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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.

The Campus Health Advisory Board is a diverse group of students and post-doctoral fellows who attend regular meetings to provide insight from a student and post-doc perspective on Campus Health services and programs. Please contact any of these folks with ideas for Campus Health. 

Undergraduate Representatives

Chika Adiele (chika@email.unc.edu)

Ananya Tadikonda (ananyat@live.unc.edu)

Gabriela de Almeida Silva (gsilva13@live.unc.edu)

Estefany Y Barajas Valadez (estef@email.unc.edu)

America Juarez-Maldonado (ajuarezm@live.unc.edu)

Ethan Phillips (Ethan_Phillips@unc.edu)

Nidhi Oruganti (nidhirao@live.unc.edu)

Campus Health Social Work Intern

Jazmin Jimenaz (jazminj@ad.unc.edu)

Campus Health Communication Intern

Holly Atkinson (hollyatk@live.unc.edu)

Graduate Representatives

Erin Day (erincd@live.unc.edu)

Summer Hill (hillsum@email.unc.edu)

Amanda Smythers (asmytheer@email.unc.edu)

Post Doc Representatives

Alan Marsh (Alan_Marsh@med.unc.edu)

Stakeholders

In addition, stakeholders from around campus and within Campus Health participate in the conversations and would welcome your thoughts and feedback about Campus Health services and programs.

Faculty/Staff Representatives

Andy Andrews, Chair, Associate Vice Counsel

Jordan Todd, Vice Chair, Senior HR Consult, VC for Research (jltodd@email.unc.edu)

Beverly Wyrick, Director of Finance & Administration, Grad School (Beverly_Wyrick@unc.edu)

Kate McAnulty, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Grad School (kmcanulty@unc.edu )

Campus Health Representatives

Kim McCown (kmccown@email.unc.edu), Director of Business and Support Services

Amy Sauls (asauls@email.unc.edu), Director of Pharmacy and Professional Services

Ex-Officio

Tiffany Bailey (tmbailey@email.unc.edu), Director for Accessibility Resources & Services

Dean Blackburn (blackburn@unc.edu), Director, Student Wellness

Thevy Chai (cts0715@email.unc.edu), Director, Medical Services

DeVetta Holman-Copeland (dholman@email.unc.edu), Resiliency and Student Support Programs Coordinator, Student Wellness

Allen O’Barr (aobarr@email.unc.edu), Director of Counseling and Psychological Services

Ken Pittman (pittmank@email.unc.edu), Campus Health Executive Director

Bettina Shuford (beshufor@email.unc.edu), Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

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.

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.  

Identity, Cultural Awareness and How to Support One Another

Join us on September 14, from 12pm-3pm for an afternoon of expert talks and breakout sessions, building upon the discussion and suggestions from last semester's Mental Health Summit and kicking off our fall semester series of mental health seminars. This colloquium will center discussion on three topics:

  • Practicing Cultural Awareness and Humility, presented by Leah Cox, Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
  • Trauma-Informed Engagement in the Community, presented by April Parker, Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work
  • Mental Health and Identity, featuring breakout sessions focused on Mental Health in Latinx Communities, Asian Communities, Black Communities, American Indian Communities and LGBTIQ Communities

Register here to attend this Zoom webinar.

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.

Carolina Mental Health Update video

The Carolina Mental Health update took place on Thursday, April 28, from noon - 1:30 p.m. During the conversation, we:

  • Examined efforts that have been made toward campus mental health including the spring mental health seminar series
  • Considered the next steps towards creating a community of care and compassion

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.

Mental Health and Interpersonal Violence: How Do They Connect?

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.

Mental Health, Alcohol, and Drugs: How Do They Connect?

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.

Mental Health, Faith, and Spirituality: How Do They Connect?

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.

Pfizer 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.

Who should receive a booster?

People over 12 should get the updated Pfizer COVID-19 booster two months or more after they finish their primary vaccine series or any booster dose. 

Where, when, and how can I receive a booster?

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.

