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Photo: MICHAEL STRAUB, License: N/A, Created: 2017:01:24 14:19:58

Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak believes in discovering, learning and growing into the best version of oneself to achieve success.

“Surround yourself with awesome people, because great leaders can be invisible,” she said.

Thomas-Hemak is CEO at The Wright Center for Community Health and President/CEO of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education.

The business has afforded her a 20-year career as a primary care doctor and medical educator, caring for patients and educating the current and future inter-professional workforce two days a week at The Wright Center for Community Health’s Mid Valley Practice. Her executive role allows her to lead by leveraging her deep connection to and love for the patients, families and community.

“I am grateful to our amazing governing board and employees who work tirelessly to deliver our organizational vision to be a leading model of primary healthcare delivery with integrated workforce development in America,” she said.

She is a board member of The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center and Lackawanna County’s Behavioral Health Research Institute.

“These board engagements sharpen my perspective of how important and often challenging healthcare is to our overall economy and welfare, and how paradigm the necessary changes are in medical education to best prepare and inspire our future healthcare workforce,” she said.

As a safety-net provider of comprehensive healthcare services, The Wright Center for Community Health is in pursuit of Federally Qualified Look Alike designation and future status as a Federally Qualified Health Center.

“This journey has been so validating and will generate almost unimaginable value for our organization and the patients, families, learners and community we serve,” Thomas-Hemak said.

Her grandparents were industrious immigrants who worked on the railroad and in the coal mines. Her parents were both public school teachers. She is a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School and The University of Scranton, Baylor College of Medicine and Harvard’s medical education system.

Her greatest professional mentors have been Dr. Robert Wright, a visionary; the late Dr. Tucker Clauss, who recruited her back to Northeast Pennsylvania to be his partner; Dr. Louis Druffner, who mentored her in her formative years as a primary care physician; Dr. Ed Wagner, who force multiplied primary care innovations and Dr. Doug Lawrence, her spiritual and leadership coach. Role models of integrity she strives to emulate are Attorney Robert Kelly, the late Ann Moskovitz and her dear friend and community leader, Jody Cordaro. She notes The Wright Center’s executive committee members, Carlon Preate, Joseph Ferrario, Gerard Geoffroy, James Gavin, John Kearney, William Waters and Mary Marrara play important roles in her professional life.

The doctor ultimately attributes her blessings and accomplishments to God and His grace.

“I am also ever-grateful for learning the value of hard work, perseverance and unconditional love from my parents and incredible family,” she said.

She is thankful for her husband, Mark Hemak, and their three children, Mason, Maya and Antoinette. They are fortunate to have her parents, sister and her three children, Mark’s father and brother actively engaged in their lives.

She is proud of The Wright Center for Community Health’s key organizational recognitions as an NCQA designated Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home; a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Top 30 innovative primary care practice; a University of California, San Francisco Center for Excellence in Primary Care and American Association of Medical Colleges premier primary care residency program; a Pennsylvania Opiate Use Disorder Center of Excellence and Coordinating Center; a leading partner in Lackawanna County’s Healthy MOMS program for pregnant women struggling with substance use disorder; and the largest pioneering HRSA-funded Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Consortium in America.

She has received many awards including the John J. Baldi Mental Health Advocacy Award; Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Physicians’ Laureate Award and Maternal and Family Health Services’ Outstanding Community Partner Award. She has been honored as one of the National Association of Women Business Owners Northeast Pennsylvania’s Top 25 Women in Business, the Times Leader’s Health Care Heroes, The Scranton Times-Tribune’s Readers’ Choice Best Doctor and The Scranton Times-Tribune Northeast Woman.