Welcome to Health Services.
We are located on beautiful upper campus in the Bird Building and our hours of operation are 8:00am-5:00pm Monday – Friday.
Our staff is dedicated to treating each patient with compassion and respect in a welcoming environment that recognizes the uniqueness of each individual. Our mission to provide our patients with quality healthcare is demonstrated through our services, practices and health policies.
The team at Health Services is comprised of healthcare professionals that strive to meet the health care needs of the academic community and to enhancing the physical, psychological, environmental and health education needs of our campus.
In other words, our goal is to keep students well and in the classroom.
Prior to enrollment, all new students must provide immunization records, proof of health insurance and a medical history.
North Carolina state law (General Statute 130A-155.1) requires anyone entering college to present a certificate of immunization that documents their compliance with all required immunizations. All students attending Western Carolina University are required to show proof of valid medical insurance coverage or must enroll in the mandatory UNC System health plan. A Medical History will need to be secured from your doctor; a medical history provides important pieces of information that you should be aware of before visiting health services.
Western Carolina University Health Services is here to meet the healthcare needs of our academic community and to enhance the physical, psychological, environmental and health education needs of our campus. Any student who pays the Student Health Fee is eligible for our services, regardless of insurance coverage. Keep in mind that students ARE NOT required to be enrolled in the UNC sponsored student health plan to be eligible for services. You can learn more about Insurance and Payment.
Students enrolled in residential credit hours are required to pay the student health fee as part of the WCU tuition and fees semester billing. The student health fee provides access to medical care, counseling and psychological care and emergency medical care via WCU EMS at Western Carolina University.
Students enrolled in any summer session(s) are required to pay the student health fee through tuition and fee billing. Any student paying the health fee has access to Health Services throughout the summer.
Students that are not enrolled in summer sessions but are pre-registered for the upcoming fall semester are eligible for Health Services, but will be assessed an office visit fee for each encounter instead of the student health fee.
Students do not have to be enrolled in the StudentBlue Health Plan to utilize Health Services.
Students that are enrolled in distance education programs are not subject to mandatory fees and therefore, are not eligible for care in Health Services.
Refer to University Policy 80.
Jessica Ange, MD
Originally from Pensacola, Florida, Jessica Ange graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in Religion (’98) followed by her Medical Doctorate (’02). She is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine (’05). Dr. Ange served in the US Air Force from 2002-2009, completing a residency in Family Medicine at Scott Air Force Base jointly with St. Louis University, followed by a deployment to Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait to support Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005. She spent the remainder of her military service in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota at Ellsworth Air Force Base. In 2009 she returned to North Carolina, working with Sylva Family Practice until she joined the WCU Health Services team in 2018. She considers working in college health one of the most fulfilling careers in medicine and loves helping students as they learn to navigate the health care system to advocate for their own health and wellbeing. When not working, she enjoys camping and rock climbing with her family, playing her bass guitar in their family band, and caring for her backyard chickens.
Carmen Nations, MD
Dr. Nations grew up in Cherokee, NC and attended high school in Sylva, NC. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a BS in Preprofessional Sciences then attended the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, UT. After completing a Pediatrics Residency at East Tennessee State University, she returned home to practice Pediatrics in WNC for 20 years before joining WCU Health Services in the Fall of 2021.
Dr. Nations enjoys getting to know college students and providing care for them. She says it makes her feel young again! Other interests include photography, hiking, watching sports and movies, and spending time with her family.
Kristy Hopkins, NP-C
Kristy grew up locally in Jackson County and continues to love this area. She stayed to continue her education here at Western Carolina University. First, she obtained her BSN in nursing in 2002. She then worked at Harris Regional hospital for several years and started her family and went back to Western Carolina to obtain her MSN as a family nurse practitioner, completing the program in 2010. She has always had a love for pediatrics and initially practiced at Sylva Pediatrics. In 2012 an opportunity arose at WCU Health Services and she was able to return to campus, this time to provide care for the campus community. She loves being able to care for students at Western Carolina. It really is her passion and she wants the best for the students, faculty, and staff she sees. When not providing care, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching sports, including her daughter play softball, and just enjoying being outside in this beautiful area in which we are located.
Nancy Penff, NP-C
Nancy has been serving the students of WCU since Spring 2021. She is a Catamount alumnus with both nursing degrees from WCU (BSN 2008, MSN 2012). Previously, she worked at the Jackson County Department of Health with emphasis in women’s health and STIs. She also worked at Harris Regional Hospital Wound Center, as an Advanced Practice Certified Wound Care Nurse (Emory University). She holds a BS in Combined Sciences (Santa Clara University), and a MS Textile Engineering & Science (North Carolina State University). Prior to Nursing, she was an Environmental Research Chemist at Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center and the Desert Research Institute. On weekends, you can find her up high on a mountain ridge relaxing with her 2 dogs and husband of 28 years, or hiking, biking, and SUPing on the many trails and lakes of beautiful Western North Carolina.
Lauren Webb, PA-C
Originally from Montana, Lauren Webb graduated from Montana State University in 2008 with her bachelor’s degree in Cell Biology and Neuroscience. She then went on to work as a phlebotomist at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital until she moved to Albuquerque for graduate school. Lauren graduated in 2012 with her master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies and moved with her husband to North Carolina. She worked in a variety of positions at Cherokee Indian Hospital, including the emergency room, immediate care clinic, primary care and pediatrics for over nine years. In January 2022, she accepted a position at WCU Health Services and has enjoyed working with students to achieve physical and mental health for lifelong success.
Robin Foley, FNP-C
Robin joined Western Carolina University Health Services in the Spring of 2021. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from WCU in 2017, prior to that, she worked as a peri-operative registered nurse for 16 years. She then went on to obtain her Master of Science in Nursing degree through the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of South Alabama, graduation in December of 2020. She resides in Franklin, NC and enjoys spending her free time assisting with productions at the local community theatre company.
Patients are welcome to provide feedback to Health Services via our feedback form.
This feedback may be submitted anonymously and is considered 'spot' feedback, not
a formal grievance.
For questions related to campus operations and coronavirus, please visit WCU's Coronavirus website.
A Grievance is an official statement of a complaint about something believed to be wrong or unfair. The Director of Health Services is responsible for investigating Grievances, providing feedback to the patient, determining any corrective actions as needed and following the issue to its' resolution. Please note that a formal Grievance cannot be anonymous.
Health Services providers offer integrated, accessible and affordable health care to our student population by addressing the majority of personal health care needs through the development of an ongoing partnership with each patient. Learn more about what services are offered for students.
Health Services is pleased to assist with your health and wellness by offering convenient, accessible, affordable care for our faculty and staff.
Health Services does not replace your primary care physician but instead compliments that care by providing quick assessment, diagnosis and treatment of common complaints such as colds, sore throats, headache, or upset stomach. Our motto is "Keep them well and keep them in class," we feel that applies to you as well as our students. Learn more about what services are offered for employees.
Please refer to UNIVERSITY POLICY #80 for more complete details.
WCU EMS is a student-staffed emergency ambulance service serving the WCU community. All medics are certified EMT's and WCU EMS is supervised by Health Services and Harris EMS service. This service is in operation 24/7, during Fall and Spring semesters. To obtain EMS assistance dial 828.227.8911.