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:

  • Student Stores Pharmacy will offer no-appointment flu shots for students, faculty and staff during operating hours (Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) Located on the 3rd floor of UNC Student Stores. Medicare plans not accepted.
  • Campus Health Pharmacy located in the basement of Campus Health, will offer walk-in flu shots for students and staff during operating hours (Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.). 
  • Pop-up flu vaccine clinics (various locations and dates, noon - 4 pm unless otherwise noted)
    • Thursday, Sept. 29 – Genetic Medicine Research Building, Lobby
    • Friday, Oct. 7 – Giles Horney Building, Magnolia Room
    • Friday, Oct. 14 – Koury Oral Health Sciences Building, Atrium Lobby
    • Friday, Oct. 21 – Frank Porter Graham Student Union (Employee Appreciation Day) 10 am - 2 pm
    • Thursday, Oct. 27 – Medical Biomolecular Research Building, Main Lobby
    • Friday, Oct. 28 – Michael Hooker Research Center, Lower Level Atrium

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:  

  • You are 12 or older, and 
  • You received your second/final dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines more than FIVE months ago, or 
  • You received your Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than TWO months ago. 

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:

  • Student Blue Student Health Insurance Plan
  • Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan (RA-TA Plan)
  • Post-Doc Insurance Plan

You can expect lower copays for prescriptions at Campus Health Pharmacy and Student Stores Pharmacy. Fill your prescriptions with us!

 

Allison Higa-Howerton is a Physician Assistant in the primary care clinic of Campus Health.

Higa-Howerton was born and raised in Honolulu and attended Creighton University, where she received an undergraduate degree in exercise science with a minor in biology. After working as a Certified Nurses Aid in a hospital, she attended PA school at Duke University. Once Higa-Howerton had received her degree, she returned to Hawaii and worked for several years at community clinics there including a school-based clinic, where she found her love of working with young people.

College students are primed for empowerment and education on self-care and proactive health care, since many of them are making their own appointments for the first time. This independence excites Higa-Howerton. “I enjoy making sure that students understand their own bodies and what is normal,” she said, “and helping them see that when they notice changes, they can come in address that.” She focuses on building trust with her patients and on preventative care. When she offered advice for students, it was to invite them to yearly physicals and to get screenings like STI testing and pap smears before they have a problem.

Higa-Howerton also enjoys the campus environment overall.  “Being on a university campus where there’s a lot of research happenings means we stay up-to-date on recommendations and there are specialties and available resources right here,” High-Howerton stated. She mentioned that the work culture of UNC Campus Health – a collaborative environment with positive co-workers and work-life balance – matches her desires for a workplace.

Music plays a big role in Higa-Howerton’s life, as her husband gigs as blues-rock musician. When asked what she would do if she wasn’t in medicine, Higa-Howerton said she’d be coordinating events or working as a music manager, like she has done at times for her husband’s groups. Her connection to music even stretches to childhood. Higa-Howerton’s elementary school choir performed a few songs for the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch, and she and her choirmates are listed in the credits as well as in a blip or two of extra footage for the movie.

You can find Higa-Howerton in the primary care clinic, at her husband’s blues-rock music shows, or in the extra footage of Lilo and Stitch.

 

Amy Rodriguez is a Physician Assistant in the Primary Care clinics at Campus Health.

Her Path

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.

A Love of Students

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.

Melanoma research

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.

Advice

“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.

What Makes Her Unique

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.”

Learn more

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.  

Promoting Health

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.

HPV Vaccine

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. 

Annie Penrose is the Clinical Nutrition Specialist at Campus Health.

Why nutrition?

As Penrose notes, “every single person on this earth has to eat. Food is a common experience to everyone.” This perspective is perfect for the person who meets with students on a daily basis to help with everything from grocery lists to medical nutrition therapy (which supports students with eating disorders, diabetes, or other medical needs).

The Job

Penrose talked about her job like this: “I guide people in diet choices, considering their personal preferences and medical conditions, to achieve optimal health.” But that word, “health,” can sometimes be more complex than we think. Penrose took the time to talk through the complexity and intersectionality of health. She said, “Health has become so overused. Often folks focus on food and exercise, but health is so much more. I am a big believer in multidimensional wellness. So - what foods are you eating? What is your relationship with food? Are you moving your body in a way that feels good? And are you sleeping enough? How are you managing your stress?”

The Path

Penrose grew up in California as a gymnast, and studied nutrition as an undergraduate student at Cal Poly in San Louis Obispo. Her one-year dietetic internship was at Loyola University in Chicago. She received her master’s degree in exercise physiology from Auburn and was a graduate assistant during that time working as a registered dietician for their campus.

While at Auburn, Penrose was a part of the Eating Disorder treatment team. She noticed that exercise compulsion was often a part of student’s disorders, and in her role there, worked with personal trainers to help students bring exercise back into their life in a health way. “We trained the personal trainers in how to frame exercise and language to use while working with students who struggle with eating disorders.” Penrose noted that programs like this are not common on college campuses, but hoped to bring a similar program here to UNC in the future.

