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 and became CEO in 2007.
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 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 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 creation of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education’s pioneering National Family Medicine Residency (NFMR), designed to address America’s physician shortage, maldistribution and related health disparities through partnerships 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.
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 an advocate 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. She is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) certified to assist individuals struggling with substance use disorder.
She has a particular passion for “Closing the Loop” and the leading role of medical homes in effective care coordination, referral tracking and transitions of care. She led The Wright Center for Community Health Mid Valley Practice’s 2011 $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 hygiene and behavioral health service lines, as well as 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, as well as a publically-accessible safety-net primary care site within West Scranton Intermediate School. Under her leadership, The Wright Center for Community Health has doubled its footprint in Clarks Summit and expanded its reach into Luzerne County, opening two safety-net primary healthcare practices in 2018 and another 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 interprofessional workforce development.
Under her leadership, The Wright Center for Community Health and The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education’s dynamic and engaged boards of directors comprised of patients, physician-faculty, stakeholders from educational institutions, leadership from FQHCs and community advocates focused on elevating the patient care and graduate medical education experience strive to actuate the Quadruple Aim — better health outcomes, enhanced care experience for patients, reduced cost of care and joy in practice.
She was named a ‘Top 25 Women in Business’ by the Northeast Business Journal in 2019 and her favorite professional activity is patient care delivery to multi-generation families within her community, optimized by point-of-care medical education.