Phone Migration and Outage - 6/23/23
Campus Health is undergoing a phone migration to move from one system to another that will begin on Thursday June 22nd at 5 pm and be completed sometime on Friday, June 23rd. Please plan for the possibility of a phone system outage during this time; numbers called during the transition may indicate the line has been disconnected.
We recommend planning to use alternate methods of communicating with Campus Health and CAPS about non-urgent matters during the phone transition times such as the Healthy Heels portal.
Please note: Web-based prescription refills are available at https://readyrefills.unc.edu.
If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency department.
All UNC Chapel Hill students who have been diagnosed with ADHD and wish to have their medication managed on campus will be served by Counseling and Psychological Services psychiatric providers.
Details about being successful with ADHD including CAPS supports are available online.
Campus Health & CAPS will be closed on Monday, May 29th for the observance of the Memorial Day Holiday.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Campus Health has once again earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Ambulatory Services, Behavioral Health, and Laboratory Services by demonstrating continuous compliance with performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care. Campus Health has maintained this accreditation since 1986.
Campus Health, Counseling and Psychological Services, and the Campus Health Laboratory underwent rigorous, unannounced onsite reviews in December 2019. During the visits, teams of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with standards spanning several areas including organizational leadership, patient rights and education, infection prevention and control, medication management, adherence to best practices and clinical guidelines, patient safety, prevention of medical errors, and continual performance improvement.
Over 22,000 healthcare organizations worldwide are Joint Commission accredited. Local Joint Commission-accredited organizations include UNC Healthcare and Duke Health. Over 70% of community hospitals in North Carolina are Joint Commission accredited, but out of 800 institutional members of the American College Health Association, only 15 college health centers nationwide achieve Joint Commission accreditation. Campus Health director, Ken Pittman, noted that “UNC Campus Health chooses to continually seek Joint Commission accreditation in order to meet the same level of rigorous accreditation standards as providers within our region and those healthcare organizations in the hometowns of the majority of our students.”
Healthcare organizations who bill insurance plans as in network providers must achieve some level of accreditation. Campus Health is considered an in network provider by 94% of UNC students’ health insurance plans.
Since 2020, UNC-Chapel Hill has embedded Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) providers within various campus schools and programs including the School of Medicine and School of Law.
Starting in January 2023, CAPS has embedded additional therapists in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media and the Eshelman School of Pharmacy. There are additional plans to place counselors in the Gillings School of Public Health and the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program.
Embedded therapists can focus on and work with the students in those programs, allowing them to deeply understand the programs themselves, stressors specific to each school, and challenges faced by students within them. The embedded therapists can use program-specific knowledge and understanding to serve their students better in treatment as well as offer proactive groups and outreach to best meet broad student needs.
Students in these programs can initiate services by emailing the embedded therapists directly.
All students are welcome to access CAPS providers for an initial visit at their convenience Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 pm or 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm on the third floor of the James A. Taylor Student Health building.
New website to serve as central hub for mental health and well-being resources for campus community.
On Feb. 9, 2022, UNC-Chapel Hill launched the Heels Care Network website at care.unc.edu, which Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz first announced was in development in October 2021. The website will serve as a hub for mental health and well-being resources available to Carolina students, staff and faculty, including links to 24/7 support and suicide prevention resources. It also features a live chat and a link to an anonymous care referral form for anyone to report concerns they have for a student.
“The Heels Care Network is a campus-wide collaboration that truly embodies our goal of creating a culture of care and compassion at Carolina,” said Guskiewicz in his October announcement. “It is designed to help students, families, staff - anyone - find the resources they need to support their mental health and overall wellbeing.”
The central feature of the website is a comprehensive searchable and filterable database of mental health resources to support all members of the campus community — students, family, staff and faculty.
“What we consistently hear from students, parents and our campus partners is that there is a real desire to access mental health and well-being resources in addition to Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS),” said Student Affairs Vice Chancellor Amy Johnson. “There are many avenues to find the right support, and our hope is that the Heels Care Network coordinates the numerous resources from across campus into one easy-to-navigate website.”
The Heels Care Network website is supported by multiple campus partners to make sure the most timely and relevant resources and information are available to the campus community. The student peer supporters group LSN (Listen, Support, Navigate; pronounced “listen”), created by Peers for Progress, contributed to the site and will respond to the live chat.
To request more information or to offer additions to the mental health resources, organizations or educational content, you can provide feedback at care.unc.edu.
During Spring 2022, UNC-Chapel Hill offered a series of mental health online conversations, as well as launched multiple initiatives to support student health and wellbeing. We encourage you to review those endeavors using the video content below.
The Carolina Mental Health update took place on Thursday, April 28, from noon - 1:30 p.m. During the conversation, we:
The conversation was kicked off by Dr. Amy Johnson, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry updating you on mental health initiatives on campus, followed by Dr. Ed Fisher from the Gillings School of Public Health on peer support initiatives.
The third seminar, Mental Health and Interpersonal Violence: How Do They Connect?, was offered on Wednesday, April 20, from noon until 1:30 pm.
The conversation was facilitated and framed by Dr. Christi Hurt, Chief of Staff to the Chancellor, and discussed by a panel of practitioner experts on the intersection between interpersonal violence and mental health.
The second seminar, Mental Health, Alcohol, and Drugs: How Do They Connect?, was offered on Monday, March 28, from 3:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.
The conversation was facilitated by Dr. Charla Blumell, Assistant Director of Health Promotion and Prevention with Student Wellness, and framed by a panel of experts discussing the role that alcohol and drugs play in mental health.
The initial seminar, Mental Health, Spirituality, and Faith: How Do They Connect?, occurred on Monday, February 28, from noon until 1:30 p.m.
Aaron Bachenheimer, Executive Director of Off-Campus Student Life and liaison to Carolina’s Campus Ministers, facilitated the dialogue.
The conversation was framed by a diverse panel of experts discussing the role that spirituality and faith can play in mental health.
Carolina is known for its national athletic championships, but that's not the only area in which the university excels. For 5 years, Carolina has been the reigning national champion for flu shots.
Carolina partners with Alana's Foundation to track participation in the national university competition to increase awareness of flu vaccine importance. The competition runs from September to December, and campuses report their vaccine numbers each week. According to the 2022-2023 final standings, Carolina reported nearly 8,000 vaccines, ranking #1 among medium sized universities.
The best way to prevent the flu is to get the vaccine, as well as to follow protocols such as handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes. Even if someone gets the flu after vaccination, they are likely to have reduced severity of symptoms and reduced length of symptoms.
It’s not too late to get your flu vaccine, even though the competition has ended. Students, faculty, and staff are still encouraged to receive their vaccine through the number of options available on campus.
On campus, flu shots are still available at Campus Health Pharmacy and the Student Stores Pharmacy with no appointment necessary. For more information, visit flu.unc.edu.
Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 bivalent vaccine boosters are available on campus through the Campus Health Pharmacy and Student Stores Pharmacy.
The updated COVID-19 boosters include protection against variants that are more transmissible and immune-evading.
People over 12 should get the updated Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 booster two months or more after they finish their primary vaccine series or any booster dose.
Visits to receive an updated booster are available without an appointment at Campus Health Pharmacy or Student Stores Pharmacy Monday through Friday between 9 am - 5 pm.
Bivalent boosters come at no out-of-pocket cost. Bring your vaccination card and insurance card; no other documentation is needed.
Details about Campus Health services during COVID-19 including testing, tracing, vaccines and more using a Frequently Asked Questions format.
For CAPS visits, see caps.unc.edu.
Campus Health offers COVID-19 symptomatic testing, isolation and quarantine guidance, and vaccinations for UNC students and post-doctoral fellows.
Graduating students currently eligible for services at Campus Health will only be able to use Campus Health and CAPS for 30 days after the original academic calendar graduation on May 14, 2023. You will be eligible for services through June 13th. This includes onsite visits as well as telehealth services. You will continue to have access to COVID vaccines beyond June 13th at our Student Stores Pharmacy.
During this time period your primary care provider at Campus Health will be happy to work with you to explore possible provider options in the local community. There are multiple ways to schedule an appointment at Campus Health. You can schedule an appointment online for primary care, nutrition, gynecology or immunizations, request an appointment using our secure web portal healthyheels.unc.edu or call Campus Health to schedule an appointment (919) 966-2281.
A complete copy of your Campus Health medical record can be forwarded to your new provider of care by completing the release of information form found in the forms section of the Campus Health website.
If you are enrolled in the UNC System Student Health Insurance Plan for the Spring 2023 semester your insurance plan will terminate July 31, 2023. Visit the website to learn more about insurance options when no longer in school.
Influenza can be a serious, contagious respiratory disease. The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to be vaccinated every year. This year, getting your flu vaccination is even more important as being vaccinated against influenza will help reduce the overall burden of respiratory diseases and help conserve health care resources.
There are several opportunities for UNC-Chapel Hill community members to obtain a flu vaccination on campus:
Most health insurance plans offer flu vaccination with no copay. Campus Health is in-network with most major insurance plans, including the State Health Plan and Student Blue. Campus Health does not accept Medicare plans. Please bring a copy of your insurance card. You will be billed for any out-of-pocket expense as determined by your insurance company. Flu vaccination is available for $40 for those without insurance.
More information regarding UNC-Chapel Hill flu clinics and flu prevention is available at flu.unc.edu.
This year, the University is once again partnering with Alana’s Foundation to track our campus participation in a national university competition. Anyone vaccinated at an on-campus pharmacy or flu clinic will have their vaccine counted for UNC-Chapel Hill.
UNC Campus Health staff welcomes and affirms students of all gender identities and sexual orientations. We recognize that transgender, non-binary, and gender diverse students have health concerns that are often the same as all UNC students. However, some health issues may be unique and require a greater understanding of transgender and gender diverse student experiences, or require specific patient-oriented information and programming. Many providers have completed continuing medical education about providing care to transgender, non-binary, and gender-diverse patients and communities. Many have also attended UNC’s Safe Zone and Safe Zone Challenge trainings. When you make an appointment, let our schedulers know if you would prefer to meet with one of these providers.
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. This year, getting your flu vaccination is even more important. With both flu and COVID-19 circulating in our community this fall and winter, being vaccinated against influenza in addition to COVID-19 will help reduce the overall burden of respiratory diseases and help conserve health care resources.
Help prevent the spread of the flu on campus by recognizing the symptoms and staying at home. The flu spreads by coughing and sneezing and by touching infected surfaces. Someone with the flu can be infectious one day before symptoms and up to seven days after becoming ill. Learn more at flu.unc.edu.
COVID-19 Boosters Recommended
Now is also a great time to get your COVID-19 booster before you leave campus. The CDC recommends all adults 18 and over get a booster to increase their protection against COVID-19.
You are eligible for a booster if:
Flu shots and COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters are available on a walk-in basis at Campus Health Pharmacy and Student Stores Pharmacy for faculty, staff, and students. No appointment is necessary. Bring your insurance card (Medicare plans not accepted), and if receiving a COVID-19 booster, your COVID-19 vaccination card. Vaccinations are offered Monday - Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at both pharmacies. You can find off-campus vaccination clinics in your community at vaccines.gov.
Downloadable pdf reference sheet of Insect Protection while Traveling
For students and post-docs with the following insurance plans:
You can expect lower copays for prescriptions at Campus Health Pharmacy and Student Stores Pharmacy. Fill your prescriptions with us!
Amy Rodriguez is a Physician Assistant in the Primary Care clinics at Campus Health.
Rodriguez spent 6 years in the Army during which she worked with Physician Assistants and medics. Her experiences motivated her desire to be a PA. After her time in the military, she came to Chapel Hill to do pre-reqs to go to PA school and worked in Central Dermatology as a Medical Assistant. Rodriguez entered the Wake Forest Physician Assistant in Pediatrics program in 2014 and completed her degree in 2016. She worked for a year with gastrointestinal issues before joining Campus Health in fall of 2017.
The experience of working with students has fit well with Rodriguez. “I love my work! What I enjoy most is supporting students in being an agent for their own health,” she said. “Students are inspiring. I love their energy and learning about what they are learning, how they are growing and where they make a difference in their community.” Seeing the average student’s progress is one of Rodriguez’ favorite parts of her job. She also spoke about her internal celebration when patients mentioned an interest in becoming a Physician Assistant as a career goal.
When asked about a career accomplishment, Rodriguez mentioned that she and her graduate school partner won an award on research of melanoma. They researched how to reduce instances of melanoma in young patients through behavioral strategies. One successful strategy was using technology to show patients where their face had already experienced sun damage. That image of their own damaged skin was often enough to shift their behaviors towards using more sunscreen.
“You only get one body and hopefully it will last a long time so take care of it,” Rodriguez said. She commented on how college-aged students are in such a critical time for creating lifelong behaviors. Rodriguez enjoys “breathing some wisdom into my patients” about general wellness, eating well, exercising, and having healthy relationships. Overall, Rodriguez noted that the staff at Campus Health all care about students immensely, and she encouraged students with health concerns to come see us.
Rodriguez is all set for games of two truths and a lie - her truths are so interesting that they at times seem unbelievable. She is a world champion skydiver and has traveled to Russia to compete in the World Skydiving Championships. She was a participant on Wheel of Fortune (“Everyone should do it! I wouldn’t want to do it again though.”). And Rodriguez had a quick answer to what she would want as her superpower. “I have thought about this a lot,” she laughed. “I would want two superpowers. I would be invisible because I could do super secret covert ops. And I would want to be able to fly because I love going up in the air and coming down through the sky but I without a superpower I need an airplane or helicopter and a parachute.”