Benefits to Students

When asked how nutrition work benefits students, Penrose explained that undergraduate students make 100% of their own food choices, often for the first time, and that what they choose to eat has a huge impact on their day-to-day lives. Penrose, along with the Sports Medicine nutritionists, attempt to help make navigating food choices easier.

Penrose also discussed the many myths surrounding nutrition. “It’s one field where everyone thinks they are a nutrition expert, and I can help students wade through all the information,” she said. Penrose encouraged a healthy skepticism about what we read online, and reminded students that she can be a resource to help find evidence-informed nutrition information.

Deserted Island

When asked what three things she would take with her to a deserted island, she responded,
“I love lattes. I would take a latte, LaCroix, and my best friend.”

See for Yourself

You can catch Penrose around campus, probably drinking a latte or LaCroix. She works on the 2nd floor of Campus Health and schedules appointments by phone or online.

Chris Hirth is a full time Physical Therapist at Campus Health.

Career path

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.

Educational environment

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.” 

Appreciative optimism

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. Ann Newman Chelminski is a primary care physician at Campus Health. She is currently serving as the President of the medical staff.

Beginnings

Dr. Chelminski was born in San Francisco, but grew up primarily in northwest Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico.  The educational road leading to her current position was broad and winding rather than straight and narrow. She was an English Literature major at Duke and took some science classes, but was not pre-med.  After college graduation she worked for the National Geographic Society as an administrative assistant. She then served as a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years in Kenya; while there she taught in two schools, one elementary, the other a girls’ high school. The second school was located in a rural area that had only a tiny health clinic run by a Catholic mission. She started volunteering at that clinic and her interest in medicine was born. When she returned to the US, she provided health education for migrant farmworkers for a summer,  then worked full-time while taking pre-med courses at The University of Pennsylvania and at UNC.

She attended Duke for medical school, which was an unexpected life turn. “Being pre-med was so competitive and stressful for the undergrads around me when I was there that I never thought I’d be back for medical school,” Dr. Chelminski said. She later did her residency at UNC Hospitals and fell in love with living in Carrboro and Chapel Hill – as well as her ability to bike to work. Her oldest son is now in school at UNC and she has become a strong UNC fan (“don’t ask me who I cheer for in basketball, though,” she said).

College Health

After working in environmental public health for the state of NC and then in a rural community health center, Dr. Chelminski realized she liked looking at health from both a population level and individual level. A university does this – with the population scaled to those on campus. “As a medical provider at Campus Health, I have some public health functions as well as taking care of individual students,” said Dr. Chelminski. She also mentioned her appreciation of the diversity of patients she sees at Campus Health.

Dr. Chelminski spoke of the positive work environment at Campus Health, with its emphasis on delivering excellent care while also providing support for staff. “I’m always doing something new and learning from my colleagues,” she said.

The patients remain a big part of what Dr. Chelminski loves. “Not all of our students are young adults, but many are. It is such an exciting time of life that can be both stressful and confusing. I like trying to help people navigate this time and love learning about the diverse and interesting things the students are doing.”

Policy impact on health

When asked about a significant accomplishment of her career, Dr. Chelminski spoke of research she did for the state when she worked with migrant farmworkers. She was asked to investigate birth defects in farmworkers and pesticide exposure. “I wrote a report that I was proud of,” she said, “but I left shortly after because funding for the position disappeared. It was such a learning experience to see how politics affect policy. Occupational and environmental health is still an area of passion for me.”

Dr. Chelminski continues to be involved in policy, but on a Campus Health sized scale. She is involved with projects that will affect the quality of care patients receive at Campus Health. “I would love to see these implemented over the next year,” she said.

Come See for Yourself

Dr. Chelminski works in the Campus Health Primary Care clinic, on the first floor of the James A. Taylor Campus Health building.  When not at work, she is likely doing ‘anything outdoors’, spending time with her family, playing tennis, reading or trying to revive her French and Spanish language skills.

 

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.

Career Path

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.

Sports Medicine Clinic

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.

Health Advice

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.

Career Path

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.”

Advice for Students

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.

Come see for yourself!

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. Kyle Tamminga is a primary care provider in the clinics of Campus Health. He did his med school in Minneapolis, Minnesota and came to North Carolina for his residency at UNC Family Medicine. His wife is a Tar Heel alumnus, and their families reside nearby, making the position at UNC an easy fit. 

