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February is Heart-Health Month

Improving heart health just got a little bit simpler, thanks to the ABC’s of heart disease prevention.

As any world-renowned cardiologist would tell you, it is much better to prevent than cure. When it comes to heart health, developing healthy lifestyle habits early in life can go a long way in preventing heart disease—the No. 1 killer of Americans. And with the new “ABCDE approach” for heart disease prevention, living a long and healthy life free of heart disease is simpler than ever before.

Based on the latest research, there are eight important steps that American adults can take to drastically reduce their risk of developing heart disease:

A: Assessing risk

for heart disease and taking aspirin when appropriate. In 2013, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association released guidelines stating that every adult should have their cardiovascular risk calculated at least every five years. By taking into account simple factors like age, race, and cholesterol, adults can find out just how likely it is that they’ll develop heart disease in the next 10 years. Those at increased risk for heart disease should discuss low-dose aspirin to reduce risk of heart attack and stroke, along with any other strategies for lowering heart disease risk.

B: Blood pressure

control. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a major cause of heart attack and stroke. By monitoring blood pressure and taking steps to control blood pressure, like losing weight, improving diet and taking medication when necessary, serious complications associated with hypertension can be prevented. It’s estimated that 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure, so it’s important to keep track of your blood pressure over time.

C: Cigarette cessation

and cholesterol control. Tobacco use increases risk of heart attack and stroke, and can lead to multiple types of cancers, such as lung cancer and lung disease. The good news is that quitting smoking goes a long way in improving heart health and if you’re looking to quit, you don’t have to go it alone. There are a wealth of tools available that can increase your chances of quitting for good, so it’s important to discuss smoking cessation aids with your doctor.

Having cholesterol checked regularly is also key to heart disease prevention. Making healthy lifestyle choices, like staying active and eating healthy can help keep cholesterol levels in check. Certain patients, like those with high cholesterol or a history of heart disease, may also choose to take cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins to control cholesterol levels. It’s important to discuss potential strategies for lowering cholesterol levels with your doctor.

D: Diabetes treatment

and diet control. Diabetes drastically increases risk for heart disease, stroke and other serious conditions. Maintaining a healthy blood sugar, making healthy lifestyle choices and taking medication, when necessary, can help prevent complications associated with diabetes. Adults can also help prevent both heart disease and diabetes with a healthy diet. Based on the latest research, that means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and incorporating low-fat dairy products, chicken, fish, legumes and nuts into ones diet. A heart-healthy diet also limits consumption of sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages and red meat.

E: Exercise.

Guidelines recommend that adults get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week to prevent heart disease and promote good health. Research also shows that spending too much time sedentary increases risk for heart disease. It’s important to not only incorporate exercise into your day, but also avoid sitting for long periods of time when possible.

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Burick Center Staff MemberTracy Koval

Office Manager

Tracy joined the Burick Center for Health & Wellness in June of 2016 to help patients by managing various aspects of the office. Tracy brings more than three decades of medical office experience as the former office manager of a multi-specialty group and also works on a part-time basis as a Patient Service Rep at a local urgent care center.

Tracy’s favorite part of working in a medical practice is the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life by helping them navigate through the maze of health care. She loves being part of the dynamic team at the Burick Center.

Tracy likes to spend time with her family. She has two sons, Mason, who is living and working in Philadelphia as a Sr. Analyst for a marketing firm, and Spencer, who works at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.

Burick Center Staff MemberTom Baker

Strategy Officer

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Burick Center Staff MemberRena Geesaman

Patient Coordinator

Rena Geesaman is a Registered Medical Assistant who enjoys providing attentive and caring client service. She is very happy to be part of the Burick Center team where patient care is our number one focus.

Her goal is to do everything within her power to ensure every interaction leaves you feeling well cared for and perhaps even delighted.

Rena volunteers by serving as board treasurer for Carlisle Christian Academy. She also helps facilitate a program at River of God Church for single, pregnant girls which provides practical, emotional and spiritual support.

