The Wright Center News

The Wright Center names Lifestyle Medicine Health Educator

Carley Brock, MPH, has been named health educator for The Wright Center for Community Health’s Lifestyle Management Department. A graduate of Georgia Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in applied public health, Brock is a certified health education specialist and a certified drug and alcohol counselor.

As a health educator, Brock will work within the Lifestyle Medicine department to coordinate services for patients referred to the department. Lifestyle medicine is an evidence-based practice that helps individuals and families improve their overall health and quality of life by adopting and sustaining positive lifestyle behaviors, including eliminating tobacco use, improving diet, increasing physical activity, and practicing stress relieving techniques. Patients are empowered to take control of their well-being by making improvements through manageable changes in their overall lifestyle.

In this role, Brock will also serve as a liaison between the clinical staff at The Wright Center for Community Health and the Northeast Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center (NEPA AHEC) to coordinate interprofessional educational opportunities offered by NEPA AHEC.

She will also oversee the outcomes identified by NEPA AHEC in the delivery of comprehensive tobacco control programs in Lackawanna, Pike, Susquehanna, and Wayne counties, and the diabetes prevention program in Lackawanna, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, and Wayne counties.

The Wright Center introduced lifestyle medicine in 2020 to address a variety of community needs in Northeast Pennsylvania, including the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension. The Wright Center took their focus on lifestyle medicine one step further, by weaving lifestyle medicine into the curriculum of its graduate medical education programs, aiming to appropriately prepare the next generation of physicians to spare patients the needless suffering and expense of certain serious, long-term illnesses.

Lifestyle medicine services are available throughout The Wright Center’s practices. For more information about The Wright Center’s Lifestyle Medicine program, go to or call 570-230-0019.

With tick season here, be mindful of myriad health risks

Spring is finally in full swing here in Northeast Pennsylvania. The temperatures are rising, the birds are singing, and the grass is growing. I don’t know about you, but I’m loving every invigorating minute of it.

If you’re like me, you want to take full advantage of the great weather and get outside for all manner of fun pursuits, be it hiking, biking, gardening, or golf. Of course, it’s not all fun and games, as the great outdoors contain their share of threats, not the least of which are those pesky little insects with an uncanny knack for attaching themselves to humans and pets alike.

Yes, tick season has returned to NEPA, and we need to be vigilant from now through the end of the warm-weather months of these troublesome pests, which live in grassy, woodsy areas and can wreak havoc on the body in a number of ways.

The most common tickborne illness is Lyme disease, which in the Northeast is transmitted by the blacklegged tick. Symptoms usually include fever, headache, fatigue, and skin rash. The infection can damage the joints, the heart, or the nervous system if left untreated. Luckily, most cases can be treated with antibiotics, so it’s important to consult your physician.

While Lyme disease is the most well-known illness caused by a tick bite, it’s hardly the only one. Here are a few others worth your attention:

  • Anaplasmosis: Spread primarily by blacklegged and western blacklegged ticks, anaplasmosis can lead to fever, headache, chills, and muscle aches. In some cases, people contract the disease if a tick has been on their skin for more than 10 hours. It’s commonly treated with the drug Doxycycline.
  • Powassan Virus: Often spread by deer ticks, this virus can cause severe disease, including encephalitis or meningitis. Symptoms can include fever, headache, vomiting, and weakness, and treatment comes via rest, fluids, and symptomatic treatments and medications.  
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: This bacterial disease is transmitted by the Rocky Mountain wood tick, American dog tick, and brown dog tick. Most people who get it experience fever, headache, and rash, but it can be deadly if not treated early, as it was recently for a child from the State College, Pennsylvania area. Treat with Doxycycline.
  • Babesiosis: Caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells and are transmitted by the blacklegged tick, babesiosis can lead to anemia and blood clots if not properly treated.

So, given all these potential tickborne scourges and more, how can we best protect ourselves so we don’t end up sick or in the hospital? Well, there are plenty of ways to be proactive in the fight against ticks. Here are a few:

  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone
  • Steer clear of wooded, bushy, high-grass areas; if hiking or biking, stick to the trail
  • When finished with your outdoor activity, check your clothing and bare skin for ticks – and check your pets, too
  • Once back home, conduct a full-body check for ticks, paying close attention to the area under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, the back of the knees, in and around the hair, between the legs, and around the waist
  • Shower within two hours of coming indoors, as it can wash away unnoticed ticks, some the size of poppy seeds, and has been shown to reduce your risk of contracting tickborne diseases

And if you do find a tick on your body, be sure to monitor yourself for any potential symptoms. There’s also a local place where you can have your ticks examined – the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania at East Stroudsburg University. For more information on the lab, visit

A little knowledge goes a long way when it comes to ticks. So be mindful of them during the next several months – but don’t let them ruin your outdoor fun! William Dempsey, M.D., is deputy chief medical officer for The Wright Center for Community Health. He provides comprehensive primary care services as a family medicine physician and serves as medical director at The Wright Center for Community Health Clarks Summit Practice. He is also medication-assisted treatment-waivered to treat substance use disorder.

The Wright Center to Support National Health Objectives

The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education have recently been designated by an office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a Healthy People 2030 Champion.

The official recognition was made by the federal Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) and affirms The Wright Center’s commitment to promoting the nation’s efforts to improve the health and well-being of all people.

“We’re delighted to be recognized as champions of the Healthy People 2030 initiative and its framework for achieving a healthier society by 2030,” said Laura Spadaro, vice president of primary care and public health policy at The Wright Center. “Our nonprofit enterprise’s activities are in full alignment with the vision behind the Healthy People campaign, which is for all people to achieve their full potential for health and well-being across the lifespan.”

The initiative, updated each decade, sets data-driven national objectives in a range of categories, including health conditions (such as dementias, diabetes, and respiratory disease), health behaviors, and special populations.

In total, the initiative tracks 358 core objectives. One objective, for example, is to reduce current tobacco use among the adult population from 21.3% to 17.4% or below. Proponents of this goal note that tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States.

A key focus of the latest Healthy People initiative is the social determinants of health category, which are the social conditions impacting people in the places where they live, learn, work, and play that can affect their quality of life and health. Examples of social determinants of health include exposure to polluted air and water, exposure to racism and violence, and an individual’s level of access to things such as nutritious foods, educational attainment, job opportunities, safe housing, and outlets for physical activity.

“ODPHP is thrilled to recognized The Wright Center for its work to support the Healthy People 2030 vision,” said Rear Admiral Paul Reed, M.D., ODPHP director. “Only by collaborating with partners nationwide can we achieve Health People 2030’s overarching goals and objectives.”

The Healthy People initiative began in 1979 when U.S. Surgeon General Julius Richmond issued the landmark report, “Healthy People: The Surgeon General’s Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.”

Healthy People 2030 is the fifth iteration of the initiative. It builds on the knowledge gained and lessons learned to address the latest public health priorities.

Applicants are selected to become Healthy People 2030 Champions if they have a demonstrated interest in and experience with disease prevention, health promotion, health literacy, health equity, or well-being.

Upon acceptance, each champion is able to display a trademarked digital badge on its website and social media channels. Champions also receive information, tools, and resources to help them promote the initiative among their networks.

As a Healthy People 2030 Champion, The Wright Center joins the ranks of a diverse array of public and private organizations that impact health outcomes at the state, tribal, and local levels. Current champions include the Academy of General Dentistry, the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, the Council on Black Health, the Health Care Improvement Foundation, the National Kidney Foundation, the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, Trust for America’s Health, and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. To learn more about Healthy People 2030, visit To learn more about The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education, go to or call 570-230-0019