Working at Campus Health fits because Dr. Tamminga loves working with students. During his residency, Tamminga supported a group of students on campus who were interested in family medicine and greatly enjoyed their energy, perspectives and excitement. He relished his time mentoring those students and looks forward to continuing to interact with students interested in a career in medicine. Dr. Tamminga loves building relationships with students and staff alike, and is excited to “put down roots in the clinic” over the next few years. When asked for what advice he would give students, he said “I know it’s easy to take your health for granted. Establish healthy habits now with eating and movement which can go a long way as you age.”

While primary care providers need to have interest and experiences in a wide-range of topics, Dr. Tamminga has a special interest and experiences with in musculoskeletal care, mental health and procedures.

A self-described “science nerd,” Dr. Tamminga loves birds. He took an ornithology class in college and loved it, and now hopes to get his daughter interested in birding as well by taking her to nature spaces nearby with binoculars.

You can find Dr. Tamminga in the primary care clinic of Campus Health or visiting local favorite birding locations.

Dr. Mario Ciocca is the Director of Sports Medicine.

Super Work Ethic and Leadership

“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.

UNC Campus Health’s Model for Sports Medicine

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.

Wide Scope

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.”

Career Path

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.

Career Accomplishment

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.

Family

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.

Come See for Yourself

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. Nzingha White is a Primary Care Physician at Campus Health. She is originally from Philadelphia, PA, and graduated from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in their School of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. White is a Tar Heel, attending UNC for her Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine Residency and Master of Public Health degree. She has a diverse professional practice background, having spent time in rural health centers, private practice, public health and - her most recent position – a student health center on another campus.

Dr. White loves the energy of college students, and often finds herself inspired by their interests and engagement with the world. She enjoys connecting with her patients, learning about their goals, needs, desires, and interests. Her professional interests include preventive medicine, musculoskeletal and sports medicine, mental health, women’s health, LGBTQ+ health, and care for marginalized communities.

Dr. White is passionate about working with students on their health. She takes a holistic approach in understanding what drives individuals and their concerns. Dr. White believes in being a partner in her patient’s health, and serving as a guide and advocate for their overall wellbeing.

When asked to give students health advice, she readily connected her public health education and experience with students. “This is an amazing time to develop healthy behaviors, nurture your soul, foster positive, supportive relationships and to learn more about yourself and the world around you.” she said. Dr. White maintains that “Health is not just the absence of disease,” and  that she hopes students are able to explore what they want and need to truly thrive.

Personally, Dr. White enjoys reading, walking, visiting museums, attending theatre, musical and performance arts events, as well as  listening to music (and podcasts), dining at local restaurants and spending time with family and friends.

Students and post-docs can make an appointment to see Dr. White in primary care on the first floor of Campus Health at CampusHealthAppointments.unc.edu

Dr. Thevy S. Chai is a physician who specializes in student health and infection control.

Home

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.

Global Perspective

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.

Career Path

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.

Staff and student inspiration

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.

Mind-body

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.”

Come see for yourself

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. 

Lindsey Harrigan is a nutritionist at Campus Health, joining Annie Penrose and expanding the availability of nutrition appointments. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in Dietetics and then did her internship and received her master’s degree from Loyola University. Harrigan spent the last 13 years working at Loyola in student health providing nutrition services. After relocating to North Carolina, she was thrilled to see a position in college health at UNC that fit her health-at-every-size philosophy around general nutrition services and skills supporting people with eating disorders.

Harrigan loves doing nutrition work on a college campus. “For many students, it’s their first time navigating health care, taking responsibility and ownership of their own health…they are on campus to learn and so tend to also be receptive to nutrition education.” That kind of environment, she says, sets up an ideal environment to help people navigate what and how to eat.

When asked to give students health advice, Harrigan said, “A bad food does not exist. ALL foods fit! We don’t need to have guilt or shame around what we choose to eat.” This kind of perspective matches the philosophy of Campus Health by using an inclusive, positive approach to eating and health.

If Harrigan wasn’t a nutritionist, she would likely be a meteorologist. “I’m fascinated by the weather,” she says. “People make fun of me because I run on a treadmill watching the weather channel.”

You can find Harrigan in the remodeled Sports Medicine wing on the first floor of Campus Health providing one-on-one nutrition services, at nutrition outreach events, or at one of the recreation facilities watching the weather.