You can find Rodriguez in the Primary Clinics of Campus Health and on YouTube clips of Wheel of Fortune 2017 Veterans Week Day 3.
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.
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.
Wongsarnpigoon works in the primary care clinic on the main floor of Campus Health.
Chris Hirth is a full time Physical Therapist at Campus Health.
Chris has worked for Campus Health and UNC Athletics since 1996. Chris received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. He came to UNC to obtain his Master of Science degree in Human Movement, and had practical experience as an athletic trainer with Campus Health and UNC Athletics during his graduate program. After a few years of private practice Dr. Dan Hooker, Associate Director of Sports Medicine, called to ask him if he would be interested in working with Campus Health permanently.
Chris loves the educational environment at UNC. “Everyone at UNC – students, staff, and coaches alike – want to learn and improve.” In Chris’ clinic, the Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers have a dual focus: preventing injuries before they occur and treating injuries in the most effective way possible once they happen. To that end, Chris and his colleagues study injuries and injury prevention; they then use that knowledge to teach future professionals best practices. Though Chris treats everything from sprained wrists to neck pain, he notes that he’s done the most research on lower extremity injuries and prevention. He teaches the intricacies of feet, ankles, knees and hips to undergraduates and graduate assistant Athletic Trainers. He’s also one of the go-to staff for fabricating foot orthotics.
Chris takes the same quality care of his patients at Campus Health as he does of his athletes. “I learn from every one of my patients,” he said, “and every year brings a new group of people which keeps my job fresh, enjoyable, and fun.”
Chris enjoys the optimism and enthusiasm of college students. “This is an active and positive population of folks who want to get better,” he said, “Especially at UNC – we have the best athletes, coaches, and students.”
Chris noted two of his colleagues that help keep his work life positive. Chris expressed gratitude for Dr. Dan Hooker, his mentor and direct supervisor. “He’s given me tons of career opportunities. I am deeply indebted to him.” Chris also noted the high quality of work and organization by Jane Honeycutt, the administrative staff for the Physical Therapy and Athletic Training clinic. “She keeps things running smoothly despite the many schedules and people coming in and out of our workplace.”
Just a regular guy
When asked to note something interesting about himself, Chis said, “I’m just a regular guy.” Thankfully, Jane disclosed that Chris loves being with his family, biking the countryside and watching NCIS. “She’s got me pegged,” he laughed. Jane also mentioned that in Chris’ first year as Head Athletic Trainer for UNC Men’s Basketball, he supported the team in winning the National Championship. Just a regular guy indeed.
Come see for yourself
Chris works in the mornings in the Physical Therapy and Athletic Training department of Campus Health, located on the ground floor of Campus Health just past the Pharmacy.
Dr. Jennie Emery is a Primary Care Physician at Campus Health.
Dr. Emery grew up in a small town in southern Maine. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of New England in Maine and continued on to medical school there. She completed her residency in Danville, Virginia for Family Medicine, and came to UNC directly out of residency.
UNC has felt like a great fit for Dr. Emery since she joined Campus Health in August 2017. “I love college health medicine. Students are impressionable and gracious. They ask good questions and I find it fun to navigate those!” She also noted the diverse and inclusive culture of campus and her appreciation for finally having a college athletic program to support.
Dr. Emery hopes to survive her first year at UNC, including an upcoming maternity leave (congratulations!), and come back prepared to have “a bit bigger footprint next year.” She specifically noted her interest in getting more involved with the Diabetes Committee when she returns.
Medical interests for Dr. Emery include sexual health, mental health, and preventative medicine. “This is a great age group to talk about establishing healthy behaviors to prevent chronic illness down the road,” Dr. Emery commented. Her advice to students included establishing exercise routines, eating healthy foods, avoiding peer pressure for drugs, limiting alcohol use, and establishing good social relationships.
While Dr. Emery loves being a physician, she did say that if she could be anything else as a career, she would be a ballerina and the animal most representing her personality is a cat. Her superpower? Being a mom.
You can find Dr. Emery in the primary care clinic of Campus Health, golfing with her family, or enjoying watching UNC athletics or the New England Patriots.
Josh Berkowitz, MD is a medical provider with the Primary Care clinics and Sports Medicine clinic at Campus Health.
Dr. Berkowitz has been an athlete his whole life. His primary personal sports affiliation has revolved around ultimate frisbee. He played for UNC and later Ring of Fire, a club team out of Raleigh that routinely qualifies for the national championship tournament. Now that he’s an “old athlete” (his words), he appreciates his ability to stay involved with sports and teams to encourage another generation of athletes through his work with sports medicine. He received his medical degree from the UNC School of Medicine in 2010, then stayed on to complete dual-specialty residency training in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. He served as chief resident in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, before completing a fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at Campus Health. Dr. Berkowitz began his permanent position working at Campus Heath in 2016.
In the Sports Medicine Clinic, Dr. Berkowitz provides primary care services for athletes and takes care of sports related injuries and musculoskeletal complaints. Sports Medicine providers also cover sporting events in case something happens on the field, and work behind the scenes to keep athletes healthy and doing well so they can get back to playing. The Sports Medicine clinic is available to any student who is active and has a sports related injury. Dr. Berkowitz and his colleagues provide same level of care to the general student body as they do to UNC student-athletes. “This generation is increasingly active. Even people who don‘t consider themselves athletes are active or trying to be,” Dr. Berkowitz said. He went on to talk about how because of this, Sports Medicine is a growing piece of primary care services.
When asked if he had any advice to keep students healthy and safe, he acknowledged that people know a lot about what to do to stay healthy. He views his job as to support that knowledge by figuring out ways to help his patients do what they already know. He went on to encourage students to stay active by finding something they enjoy doing. “If you don’t like running, then trying to run five days a week isn’t going to be sustainable,” he said. “Find something you like, stick with it and if you have any problems along the way, be sure to let us know and we’ll try to help.”
Meet Dr. Kelly Waicus, a Staff Physician in the Campus Health Sports Medicine Clinic and Medical Staff President for 2014-2015.
Dr. Waicus is both a sports medicine physician and a team physician – offering primary care to about 1/3 of the varsity athletes on campus as well as sports medicine care to any UNC student. She received her undergraduate degree at Duke and switched to UNC for medical school. Her career at Campus Health began during her residency rotations. Dr. Waicus rotated through a sports medicine placement here and later landed a two year fellowship with Campus Health. She then worked for a few years elsewhere in general pediatrics and sports medicine care only to return to Campus Health - first as a primary care physician and then to the sports medicine clinic.
Campus Health has become her ideal professional home. “No clinic is as accessible, comprehensive and as tuned into being what students need as this one,” Dr. Waicus said. She noted that everyone in the building has the common goal of helping our students be as successful as possible. “We are not just making sure students don’t miss class, or that mental health red flags are not being missed. We are supporting students to be the very best that they can. Not just to make it through – but to be their best.”
