Amy Wongsarnpigoon is an adult nurse practitioner and primary care provider at Campus Health. She joined Campus Health on February 9th, 2015 after being at NC State Student Health for 4 years. Wongsarnpigoon received her undergraduate degree in nursing from UNC. After a few years working as an intermediate care nurse in Greensboro, NC, she returned to UNC to obtain her Nurse Practitioner license in 2009. She then provided care at a community health clinic where, much like Campus Health, they had pharmacists, mental health counselors and primary care providers to offer all-inclusive health care to patients. “I really enjoy the continuity of care and being able to work in a medical home where we can address the healthcare needs of students all in one location,” Wongsarnpigoon said.
Building a provider-patient relationship with students is the main reason Wongsarnpigoon enjoys working in college health. “Our goal is to help students succeed in their program, graduate on time, and establish healthy behaviors that will help them through their adult life. One of the ways I help students succeed is by encouraging healthy living techniques during each encounter.” When a student comes in with an illness, Wongsarnpigoon gives them health promotion information such as how to improve overall health through nutrition or education about vaccinations that might help prevent illnesses. Students often say, “I cannot be sick because I have these exams," or "I don’t have time to be sick." When Wongsarnpigoon gives students health advice, she reviews information that will help them with symptoms as well as provide insight on how to stay healthy and prevent illness in the long run. "I keep in mind that everyone comes from a different background physical, emotionally, and socially and that helps me personalize their health goals. Getting a sense of where they are coming from helps me decide how to implement a plan of care specific for them,” she maintained. That focus on meeting students where they are helps Wongsarnpigoon immediately connect with students.
Wongsarnpigoon noted her passion for bringing awareness to students regarding the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine (Gardasil). While working for NC State, she coordinated an award-winning effort to increase HPV vaccination rates for males. The intervention focused on providers recommending the vaccine to college-aged men who have not yet received the vaccine or completed the series. The clinic increased their rate of recommendation by 65% over the course of the project. “I would love to see us implement something like that here at UNC,” Wongsarnpigoon commented. "Patients can now receive Gardasil 9 which protects against 9 strains of HPV instead of the previous version of Gardasil which protected against 4 strains of HPV." If a student has not yet received the HPV vaccine, it will protect that student from any harmful HPV strains they have not yet encountered. Call Campus Health today if learning more about the HPV vaccine interests you.
Love of Food and Travel
Wongsarnpigoon’s background is Thai. She loves to eat Thai food but admits that she isn’t the the greatest Thai cook. Her interest in finding good food has inspired her to travel internationally. “When we travel, we always think about what we will eat first,” she observed. She researches hole-in-the-wall authentic cuisine prior to traveling by reading food blogs. Visiting iconic tourist locations comes second to the food. “We see whatever is close by the restaurant …’ok, I guess we will go check out the Eiffel Tower,’” she laughed. She has traveled to multiple countries in Asia, Europe and the Caribbean and she readily offers recommendations on where to eat.
Come See for Yourself
Wongsarnpigoon works in the primary care clinic on the main floor of Campus Health.