November 27, 2020

Nancy Wang: Flu Fighter

University Physician Nancy Wang keeps the Student Health Center running smoothly, treats those who are sick or injured, and dispenses health-related information to the campus community.

University Physician Nancy Wang keeps the Student Health Center running smoothly, treats those who are sick or injured, and dispenses health-related information to the campus community.

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or inside your elbow. Get your yearly flu vaccination.

This simple advice for fighting germs has become an oft-repeated mantra for University Physician Nancy Wang, especially in the winter. Since coming to UMW in 2018, she has kept the Student Health Center running smoothly, and she and her staff are always ready to treat those who become sick or injured.

“Our services are confidential,” said Wang, who previously worked in primary care practices in the greater Fredericksburg area. “And visiting us is a lot cheaper than an urgent care.”

At the health center, students can be screened for strep, flu, mono and other illnesses for a nominal fee, and tested for HIV and STIs for free. They can also obtain contraceptives and common antibiotics, and access over-the-counter medications through the self-care center. Wang and her team also provide mental health consultations and offer suicide awareness and first aid trainings for faculty and staff. If students need advice after hours, a nurse is always a phone call away.

She also dispenses information to the campus community on health-related issues, such as the Coronavirus outbreak, which she’s tracking. UMW faculty and students frequently travel abroad, so she understands the concern, but said everyone should use the aforementioned preventative measures.

“Right now, one is more likely to get the flu or other respiratory diseases,” she said, adding that eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, decreasing stress, and limiting or ceasing smoking or vaping are other ways to achieve optimal health and wellness.

Viewing herself as a work in progress, Wang enjoys yoga and walking around UMW’s beautiful campus for exercise. Sleep is a personal priority, she said, as is eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat.

“But I think it’s perfectly fine to indulge sometimes,” she said, “as long as you enjoy it with all five senses and without distraction.”

 

Q: Does the health center have any upcoming programs?
A: We are co-sponsoring an event called Southern Smash on Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. to educate students about eating disorders, healthy body image and self-love. We’ll smash scales and learn to let go of those thoughts and numbers that weigh us down.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job? The most challenging?
A: Assisting students with developing lifelong healthy habits and helping them feel well so they can participate in academics and activities. But we’re often correcting the perception that all respiratory illnesses can be cured by antibiotics. The health center offers them when needed, but viruses don’t respond to them, and most respiratory illnesses are viral. Antibiotic resistance is going to be a major problem in the future, so we have to be good stewards of these medications.

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
A: I’m a Star Trek and Star Wars fan.

Q: What’s the most inspiring book you’ve read lately?
A: The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down and Love for Imperfect Things, by Haemin Sunim. His views on life are inspirational for the times we are in now.

Q: What’s your motto?
A: Go outside and be in nature.