Dr. Waicus’ specialty is the primary care of athletes – both varsity and non-varsity. "The entire student body is a highly motivated, tuned in population,” she says. “It’s a nice population to work with when my goal is to get people back to what they love to do.” That expertise means she offers some of the most holistic care possible. She considers the injury or illness, the person, and the sport in her prognosis. “Part of the expertise in sports medicine is not simply knowing how to treat a sprained ankle, but knowing how much that ankle impacts the athlete’s life,” she said. “Telling patients to ‘just take time off’ does not always work. I have to talk through what kind of time off and modify activities appropriately for that person and their sport.” She shares this expertise with medical students and residents that rotate through the clinic. “They learn joint exams and injury patterns, but they also take away the importance of understanding what athletics mean to our patients.”
When asked if she had any advice to offer students, her thoughts turned towards being an empowered health consumer. “Days of the white-coated doctor who completely dictates a treatment plan whether you like it or think you can follow through with it are becoming obsolete. People are well educated. Information is out there, and options are available. People need to be active participants in their health care,” Dr. Waicus said. Her advice rings true. With more patients coming to doctors armed with internet search results, doctors and patients are negotiating a new, collaborative relationship. “Keep an open mind,” reminded Dr. Waicus, “and don’t diagnose yourself. But be your own health care advocate.”
In her life outside of Campus Health, Dr. Waicus is a mom of two busy kiddos and a dog – a golden retriever/jack russell mix. “We just had the dog’s DNA tested,” she said. “I saw an ad on Skymall and sent it off.” She clarified that she has only ordered that one item from Skymall magazine. “I stopped short of the lightsaber,” she laughed.
You can find Dr. Waicus in the Sports Medicine area on the first floor of Campus Health, at the Stalling Evans Center or at the home games for her teams.
Dr. Mario Ciocca is the Director of Sports Medicine.
“If I could have a superpower, I would have a super arm so I could play professional baseball,” Dr. Ciocca laughs. What he lacks in superhero arm strength he more than makes up for in strong work ethic and leadership skills. Dr. Ciocca oversees the entire sports medicine clinic in Campus Health - doctors, nursing staff, orthopedists, medical students, athletic trainers and sports nutritionists.
Campus Health offers a leading-edge model of Sports Medicine. “Other schools have started adopting our model of care, but we’ve had it for a while,” Dr. Ciocca said. “The athletic training staff report to me rather than a coach.” In doing so, medically trained professionals report to other medical professionals which supports athletic trainers in making decisions based on what is medically best for the student.
The unique model of Campus Health Sports Medicine also means that providers care for students who play club sports, intramurals, or simply have a musculoskeletal injury – right along with UNC’s intercollegiate athletes. The department is housed in both the Campus Health building and the Stallings-Evans building, and both locations are used by the general student population and the intercollegiate athletes.
The Sports Medicine team supports their patients in the prevention of and healing from injury and illness. This means they care for sprained ankles, help athletes get the flu shot, and screen for concussions – along with everything in between. “It’s different - being a primary care sports med physician – it means I am involved in all aspects of healthcare,” Ciocca stated. The broad scope of his work is part of what drew him to internal medicine. “I can’t say ‘I do knees or shoulders.’ I care for the wide range of medical issues that affect participation and play.”
The breadth of his practice continues beyond medical issues to include the range of activities in which his patients participate. Dr. Ciocca has cared for many students and teams during his tenure at UNC: baseball, football, men’s soccer, golf, women’s basketball, men’s lacrosse, men’s tennis – plus club sports, IMs, and the general student population. Through this work, Dr. Ciocca has influenced thousands of diverse UNC athletes in his years with Campus Health. “I like working with the college population,” Dr. Ciocca said. “It is fun to see students mature and grow. The most rewarding part of our job is when they come back after leaving campus so we can see what they do after this.”
Dr. Ciocca’s career path began at Columbia University, where he studied electrical engineering and played college baseball. Based on his physical activity and, later, a baseball injury requiring surgery, he became interested in medicine. He transitioned to biochemical engineering as his major. “It allowed me to do the pre-requisites for medical school if I decided to go that path but also still get an engineering degree,” Dr. Ciocca noted. After graduation, he attended New Jersey Medical School, where he planned to study orthopedics. He learned while in school that there are other paths to become a sports medicine practitioner, and turned to internal medicine instead. He did his residency in internal medicine here at UNC and came to Campus Health for his primary care sports medicine fellowship. Following that, he moved into the primary care clinics, where he worked with IM and Club Sports. He has worked for Campus Health full time in Sports Medicine since 2003, but began his work and training in the Chapel Hill area in 1993.
When asked about a career accomplishment, Dr. Ciocca noted his contribution of time and focus to UNC. “This job entails a lot of time,” he said. In saying that, he was not just referring to the crazy hours of 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and 365 days per year that he’s asked to be available to his staff and athletes. As with most professions, he’s pulled in multiple directions – being asked to serve in professional organizations, publish articles, and more. “The way I’ve approached it is to devote my time and energy to UNC.” Dr. Ciocca has published articles and been a member of professional organizations, but ultimately prides himself most on spending his time and energy supporting UNC athletes, students and coaches.
Dr. Ciocca is a family man at heart. As first generation college student, he remains appreciative for all his parents have done to provide opportunities and a strong work ethic. Dr. Ciocca proudly stated, “My parents are both from Italy. They moved here after WWII….this was the land of hope. They came here to make a better life for us.” He’s since begun a family of his own with his wife and four kids and strives to provide them with the same grounding his parents gave.
You can find Dr. Ciocca and the Sports Medicine Clinic on the first floor of the Campus Health building or in the Stallings-Evans Center behind the SRC.
Dr. Thevy S. Chai is a physician who specializes in student health and infection control.
Dr. Chai first came to UNC as an undergraduate student, and immediately loved the people and the thriving energy of the campus. She studied biology, volunteered at UNC Hospital and was involved in the Honor Court for three years, eventually becoming a Vice-Chair. Her volunteer experiences at UNC Hospital and other local Raleigh hospitals combined with her interest to help others, fostered her interest in medicine. When she was accepted to UNC Medical School, becoming a doctor seemed like it was meant to be – she got to study medicine, stay near her hometown of Raleigh, and continue her studies at the institution she loves.
After her residency at UNC Family Medicine and a month-long rotation at Campus Health under the tutelage of now-retired Dr. Bruce Vukoson, she became very interested in student health. Dr. Vukoson was a great mentor and she hopes that one day she will inspire a student to go into the field of student health as well. She loves the stage of life students are in and she finds them open to new ideas and behavior changes.
Dr. Chai enjoys travel and experiencing other cultures. She has backpacked through Western Europe and has traveled to Asia and Canada. When visiting a new place, she enjoys interacting with the local people, trying local foods, and attending their local farmer’s markets.