Outside of the office Rena enjoys hiking, traveling, tending to her flower beds, hosting meals on their back deck, enjoying time with dear friends, loving on her little dogs, and best of all spending time with family. Being fairly new grandparents, she and her husband Don are always happy to share pictures of their little grandson, Lucas. Feel free to ask! She considers herself amazingly blessed!

Burick Center Staff MemberDr. Peter Lu

Acupuncturist

Dr. Peter Lu trained and worked in New York City for 15 years and recently moved to central PA. He studied pre-med at Brooklyn College and attended medical school at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn. Thereafter he worked in the inner city hospitals of New York City, and lastly had the honor of caring for people with his sister in Stamford, Connecticut.

Dr. Lu greatly appreciates open lines of communication as it pertains to questions you may have about your ailment and how acupuncture could help in the healing process. His intention to address your needs to the best of his ability.

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Burick Center Staff MemberLee Morand

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Lee has had the sincere pleasure of working in the Greater Harrisburg area for over 20 years. She relocated to Harrisburg in 1990 after completing her undergraduate degree in Nutrition Pre-Med at Cornell University. Lee received her first Master’s Degree from Shippensburg University. Her second Master’s Degree, as well as Doctorate, were both from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

She uses a Cognitive-Behavioral approach to guide her work with clients across the lifespan. She strongly believes research has shown that changing your thoughts does change your life. Her primary focus with clients is to reduce symptoms by assisting clients to achieve skills they can utilize in their professional, academic, and personal lives.

Burick Center Staff MemberHeather Motter

LMT, Massage Therapist and Back Desk Coordinator

Heather Motter joined the Burick Center team in 2018. A graduate of YTI Career Institute, Heather prides herself on using her highly developed skills to maintain the balance between mind and body. As a licensed massage therapist, she specializes in Medical Massage, Lymphatic Drainage, Trigger Point Therapy, and Oncology Massage.

Heather has a vast amount of experience working with a variety of patients. From a simple relaxation massage to a patient dealing with chronic pain, Heather is able to facilitate treatments uniquely designed for each patient’s individual needs.

Heather insists that massage is not just a relaxation luxury. Instead, her philosophy is that massage helps lead to a healthier, happier lifestyle. She encourages everyone to take the time to meet with her to develop a care plan to enhance their overall wellness.

Heather is a resident of Carlisle, where she resides with her fiancé, two sons, and four dogs. When she’s not at work, she can be found outside working on her back yard oasis, or volunteering at Speranza Animal Rescue.

Burick Center Staff MemberFelicia Miller

Nutritionist

Felicia Miller is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist who provides nutritional counseling and education to patients of the Burick Center for Health & Wellness.

She takes the science of nutrition with her extensive knowledge of food and coaching skills to create an easy-to-follow actionable plan for her clients to follow.

Recognizing that there are multiple components to creating a successful wellness plan, she looks at the whole person – their concerns, lifestyle, personality, family, and career. Listening to her patients allows for Felicia to find the root cause of their issue and not simply the symptoms.

“Being healthy goes beyond diet, food is just one of the pillars of a happy, healthy person.” Felicia goes beyond the traditional diet education- she coaches and supports her patients as they learn how to make changes in their day-to-day life.

“I’m passionate about whole foods and healthy living I strive to inspire you to make positive food and lifestyle changes – at any age.”

Burick Center Staff MemberAshley Weibley

Registered Nurse

Ashley is a nurse at Burick Center for Health & Wellness. Her nursing philosophy is one of holistic care. She is a patient advocate committed to clear communication, education and applying critical thinking and decision-making skills to help patients achieve better outcomes. She enjoys providing the highest quality nursing care in a respectful, healing environment. She has a personal commitment to life-long learning through formal education and hands-on experience. She appreciates that compassion along with innovative care is what the Burick Center for Health & Wellness is all about.

Ashley has an Associate’s Degree from Harrisburg Area Community College and a Bachelors Degree from Penn State University.

She is married and has twin boys, She enjoys spending time with her friends, family and pets. She has owned and shown Quarter Horses all of her life and continues to compete in her spare time.