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.

AT Love

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.

Service to the Profession

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.

National Championship

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!”

“Mom”

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.

Foodie

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.”

See for yourself

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.

Athletic Training Clinic

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.”

Passion for Biomechanics

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.”

Mia Hamm connection

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.”

Come see for yourself

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.

Professional journey

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.”

The training of a Physician Assistant

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.”

Advice on balance and resource utilization

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.

A typical Pisces

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.

Finding her spot

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.”

Come see for yourself

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

Southern Hospitality welcomes Midwest Charm

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.   

The Love of the Job and Accomplishments

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.

A Word of Advice

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.    

Come See for Yourself

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 officeOne 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 knewWe 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.

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.  

Welcome, Tar Heels and families! 

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.

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? 

Notice

Pay attention to what comes up as you engage with the news.

  • Notice how the news makes you feel.
  • Recognize, If possible, how it feels to disengage from the news for a bit.  
  • Pay attention to how people in various communities have to engage with the news in different ways.  
  • Remember that the ability to disengage from what’s happening is a privilege.  
  • Notice when you’re ruminating on things outside of your control. 
  • Recognize when you’re doomscrolling – obsessively scrolling negative news, often to try and get answers when we’re feeling afraid.  

Do Something

When you notice conflict or behaviors that aren’t helpful to you – do something different.

  • Help people more closely affected by the news. 
  • Advocate for systemic changes that may help prevent news like this in the future.
  • Get involved in issues that are meaningful to you. 
  • Limit news intake for a bit. 
  • Do an activity that you enjoy. 
  • Stay connected with friends and family; lean on them when you need. 
  • Stay active – moving your body helps release stress. 
  • Talk to a therapist about your feelings. 
  • Plan an enjoyable event. Remember that your life will continue after this news cycle. Planning something to look forward to can help.  

Be Open

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.  

  • Avoid assumptions about other people and how they think.  
  • Anticipate differences in opinions to prepare for difficult conversations.  
  • Remember that someone might be trying to limit news exposure for their mental wellbeing. 
  • Be curious! Ask open-ended, genuinely curious, nonjudgemental questions. 
  • Listen to what people say. Deepen your understanding with follow-up inquiries.  
  • Reflect back on their perspective by naming ways in which you agree with their point of view. 
  • Share your perspective by telling a story about a personal experience.  

Get Support

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.

Healthy Heels | August 2022

Classes! Organizations! Socialization! Research!

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:

  • Schedule physical activity, healthy eating and stress reduction. If you schedule it into your day now, you’re less likely to skip it later. Bonus points for adding in social support – like by joining an intramural or club team, or scheduling fun fitness activities with friends. Use an app or planner to help!
  • Find and explore spaces to help you stay healthy like Campus RecDining Services, and Campus Health. You are welcome to visit these spaces and look around. Don’t be afraid to just explore the campus a bit this week while you’re reconnecting. 
  • Connect to a primary care provider and pharmacy in the area. You’ve already paid for services at Campus Health through tuition and fees, so you can come to see a provider there at no further cost to you. Visit one of the two on-campus pharmacies – Campus Health Pharmacy or Student Stores Pharmacy to transfer prescriptions and get over-the-counter items you need. Over-the-counter pharmacy items are also available in the Healthy Heels 2 Go vending machines in the Carolina Union and Rams Head Recreation.
  • Mental health matters! The Heels Care Network website offers trainings and resources to help you help your friends and yourself – including a Peer Chat staffed by LSN
  • Seek professional help before things get awful – ideally as soon as you start to feel overwhelmed. Initial visits to Counseling and Psychological Services are available Monday – Thursday from 9-12, and 1-4, and Fridays from 9:30-12 and 1-4. These services have already been paid for in tuition and fees!
  • Get involved in campus organizations that interest you. This is one easy way to find people with similar interests. Search for what fits you using Heel Life. Some of your soon-to-be lifelong friends are among the people in student orgs on campus. 
  • Find support academically. Yes, it’s challenging. Yes, you can do it. Yes, you have help. This handout on How to Succeed at Carolina can help you plan for the best possible start to your new year. 

We know you want to stay healthy at Carolina, and we are here to help! Reach out if you have questions @UNCHealthyHeels or healthyheels@unc.edu.

News Post originally published on https://healthyheels.org/2022/08/15/well-being-while-beginning-a-new-semester-at-college/

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