Travelling fits with her professional interests of student health and infection control. Sometimes Dr. Chai feels that practicing at Campus Health is like practicing “global medicine.” Because our students hail from all over the globe and also travel abroad, students sometimes bring uncommon illnesses back with them. Dr. Chai and her colleagues at Campus Health must stay alert to the potential of these diseases when students are seen. Once potential diseases are identified, steps are taken to help treat the patient but also to keep the rest of the UNC community as safe as possible.
When several students present to Campus Health with similar symptoms, Dr. Chai starts to look into communicable diseases that might be happening in pockets of our population. “It keeps me on the pulse of our student community,” she said. Her work connects her with the Orange County Health Department, UNC Hospital, UNC health science schools, and the University Employee Occupational Health team regarding infection control issues and potential outbreaks. She works closely with Michelle Camarena, RN (co-chair of the Infection Control Committee), Dr. Covington, nurse leaders and the rest of the Infection Control Committee members to help ensure our population is kept healthy.
Advice for Students
When asked if she had any advice for students, she said, “Surround yourself with positive people as a support network, and remember that Campus Health is here to help you however we can.”
Come see for yourself
Dr. Chai works in the Primary Care clinic on the main floor of Campus Health.
Dr. Thomas Brickner has been a Campus Health Sports Medicine physician for 16 years. He is currently the head team physician for men's basketball, wrestling, tennis and golf, women's soccer, field hockey, crew, softball and gymnastics.
Dr. Brickner’s career path was, as he says, “a series of opportunities that presented themselves.” A trained family medicine physician, Dr. Brickner committed to a Naval scholarship for medical school, which took him on a variety of experiences after residency including several years serving as medical director and head physician for the US Antarctic program.
The unique experience of being in Antarctica still excites Dr. Brickner. When he spoke about the experience, his voice vibrated with enthusiasm. His role involved coordinating four medical clinics – three in Antarctica and one in New Zealand. The folks he supported with medical care were researchers studying ice sheaths, the ozone layer, wildlife, climate, and volcanoes as well as civilian and military support personnel. While in the position, Dr. Brickner quickly learned the value of Extreme Cold Weather gear and the ins and outs of remote medical practice. “It was the most trying and stressful years of my career,” he said, “but also some of the most rewarding.”
After several years at, literally, the end of the earth, Brickner sought a way to get home. He found it through a sports medicine fellowship training program located near his hometown. After the fellowship, Brickner still wasn’t sure of his next steps, but when a position at UNC opened, he applied. “I had no ties to North Carolina at the time,” Brickner said. “I had never been and didn’t know much about it.” Something about the opening intrigued him, and he was offered the job soon after.
Upon his arrival, Dr. Brickner immediately was charged with several athletic teams. He had to develop relationships quickly with staff, coaches, athletic trainers, and the athletes, so he quickly integrated into the welcoming UNC community. Dr. Brickner loves the active, outdoor-focused people who live in this area and his colleagues at UNC. “They’re just people who are enjoyable to be around who are very excellent at what they do,” he said. “It’s a great working environment.”
Dr. Brickner sees a connection between our mind and our bodies, in part because of who he doesn’t typically see in sports medicine. “People might be unhappy with something so an illness or injury can give them a break from that,” he said. “We don’t face that as much in sports medicine.” The students who see Dr. Brickner want to heal, and usually, quickly.
Dr. Brickner has an intimate view of the connection between mind and body with his student athletes. As team physician, he sees more everyday interactions with his athletes, and recognizes how those interactions impact the quality of practice and play. High stress can correlate with injuries. “Sometimes that’s the problem – we can’t get them to slow down,” he added. Overuse injuries such as stress fractures, shin splints, and tendinitis are some of the most commonly seen in Sports Medicine. His advice? “Avoid the terrible ‘too’s’,” he quipped. “Too much, too new, too soon, too often.”
Dr. Brickner works in the Sports Medicine clinic, and can be found on the first floor of Campus Health or various campus athletic and sports medicine sites.
Nina Walker is a staff athletic trainer at Campus Health in the Sports Medicine Department. When asked what this means, she laughed and replied, “Essentially it means that I do a lot of stuff.” Walker’s primary care responsibilities are the student athletes for men’s lacrosse and distance teams. Walker provides and manages all of 80 of those student athletes’ health care, including referrals, treatment, rehabilitation and anything else they need in order to stay healthy. Walker also provides sports medicine to the general student population in the Physical Therapy and Athletic Training Clinic and serves as a clinical instructor for the graduate and undergraduate athletic training program in EXSS.
This makes it no surprise that she talked about a cheetah after being asked about animal traits. “I’d be something that’s probably really fast and can do things for short periods of time, but after a while gets exhausted and likes to take long naps,” she quipped.
Walker became interested in athletic training after having her high school athletic trainer serve as a mentor to her. When Walker looked for colleges, she focused on those offering athletic training and fell in love with Boston University. She went on to get her Masters from UNC in Exercise and Sports Science with a concentration in Athletic Training, when Walker worked as the Athletic Trainer for the rowing and volleyball teams. She then went on to teach and be an Athletic Trainer for multiple teams at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut before returning to UNC.
“I love that every day is different and that I can see my impact instantly on people,” she noted. Walker’s favorite part of athletic training is manual therapy because she can help people feel better right away. Walker also talked about how she enjoys helping others in her field learn. “I’m a self-professed nerd. I love to learn things, and I like to create little nerds. I get excited when my students are into learning,” Walker laughed.
Though her main role as an Athletic Trainer would be enough to keep anyone busy (“I want all of my athletes to feel like they are my only athlete. They get 24/7 access to me. Plus I attend practices, games, rehab sessions and travel with the team.”), Walker believes strongly in service to the professional community. “Those are the extra things I do outside of my regular job that I find very rewarding (which most folks think are insane),” she said. In addition to providing guest lectures at UNC, she serves on multiple professional organizations as a chair, board member, committee member or active general member. As part of her work with these organizations, Walker advocates to employ athletic trainers in every high school in North Carolina so all athletes will have access to quality health care. Nationally, Walker has been a part of the challenging work to make the sport of Lacrosse safer.
On a campus level, her goal is simple. “A national championship,” she said, with the gusto of a motivational speaker. “My team keeps getting so close!”
With all of her roles, Walker has to love her job, and she clearly does. “I actually just did a lecture last night on why athletic training is awesome,” Walker said. She proceeded to explain how she and her colleagues get to interact with their patients all along the spectrum of health - when they are healthy, when they are rehabilitating an injury and while they are back on the field, sometimes even stronger than they were before. That kind of relationship with a patient is rare in health care. “The athletes tend to call us ‘mom,’” she observed.
Walker appreciated the cheetah's skills not only for its speed. “It’d be something that chases food. I love food,” she said in the interview. “Nothing makes me happier than finding new places to eat.” One of her local favorites is City Beverage, and she also enjoys ethnic foods and any spot with an interesting vibe. “I really like it when people tell me about cool different places.”
