news-category: Campus News

Gardner-Webb Student Health Clinic Provider Receives Prestigious Award from Atrium

GWU Alumna Anna Burgess Recognized for Leadership and Innovation

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Nurse Practitioner Anna Burgess has cared for patients at the Gardner-Webb University Student Health Clinic for two years. An employee of Atrium Health, she’s excelled at her job. First, the GWU alumna was promoted to the Lead Advanced Practice Provider (APP) over three other university clinics in Atrium’s On-site Care Division. Recently, Burgess received the Atrium Health Teal Acorn Award for Rookie of the Year in the Greater Charlotte market.

The Teal Acorn Awards are considered Atrium’s most prestigious — celebrating and honoring teammates who achieve greatness through integrity, commitment to quality and patient care, leadership, innovation, mentoring, diversity and community involvement. Award winners are determined through a rigorous evaluation process by nomination reviewers from across the medical group. Burgess was nominated for her efforts to grow the health clinic and offer additional services to GWU faculty, staff and students.

Nurse Practitioner Anna Burgess, left, poses with her chief,
Angela Albero, who nominated her for the Teal Acorn
Rookie of the Year Award.

“I love this clinic. I love the Christian atmosphere,” Burgess shared. “I love when I see staff members and we have a conversation. They have no hesitation to ask me what’s going on in my life and offer to pray for me and vice versa. I love the atmosphere physically, I mean, who else gets to work in a little house with a back yard and listen to the birds sing. But then, there’s the interaction with the students. Gardner-Webb has the best students. They’re such a blessing.”

She takes time to get to know the students and discuss healthy habits, such as getting enough sleep and eating a balanced diet. Graduation is bittersweet, because for those students with chronic conditions, she’s seen them multiple times. “You develop relationships and meet people from everywhere,” she observed. “I deal a lot with the athletes and they’re diverse and a lot of nationalities. There’s not many places working in a small rural area that you get to meet so many people from so many different places.”

Burgess received three nursing degrees from Gardner-Webb, earning her Associate Degree in Nursing in 2006 and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2007. She entered the Nurse Practitioner (NP) master’s program at GWU in 2013 and earned her degree in 2016. After graduating, she worked in family practice for six years and came back to GWU to work in the Student Health Clinic in 2022.

As the Lead APP, Burgess manages the providers in the other clinics, taking care of scheduling and training new hires. She makes sure the clinics are covered if a provider is out for any reason. As Atrium has continued to expand into other markets, Burgess collaborates with university clinics in the Wake Forest area and Georgia. 

Dr. Scott Rissmiller, Executive Vice President and Chief
Physician Executive of Atrium Health, presents the
award to Anna Burgess.

When Burgess arrived at GWU’s health clinic, she started identifying ways the clinic could expand its services. Worker’s comp was added, so employees no longer have to travel for evaluation and care of any workplace-related injury.

“The other service we added was the ability to see anybody who’s on the Gardner-Webb insurance plan,” Burgess explained. “That’s not only faculty and staff members but their spouses, their children — anybody who may be on their health plan.”

Gardner-Webb employees on the University’s health plan obtain the services for free, and the employee’s spouse and dependents, who are on the GWU health plan, access the clinic for a charge of $15 per visit.  Burgess noted there are a couple of services they don’t provide to children of employees on the GWU insurance plan, such as well child checks or childhood vaccines. “Any acute needs or sports physicals, we can do,” she added.

Generally, same day appointments are available for sick visits. However, the clinic provides a number of other services to the campus community. “We do labs in the clinic,” she affirmed. “Maybe they have a specialist that has ordered blood work. They can come here for those types of services. We can prescribe medications at the pharmacy. If somebody needs imaging, an X-ray or an ultrasound, we can order those and get those taken care of at the local imaging centers. We can do the biometric screenings for employees on the Gardner-Webb insurance plan.”

During the spring and fall semesters, the Student Health Clinic, 148 Memorial Drive, Boiling Springs, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. The clinic will be closed for two weeks after graduation and will reopen on May 20 with Summer Hours: 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The clinic also offers virtual visits. Clients can meet with providers via phone or video calls during office hours. After hours and weekend support is available via the Nurse Triage Line as well as Atrium Health’s 24/7 virtual on-call provider that can provide care coordination. 

The GWU Student Health Clinic can be reached at (980) 487-2390.  A full list of clinic services is available here.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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