use Competencies into a Curriculum Matrix and Milestones-Based Assessment to meet the standards of the ACGME’s Next Accreditation System.
Dr. Thomas-Hemak became President and Chief Executive Officer of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education in 2012 and has led its notable regional and national expansion, enabling the organization to blossom into the largest Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Safety-Net Consortium (THC GME-SNC) in the country. She was instrumental in the creation of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education’s pioneering National Family Medicine Residency (NFMR) Program, designed to address America’s physician shortage, misdistribution and related health disparities through collaborations with Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) partners engaged as learning environments for family medicine physicians. Under her leadership, the organization established a psychiatry residency and gastroenterology fellowship, significantly expanded its regional family medicine residency and successfully attained initial ACGME Single Accreditation for its previously AOA-accredited internal medicine and family medicine residencies. Currently, in the 2019-20 Academic Year, more than 200 learners are training with The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education across the country.
As CEO of The Wright Center for Community Health and a triple board-certified internal medicine, pediatrics, and addiction medicine primary care physician, Dr. Thomas-Hemak teaches and practices in her hometown of Jermyn, PA, concurrent with her responsibilities as an executive. She is a committed advocate of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) delivery model, promoting patient, family and community empowerment, constructive consumerism and patient self-management in an environment emphasizing team-based care delivery. Dr. Thomas-Hemak is also a champion for Electronic Medical Records Meaningful Use, behavioral health integration and inter-professional healthcare workforce development. She is a relentless advocate for accessible, non-discriminatory care for patients and the elimination of stigma surrounding addiction and infectious disease. Prior to becoming board certified in addiction medicine, she achieved a certification in Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) to assist individuals struggling with substance use disorder.
Dr. Thomas-Hemak has a particular passion for “Closing the Referral Loop” and the leading role of medical homes in effective care coordination, referral tracking and transitions of care. In 2011, she led The Wright Center for Community Health Mid Valley Practice’s $6 million new construction project for a medical home educational showcase, which has on-site Maternal and Family Health Women, Infants and Children (WIC) services, dental and behavioral health service lines and flourishing affiliations with multiple regional academic institutions.
She pioneered implementation of The Wright Center for Community Health’s School-Based Health Center services, inspiring new, federally-funded capital construction projects for School-Based Health Centers within four regional public school districts. One such site developed into a publically-accessible safety-net primary care clinic within West Scranton Intermediate School. Under her leadership, The Wright Center for Community Health has doubled its footprint in Clarks Summit, PA and expanded its reach into Luzerne County, opening two safety-net primary healthcare practices in 2018 and a third in July 2019.
Dr. Thomas-Hemak was a founding board member of the Scranton-based Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM), formerly The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC), and is actively involved in multiple organizations, countless committees, non-profit boards and workgroups aiming to generate efficiencies in primary care and inter-professional workforce development.
Under her leadership, several dynamic and engaged non-profit boards of directors comprised of patients, community leaders and consortium members focus on elevating the patient care and graduate medical education experiences to actuate the Quadruple Aim (improving the health of populations, enhancing the experience of care for individuals, reducing the per capita cost of healthcare and joy in practice).
She was named one of the ‘Top 25 Women in Business’ by the Northeast Business Journal in 2019 and her favorite professional activity is patient care delivery to multi-generational families within her community, optimized by point-of-care medical education.