You can find Walker in the Stallings-Evans center, at a team practice or at one of many local restaurants.
This article has been updated since it's original posting.
Scott Oliaro is Head Athletic Trainer and Associate Director of Sports Medicine at UNC Campus Health. This means he oversees the entire athletic training program – supervising staff athletic trainers, clinical graduate assistants and running the main training room at the Stallings Evans center. In addition, Scott supports several varsity teams at UNC - Field Hockey as well as Men’s and Women’s Golf teams, and during his tenure at UNC, has worked with athletes from almost all of our 28 sports teams.
Oliaro graduated as a pre-medicine/nutrition major from Cornell University. During his tenure at Cornell, he took classes in athletic training as well as exercise and sports studies since he was still deciding whether to become a physician, athletic trainer or physical therapist. “Basically, I was pre-everything,” he laughed. “It forced me to take a lot of courses and helped me realize I wanted to work with athletes.” Oliaro came to UNC for his master’s degree and graduated in 1996. He got his first job at American University in D.C. and worked there for 2 years while also supporting the Washington Capitals hockey team.
Oliaro returned to UNC in 1998 to work with the football team under Dan Hooker. Over the next ten years or so, his job evolved as he took on more responsibilities. “Every time there was a chance to move on, I would stay and take on more responsibilities,” Oliaro said. Upon Dan Hooker’s retirement, Oliaro was asked to step into the head athletic trainer role where he supports his staff in providing services to athletes and students. He finds his staff collaborative and knowledgeable. “We all look at things a bit differently, and recognize that someone else might have a better approach for how to handle illness, injury or a difficult situation,” he noted. “It’s good to get perspective from each other.” He encourages the athletic trainers to discuss what they see and what they have accomplished while looking towards what they can do better.
The AT Clinic is open in Stallings from about 8:00 a.m. until the evening hours when intramurals or sports clubs are finished. They offer a walk-in triage clinic for students, sports club athletes or anyone that is active to come in after being injured for evaluation, education, treatment and advice. Athletic trainers see all types of students including supporting one or two teams. Students may be referred to a physician, nurse or emergency department, but mostly are given answers and peace of mind before leaving the clinic. “It’s a great resource to have on campus and a great benefit students receive from their health fee,” Oliaro said. “Students can come in a see an expert without having to miss classes or even have much interruption to their day.” He did note the high expectations for miraculously quick recovery times after injury. “People expect answers that are impossible to get….everyone wants to be better the next day. I’m not a miracle worker,” he joked. “Well…sometimes I am. It just depends on the miracle.”
Oliaro spoke about his passion for biomechanics. “We look at preventing injury, decreasing stress and moving efficiently while building performance. It’s really interesting,” he said. One of his first professional development experiences after being assigned to the golf teams was attending a Titleist Performance Institute where he learned about golf biomechanics and how restrictions in human movement effects one’s golf swing. “We have such talented athletes at UNC,” he explained, “I get to gain an understanding of their skills and biomechanical needs to help them perform their best.”
Oliaro loves his work with UNC athletes, and explained that he’s also had some cool experience with a UNC Alumna. His son and Mia Hamm’s twin daughters are the same age, so after Oliaro took on the job as youth soccer coach, Mia asked if her daughters could join the team and she offered to help assist. Oliaro couldn’t turn down the greatest women’s soccer player on the planet. “She was the best assistant coach I could ask for,” he laughed. Oliaro has since coached youth baseball and basketball as well – “having her as my assistant in soccer gave me a good springboard.”
The sports medicine clinic operates out of Campus Health in the physical therapy clinic on the ground floor and the Stallings-Evans Sports Medicine Center. Also, depending on the sport, there are satellite training rooms in the Smith Center, Kenan Football Center and other spaces used just for practices.
Meet Sonia Hussain, a Physician Assistant at Campus Health.
Hussain grew up in Queens, New York, feasting on city food and Broadway plays. But in that hustle and bustle, she found peace with nature at Central Park. “I went there to listen,” she said. “I would close my eyes and reflect on my path in life and my purpose.” She concluded that her mission was to care for people, and from there she turned toward medicine. Her love of nature sent her seeking a location to practice outside the city – attempting Florida, Massachusetts, and Texas before finding her way to North Carolina.
In those various locations, Hussain gathered many experiences – from women’s health to primary care – and many included working with students. “University students are so awesome,” she raved. “They’re incredibly intelligent and expose me to so many different cultures and ideas.”
When Hussain moved here, there was no job opening at Campus Health at the time. She started having conversations with folks who worked at Campus Health, and soon landed a part time job working only on Sundays. From there, she continued to build her position until reaching her current full time status. “Taking care of students is something I love to do,” she said. “My other role is to help my colleagues out in any way that I can.” Hussain spoke highly of the work environment at Campus Health, noting how supportive everyone is of each other, despite the variety of backgrounds and experiences. She called her colleagues her “family away from home whom she respects, trusts, and admires.”
A Physician Assistant’s training closely models that of medical school. The prerequisites are the same as medical schools require including at least 1000 clinical hours in a medical facility. After a bachelor’s degree with a focus in Pre-Med studies, where Hussain earned Summa Cum Laude honors, she entered the two year intensive PA training program. She continued her academic achievement, earning a Magna Cum Laude Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Medicine. During that program, Hussain took classes 12 hours per day during her first year. In the second year, she rotated through multiple medical subspecialties – each one for 6 weeks – giving her and other PAs the foundation of medical practice. Hussain and her peers then took the grueling national certification exam to become a Certified Physician Assistant, an exam all PAs are required to re-take at regular intervals throughout their professional career. PAs can then specialize as desired in clinical practice.
Hussain spoke highly of her profession and training, noting the flexibility and variety in her work. “Because I have such a broad training, I’m not limited in my profession by specialty area,” she said. “I can choose to apply to positions in any field of medicine.” Though she denied having a specialty, her experiences have made her an expert in the variety of issues experienced by students who come to a primary care medical professional like herself. She particularly enjoys patient education regarding disease prevention and healthy lifestyles. “This is the age where education is critical,” she reminded. “Students use these behaviors to build their life.”
When asked to elaborate on what students can do to live a healthy lifestyle, Hussain went to the fundamentals. “Don’t compromise on the basic necessities of life,” she said. “Eat balanced meals. Sleep 7-8 hours per night. Do something relaxing each day.” She advocates for balance. “You can’t work all the time because there is a breaking point.”
Hussain’s advice then turned to taking advantage of the resources on the campus, including Campus Health. Many students she sees feel guilty about asking for help. “A lot of students come in and say, ‘I’m sorry! I don’t mean to bother you,' – but that is why we are here, to serve them.” She continued, “Use your resources without feeling like your problem is too simple or you should be able to handle it on your own.” One reason Hussain feels so strongly about this is that when she went to college, her campus did not have a health service.
