Leighton Huey, MD has joined The Wright Center for Primary Care as the organization’s Co-Director of Behavioral Health Integration. In this role, Dr. Huey will enhance The Wright Center’s efforts to strengthen ties between physical and behavioral health services. In addition, Dr. Huey will treat patients at The Wright Center for Primary Care. In tandem with his roles with The Wright Center, Dr. Huey will serve as faculty at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, where he has also been appointed as Associate Dean for Behavioral Health Integration and Community Care Transformation and Professor of Psychiatry.
Dr. Huey’s arrival at The Wright Center opens doors for patients and trainees at all levels. He has a passion for education and training, particularly in the assessment, diagnostic, and treatment aspects of care with attention to outcomes. Dr. Huey is recognized for his work in behavioral health workforce efforts and health system innovation and improvement. He has particular expertise in mood and anxiety disorders as well as adult attention deficit disorder. He has a longstanding involvement in integrating behavioral health into physical health and is particularly committed to the integration of substance use disorders and trauma informed care into mainstream physical health care.
“The Wright Center is well on its way to being a national model of innovation,” says Dr. Huey. “To be able to continue the collaborative work of The Wright Center and Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and larger community is a privilege and opportunity. Many wonderful things can be accomplished through a collaborative approach and I look forward to taking a part in that. I am excited to work with the energetic, bright and creative team at The Wright Center who are not confined to static thinking. And the fact that based on the needs assessment of this community, that the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine has made the Behavioral Health Initiative one of its top priorities, is a testimony to the commitment to innovation its leadership embraces.”
When asked specifically about the Opioid Epidemic Northeastern Pennsylvania – and the nation – are facing, Dr. Huey states, “There is great overlap amongst substance abuse disorders, trauma, and anxiety issues; one cannot be addressed without considering the effects of the others. What I hope to see is an entire community rally around these issues, initiating a treatment on demand approach so people can receive the treatment they need in a timely fashion. Getting patients into an appropriate treatment facility on the first pass is critical to reducing the problem for them and for the community.”
Linda Thomas-Hemak, MD, President/CEO, The Wright Center said, “Dr. Huey is an absolute breath of fresh air in our healthcare and medical education industry. He’s at a beautiful place in his notable career where he can thoughtfully utilize his personal and professional wealth of experience to help us change the way we do business to better educate our workforce, while providing better care for our patients, families, learners and care teams. Dr. Huey brings passionate perspective regarding biopsychosocial care integration delivered through strengthened human connections. Welcoming Dr. Huey to our ‘Beyond Flexner’ Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, to The Wright Center and to Northeastern Pennsylvania as a care provider and medical educator is a true gift. He clearly sees our community’s amazing potential and he will provide exceptional leadership to our care teams and learners. I am certain that Dr. Huey will prove invaluable to our region as we strive collectively to cultivate workforce development in arenas of trauma and substance informed care in order to promote recovery and resiliency of our patients, families and larger community.”
Dr. Huey holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania, where he also completed graduate coursework in Biology. He earned his medical degree from Albany Medical College of Union University in Albany, New York and completed his residency in Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining The Wright Center, Dr. Huey served as a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Connecticut, where he was also the Associate Dean for Community and Continuing Medical Education. Prior to this role, he held positions as the University’s Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Residency Training Director. Dr. Huey’s diverse background also includes time with Dartmouth Medical School, where he served as a Professor, Vice Chair and Medical Director as well as the Scripps Memorial Hospital, where he served as Medical Director of the Mental Health System. Dr. Huey also served as President of a 230-member, multi-specialty physician’s group and Professor at the University of California, San Diego and Chief of Psychiatry at the San Diego Veterans Administration Medical Center.