Linda Thomas-Hemak, MD, FACP, FAAP
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 Northeast Pennsylvania and, 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 home to care for patients within her hometown community. She joined The Wright Center for Community Health in 2000 and became CEO in 2012.
She became the program director for The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education’s well-accredited 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.
In her role as President of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, she has led its notable regional and national expansion, enabling it 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, a psychiatry residency and gastroenterology fellowship were established, the regional family medicine residency experienced significant expansion, and programs have successfully made the necessary strides towards the ACGME Single Accreditation System.
She oversees a dynamic and engaged board of directors comprised of physician-faculty, stakeholders from educational institutions, leadership from FQHCs and community advocates focused on elevating the GME experience to cultivate physicians who are acutely focused on the Quadruple Aim — better health outcomes, enhanced care experience for patients, reduced cost of care and joy in practice. 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 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, dental hygiene and behavioral health service lines and flourishing affiliations with 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 aiming to cultivate the physician and interprofessional workforce that America needs. She is an active member on countless committees, boards and workgroups, and is focused on generating efficiencies in care, innovations in medical education to improve America’s healthcare delivery system at all levels.
She was named one of the region’s ‘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.