Hussain described herself as spiritual and self-sacrificing. She is very clear that her purpose in life is to serve others. “If you type in Pisces and show me the results, I think ‘oh my gosh, that is so me,” she laughed. Astrology.com listed a Pisces as fluid, easy-going, and spiritual. It went on to say that a Pisces will tend to put others’ needs ahead of their own. Hussain was right; reading the entry for Pisces did bring up a variety of themes that arose in her interview.
Hussain craves natural spots where she can listen to the birds and flowing water, and she is still discovering this area’s natural areas. Her best recommendations have come from her patients who talk about spots in the mountains and at the beach. “Hopefully I’ll find the time to get away,” she said. Chapel Hill itself feels natural to Hussain. As she says, “there actually is fresh air here. That’s different from Times Square for sure.”
Hussain works in Primary Care, on the main floor of Campus Health.
Terri Jo Rucinski is the Coordinator of Physical Therapy Services at UNC’s Campus Health
Terri Jo grew up Minocqua, Wisconsin, a small town that is about a 3 ½ hour drive north from Madison. Growing up in the north woods of Wisconsin helped Terri Jo learn to love everything related to outdoors - fishing, hunting, camping, being on the lake, and listening to country music. She started her college education by attending the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse where she graduated with her degree in athletic training and physical education. She then ventured to UNC and earned her Master’s Degree with Specialization in Sports Medicine. Although she fell in love with UNC, she returned to the Midwest to start her career in the field she loves. Terri Jo worked in Milwaukee at Froedert Sports Medicine doing outreach to Menomonee Falls High School, the Milwaukee Ballet Company and also working with a Semi-pro Football team. Terri Jo returned to UW-LaCrosse in 1994 to earn her Physical Therapy degree. Terri Jo then worked in Madison, at The UW-Health Sports Medicine Center as a clinical Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist and provided outreach to the Junior College in town now known as Madison College. Terri Jo joined the Staff at UNC 11 years ago working as a clinical Physical Therapist in the James A. Taylor Athletic Training/Physical Therapy Clinic and was the Staff Athletic Trainer for the Cross Country and Track and Field Teams from 2003-2005, Women’s Basketball from 2003-2012, and she is starting her ninth year with the UNC Baseball team. Terri Jo specializes in rehabilitation of the shoulder and serves as a guest lecturer in both the graduate and undergraduate athletic training programs on upper extremity evaluation and rehabilitation.
Terri Jo loves everything about UNC; she loves the job and the community of people both outside of and within the work place, calling her colleagues, “more like a family than co-workers.” Terri Jo thrives on seeing her patients get well after injuries. She also enjoys the diversity of patients she sees with the general student population at Campus Health. To top it off, Terri Jo is a huge baseball fan, making her current position a “dream job” for her.
Terri Jo recognizes her biggest accomplishment as her role supporting many athletes’ return to the field after suffering traumatic injuries. In this process, she develops long term relationships with her athletes, a reward for her hard work and dedication. “I get to make a difference in their lives by helping them through different journeys and trials during their time at UNC,” Terri Jo said. That connection often remains after the athletes leave college. In fact, her patients have a reverence for Terri Jo. Campus Health and the athletic department consistently receive feedback about her exceptional physical therapy skills, willingness to listen, and how much she cares about people.
When asked to give student health advice, Terri Jo was succinct. “If you have an injury,” she said, “do not wait.” She encourages a quick visit to a physician right away to be referred to physical therapy if indicated. “Do not pass up the quality and expertise of care you can receive at The Campus Health Athletic Training/Physical Therapy Clinic from our top notch Sports Medicine Staff.
Terri Jo works on the ground floor of Campus Health and in the Stallings- Evans Sports Medicine Center. When not in those spots, you will likely find her at the Boshamer Stadium taking care of the Baseball Team hoping to assist with getting them back to Omaha again this year!
The CAPS Multicultural Health Program centers the needs of Black, Indigenous, and Students of Color at Carolina with therapy and outreach. In this Q&A they share how they work to support Carolina students.
How long has MCHP been at Carolina and where are you located? The Multicultural Health Program (MCHP) was developed in the Summer of 2020 and is housed within Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), which is a division of Campus Health. CAPS is located on the third floor of the James A. Taylor Building, the building that houses Campus Health, situated between Kenan Stadium and UNC Hospitals, just south of the Bell Tower Parking Deck.
How many staff are in MCHP and what are their various roles? MCHP currently consists of four staff members and we are actively seeking to add to our staff. Each staff member brings expertise in a variety of areas including adjustment issues, racial trauma, family of origin concerns, gender and sexuality, spirituality, and first generation/acculturation issues to name a few.
What does your department do to support students at Carolina? MCHP supports students of color at Carolina by providing individual therapy, group therapy, outreach engagements, workshops and staff/faculty consultation. We have also begun developing liaison relationships with campus departments and partnerships with student organizations.
What would you say to encourage students to contact your office? One of the goals of MCHP is to decrease stigma in communities of color and our staff are reflective of that commitment. Weare approachable,knowledgeable and open to meeting students where they are at. We encourage students to attend outreach events or workshops and connect to us that way or to simply walk into CAPS for an initial assessment and discuss getting connected to a MCHP provider.
How has your team adapted to provide service during COVID-19? Since we were developed during the global pandemic, we have always provided virtual services to our students. All of our services are currently virtual and all of our team meetings occur virtually as well. If a student group has an outreach request in-person, we work with them to find flexible solutions such as pre-recorded presentations and resources or a hybrid model which allows a MCHP team member to Zoom into the outreach project. We believe flexibility will be key to keeping students, particularly students of color, involved in treatment moving forward.
What is the one thing about your office you wish students knew? We want students to know that we are here to meet their needs and we are open to hearing about ways to better meet their needs. As an example, students of color approached MCHP about the possibility of creating a group for students who have difficult home/family lives. Through this advocacy the All in the Family group was created last semester and has been a wonderful addition to our groups program.
As the end of the semester approaches, many of us become caught up in the stress of exams, papers, and deadlines. Amidst all the chaos, it's important to take care of ourselves, especially when it comes to our eating habits.
Intuitive eating can be helpful all the time - and especially when stressed. Mindful eating involves paying attention to our bodies' hunger and fullness cues, as well as our emotions and the physical sensations of eating.
Here are some tips for incorporating mindful eating into your routine during the end of semester crunch:
The end of the semester is a busy time, but taking care of yourself is as important as acing that final exam. Try incorporating some mindful/intuitive eating practices into your routine, and notice how they make you feel.
You may have questions and concerns about Monkeypox. UNC-CH Campus Health is working in coordination with the Orange County Health Department, CDC and NC DHHS to prevent and respond to monkeypox.
Campus Health and CAPS provide health and mental health services to students, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and their spouses. We are committed to providing our patients with expert, student-focused, inclusive health care so they can thrive during their time at Carolina.
