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Mid Valley Recognized as a National Model of Innovative Primary Care Practice


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The Wright Center for Primary Care Mid Valley Recognized as a National Model of Innovative Primary Care Practice
December 4, 2013 Jermyn, Pennsylvania — The Wright Center for Primary Care Mid Valley (WCPC-Mid Valley) is among 30 clinics nationwide selected as an Exemplar Primary Care Practice by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Group Health Research Institute, who have teamed up on a new initiative to identify practice innovations that make primary care more efficient, effective, and satisfying to patients and providers. The Primary Care Team: Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices (LEAP) project identifies primary care practices that have focused on teamwork and new roles for health professionals in ways that support consistently outstanding primary care. WCPC-Mid Valley was selected through a rigorous national process to receive the designation.
“We are proud of how the Mid Valley practice has evolved over the past decade from a traditional, small town, one doc practice to a thriving multi-provider medical home delivery and inter-professional primary care workforce development center that includes nursing, care management, social work, and Wilkes University’s behavioral/mental health providers and pharmacists. Our medical home journey to Level 3 NCQA certification was rooted in authentic implementation of the Chronic Care delivery model and EMR Meaningful Use. As the founder of the practice, I am so proud of our never ending journey toward becoming an ideal, learning primary medical care delivery, education and employment organization,” said Linda Thomas-Hemak, MD, President/CEO of The Wright Center. She adds that The Wright Center currently engages in 13 clinical training affiliations with regional academic institutions as well as partnerships with many community resource agencies.
The goal of the LEAP project is to identify and share innovative staffing arrangements that make primary care more accessible and effective for patients. A LEAP team conducted a three-day site visit to understand how the WCPC-Mid Valley primary care team delivers high quality, patient-centered health care. The 30 exemplar practices from across the country have been joined together in a learning community to share best practices and distill their innovations into training and technical assistance materials that can be used by others.
WCPC-Mid Valley will be influential in developing creative workforce models that will be disseminated to primary care practices nationwide. The Mid Valley practice cares for 6,500 patients annually, many of whom are members of multi-generational families and range in age from newborns to the very elderly. The medical staff includes physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners with expertise in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics and Mental Health. Most recently, WCPC-Mid Valley added a dental service line to help address the dental needs in the community. The practice also prides itself on same-day access and safety net services for patients from all walks of life.
Recognizing the increasing importance of team-based primary care for the effective and efficient delivery of care, the Robert Wood Johnson Emerging Leaders Program aims to accelerate the development of talented primary care staff who can positively impact their practice organizations and community, serving as spokespeople and exemplars for others in similar roles. We are absolutely thrilled to announce Patti Swierbinski, Medical Assistant at The Wright Center for Primary Care Mid-Valley has been selected a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Emerging Leader.
“With millions of Americans about to enter the health care system, primary care must become more effective and efficient. Building high performing care teams is a key step,” said Ed Wagner, MD, MPH, co-director of the LEAP project and director emeritus of the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle. “This new project will allow us to identify best practices and help other primary care sites replicate and adopt innovations to improve access to care and the quality of care they provide.”

About The Wright Center
The Wright Center is a community-based graduate medical education consortium with a 36-year history in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Its dual mission is to provide excellent graduate medical education in an innovative and collaborative spirit in order to provide high quality, evidence-based and patient-centered care to the people in the community we serve. The Wright Center provides healthcare services for children and adults in Northeastern Pennsylvania with innovative, team-based healthcare using the “Patient-Centered Medical Home” model. A “Medical Home” is a welcoming setting from which your healthcare team, led by a single trusted healthcare provider, works collectively with you to coordinate care and healthcare services to meet all of your health and wellness needs.


About the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at Group Health Research Institute
Named for a Group Health founder and pioneering physician, W.A. MacColl, MD, the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) was established in 1992 by Ed Wagner, MD, MPH, who is a senior investigator and founding director of GHRI. In the mid-1990s, the Center developed the Chronic Care Model, a widely endorsed and adopted approach to improving ambulatory care that has guided clinical quality initiatives in the United States and internationally. The Center was also the home of Improving Chronic Illness Care, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program that has been involved in further developing, testing, and disseminating Chronic Care Model-based clinical improvement efforts. To learn more about this work, visit
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive i was reading this and found very interesting, measurable, and timely change. For more than 40 years, the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit

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