Linda Thomas-Hemak, MD, is the Chief Executive Officer of The Wright Center for Community Health and President and CEO of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education. She is board certified in pediatrics, internal medicine and addiction medicine. She was born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania and, after completing her residency at Harvard Medical School, returned home to treat her hometown community.
Dr. Thomas-Hemak graduated as a Michael DeBakey Scholar from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and completed Harvard’s Medicine/Pediatrics Residency in Boston, Massachusetts. She joined The Wright Center for Community Health in 2000 and became CEO in 2012. She has been the program director for the well-accredited Internal Medicine program since 2007 and has overseen its successful learning venues at Regional and Moses Taylor hospitals and The Wright Center for Community Health, as well as its significant expansion with thriving learning environments at Geisinger Community Medical Center, the Wilkes Barre Veterans Affairs Hospital and within a regional network of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). 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. She has lead the notable regional and national expansion of The Wright Center for Community Health community-based Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Consortium which aims to address America’s physician shortage, maldistribution in rural communities and related health disparities. She has also served as a primary healthcare specialist consultant for the Bureau of Primary Health Care to promote Teaching Health Center GME funding eligibility at a national level.
Dr. Thomas-Hemak teaches and practices primary care as a triple board-certified internal medicine, pediatrics, and addiction medicine physician at The Wright Center for Community Health Mid Valley Practice. She is a committed advocate of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) delivery model, promoting patient and community empowerment, constructive consumerism and patient self-management in an environment emphasizing team-based care delivery. She was recently selected to serve on the PCMH Advisory Council, established by a statute to assist the Department of Human Services (DHS) in ensuring comprehensive review and development of a PCMH model for Pennsylvania.
Dr. Thomas-Hemak is also an advocate for Electronic Medical Records Meaningful Use, behavioral health integration and inter-professional healthcare workforce development. She has a particular passion for “Closing the Loop” and the leading role of medical homes in effective care coordination and transitions of care. She led The Wright Center for Community Health Mid Valley’s 2011 $6 million new construction project for a medical home educational showcase, which has on-site Maternal and Family Health WIC Services, new dental hygiene and behavioral health service lines and flourishing affiliations with 11 regional academic institutions. This practice is actively engaged in several practice transformation initiatives, including the PAFP’s Improving Performance in Practice Residency Program/Community Health Center Collaboratives. She served on the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Chronic Care Steering, Care Transitions, Behavioral Health and Cost Containment committees. This practice also sponsored “The Wright Script,” an inter-professional, pharmacy lead “Gold” designated team engaged in HRSA’s Patient Safety and Pharmacy Collaborative.
Dr. Thomas-Hemak was a founding board member of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Chair of the Academics Coordinating Committee and an active member of the Strategic Planning and Audit committees. She has pioneered implementation of medical home extension School-Based Health Center services, inspiring new, federally-funded, capital construction projects for School-Based Health Centers within four regional public school districts.
Dr. Thomas-Hemak notes her favorite professional activity as leveraging medical education and community resources to optimize patient care delivery within her own community. She is focused on caring for multi-generation families in a team-based, “learning” environment and guiding The Wright Center for Community Health’s community-based mission to continuously improve education and patient care in a collaborative spirit to enhance outcomes, access and affordability.