Everyone has a story to share if we are willing to listen. No More Lonely Tar Heels will offer an unforgettable evening of community, creativity, and connection. On Thursday, March 30 from 4- 7 pm in the quad, join Healthy Heels, Morrison Art Studio, Arts Everywhere, and loads of friendly Carolina students for painting, smoothies, and meeting new people. Together we can make Carolina a more connected and caring place. Be a part of the mission of No More Lonely Tar Heels.
Whether you're looking to make new friends, meet people with similar interests, or simply have a good time - No More Lonely Tar Heels is for ALL students at UNC-CH.
If you're coming alone, no worries! C'mon by at 4 pm to meet others - this is a great chance to meet new friends. Join the fun at 5 pm if you are rolling in with a group.
See you there!
Brief screenings are the quickest way to determine if you or someone you care about should connect with a behavioral health professional. Think of these as a checkup from your neck up. This program is completely anonymous and confidential, and immediately following the brief questionnaire you will see your results, recommendations, and key resources.
Originally Posted on Healthy Heels Blog | Dec 15, 2022
You're allowed to love yourself exactly as you are - right now.
You have permission to love yourself without exception. You didn't need it from us, but we’re giving it to you anyway.
You’re brilliant and uniquely you. You’re not a project that needs to be fixed.
During this time of year, you might hear resolutions from people that want to change everything about themselves and their lives. No one needs to be reinvented to be loved!
You might have resolutions that you're planning, and that's fine (we do have some tips for setting resolutions that stick).
Remember that you will be you every single day until you meet those goals, and then you will still be you once you reach them. You have permission to love yourself right now and during that whole journey. Don't put it off until you reach a goal.
Friend, you're worthy of being loved right now.
UNC-CH students may still access Campus Health during the summer.
Those students attending a summer school class will pay the health fee in their tuition and fees for that summer session and are eligible for services at Campus Health and CAPS.
In order to be eligible for accessing clinical services at Campus Health and CAPS during a summer session when you are not enrolled in a class, you must:
The Summer Access Charge applies to both onsite and virtual (telemedicine) visits with Campus Health and CAPS. The Access Charge may be placed on student accounts (paid by calling patient accounts at 919-966-6588) or may be paid at time of service at patient accounts on the 2nd floor of Campus Health in Admin East for those receiving onsite care.
Rates for summer session time frames are as follows:
Spring 2023 graduates are eligible to use Campus Health Services through June 13, 2023 (30 days following graduation) without paying an additional summer access charge. Spring 2023 graduates are not eligible to pay the Summer Access Charge and continue care.
All students are allowed to use the Campus Health Services Pharmacy, Student Stores Pharmacy and the International Travel Clinic during the summer without paying a Summer Access charge.
Those who only access CAPS groups do not need to pay the Summer Access charge.
Not a week goes by without awful, troubling, traumatic, angering, frustrating, and scary news. The recent shootings in Texas and Buffalo, and the war in Ukraine, and, and, and…
It’s normal for news like this to result in strong feelings.
It can be difficult to engage with current events and also difficult to ignore them.
It’s important to be aware of what’s happening in the world.
It’s vital to take care of yourself and your mental health.
And that ^^^ is a whole bunch of conflicting but true information. So what can we do about it?
Pay attention to what comes up as you engage with the news.
When you notice conflict or behaviors that aren’t helpful to you – do something different.
Not everyone feels the same way about the same event. Some worry that differences in how we digest the same events will further divide our communities. Counteract this in your life if you can by maintaining close relationships – even with those who don’t see eye to eye with you.
Especially when news results in big feelings for you, engaging with people who feel differently can be very difficult. Give yourself some grace to bow out of conversations when you need it.
When you are ready to engage with others about the event, even with the understanding they may view things differently than you, be open. There are always reasons why people feel the way they do about certain issues.
There are many ways to get support for yourself or people close to you. At UNC-Chapel Hill, you can use the Resource Hub on the Heels Care Network to filter for the resources that will work best at this moment.
Winter break has arrived, and many folks on campus feel lighter with fewer responsibilities. It feels good to wrap up the loose ends of the semester - final projects and exams, saying goodbye to friends, packing up your things, preparing for travel and holidays.
Even with that lightening of our loads, anytime the rhythm of our day shifts, it can feel difficult. Here are some strategies to help you stay healthy and well as you shift from all-out academic mode to your winter break.
Most eligible students enrolled in the UNC System Colleges and Universities are required to have health insurance coverage. Students who meet the eligibility criteria, regardless of in-person or virtual means of instruction, will have to show proof of insurance in order to waive out of Student Blue or be automatically enrolled on the deadline.
Each semester, Student Health Insurance (the insurance premium) is added to all eligible students' University accounts. Eligible students must enroll to activate their insurance or complete the online waiver process with their own creditable insurance coverage before the deadline each semester. Once the waiver is verified and approved, the premium will be removed from the student’s account.
SEMESTER DEADLINES for WAIVE and ENROLL:
FALL - SEPTEMBER 11 SPRING - JANUARY 31
Questions about waive and enroll can be directed to Campus Health at [email protected].
If you have questions about whether your financial aid package pays for the UNC System Student Health Insurance, please contact [email protected].
Healthy Heels | August 2022
We know starting a semester on campus is full of things to do. Remember – you don’t have to do everything! Prioritize your health, mental health, and well-being at the top of your list. Some suggestions to put that into action:
We know you want to stay healthy at Carolina, and we are here to help! Reach out if you have questions @UNCHealthyHeels or [email protected].
News Post originally published on https://healthyheels.org/2022/08/15/well-being-while-beginning-a-new-semester-at-college/
Students should work directly with their instructor to address the impact of class absence due to an illness or medical condition.
Campus Health does not issue medical excuses for academic absences except during final exams and when a significant health condition exists.
The University asks course instructors to work directly with students in most cases where student illness results in missed classes, quizzes, tests, or assignments. Instructors have the authority to make academic adjustments based on their class absence policies. Remember - no one wants students to attend class while ill.
In extreme situations, the university decides a student must be excused from academic requirements and will issue a University Approved Absence (UAA). UAAs are not issued for most illnesses, especially not those resulting in three or fewer class sessions being missed. Health conditions that may qualify for a UAA include:
Students should not feel pressured to attend class when they have a fever, are vomiting, or otherwise suffer from a communicable illness. Similarly, students should not feel pressured to go to a doctor or visit another campus office only for documentation of their illness. Nor should students feel pressured to disclose personal health information. Remember many valid reasons for missing class exist that do not fall within University Approved Absences.
Learn more about the University Approved Absence Policy.
Students who have a medical or mental health illness during the final exam period that significantly impairs one's ability to prepare for or take a final exam may participate in the process outlined below for assistance.
Student tasks for the process are in bold.
For more information about Final Examination Excuses, go to advising.unc.edu/policies-and-procedures/final-exam-excuse