The Wright Center for Community Health Receives the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program Grant

The Wright Center for Community Health has been selected to receive a $1.5 million grant from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) administered by the Pennsylvania Office of the Budget and the Wolf Administration.

This award is a result of the organization’s pursuit of and commitment to providing high-quality, accessible, safety-net healthcare services, concurrent with bolstering community-based training opportunities for our vital healthcare workforce in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The Wright Center for Community Health will expand to a new 41,900-square-foot clinical, learning and administrative complex at 501 S. Washington Avenue in Scranton in late summer/early fall 2019. The project will generate more than 40 full-time jobs in Scranton and the practice will ultimately be open seven days/week, including evenings. It will house expanded primary care, behavioral health/addiction, oral health and infectious disease teams to allow for greater patient accessibility to integrated care.

This location will also house administrative staff supporting The Wright Center for Community Health’s affiliated entity, The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, as well as family medicine, internal medicine and psychiatry residents along with interprofessional students.

Community health and economic development goals for this facility include:

  • expansion of our region’s available primary care services with 33 adult and pediatric exam rooms and 4 dental operatories;
  • integration of mental/behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment and recovery services through The Wright Center for Community Health’s existing Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence program, PacMAT initiative, and Healthy MOMS program; and
  • integration of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and infectious disease treatment through The Wright Center for Community Health’s existing federally funded Ryan White clinic.

“This award from Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Office of the Budget is a powerful demonstration of our state leadership’s commitment to expanding access to right-venue, nondiscriminatory, high-quality, affordable and integrated primary medical, dental and behavioral health services for the citizens of Northeastern Pennsylvania. We are humbled to be a part of actualizing such valiant vision from our state leadership, and we are very grateful for this empowering investment into our mission and into our community. It will allow us, while expanding integrated primary care access and revitalizing an economically distressed block within South Scranton, to joyfully prepare our future physician leaders and interprofessional healthcare workforce,” said Linda Thomas-Hemak, MD, FACP, FAAP, CEO of The Wright Center for Community Health and President of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education. “We are energized by this force multiplying mission investment to advance nationally significant primary care delivery and workforce development innovations to more responsively serve patients and develop the healthcare leaders of tomorrow. We wholeheartedly thank Governor Wolf, Senator John Blake and our state leadership for placing their trust in The Wright Center as we collectively strive to improve healthcare and medical education in our region and in our nation.”

The Wright Center for Community Health was designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike (FQLA) in May 2019, and currently provides a comprehensive medical home to more than 20,000 patients, over 40% of whom are uninsured, underinsured or low-income. Strong affiliations with local hospitals and systems, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, federally qualified health center (FQHC) partners, and community nonprofits support and enhance its mission delivery. This project will enable services for an additional 7,000 patients quickly and ultimately establish the capacity to double the size of the patient population currently served by The Wright Center for Community Health’s team.

Medical students from A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) will also begin rotating at this new practice beginning in July 2020, an opportunity that has potential to significantly enhance the provider pipeline within Northeastern Pennsylvania.

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