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Student Health and Wellness provides preventive care and health screening services to ensure our students are happy and healthy!

Primary Medical Care

What Is Primary Care?

In medicine, primary care is a term used for a health care provider who acts as a first point of consultation for all patients. Generally, primary care physicians are based in the community, as opposed to the hospital.

Primary Care at SHaW is provided by physicians and nurse practitioners. It refers to a wide variety of services:

  • Appointments for illness and injury including ordering appropriate lab work, x-rays, prescriptions, physical therapy and other referrals as needed.
  • Preventive care: routine physicals and immunizations; physicals for study abroad or clinical affiliations.
  • Gynecological care: routine care including gynecologic exams, infection screening, and reproductive health issues.
  • Confidential HIV counseling and testing.
  • Confidential STI counseling and testing.
  • International screenings and follow-up of positive PPD tests.
  • Eating disorder support team.
  • Smoking Cessation.

Nicotine Reduction Counseling

Looking to quit nicotine? SHaW has trained specialists who are here to help!

Whether you smoke, vape, or use smokeless tobacco, we have Tobacco Treatment Specialists at SHaW who specialize in assisting you on your quitting journey. Through our Know-U-Well program, Nurse Coaches can help provide smoking withdrawal treatments, mindfulness techniques, and skills to help cope with triggers. Our student-centered approach uses evidence-based tools and techniques.  We can even connect you with FREE resources.

We also have nicotine replacement products available at our Pharmacy including nicotine patches, lozenges and gum. Our pharmacy staff is available to assist in finding the correct product for you.

This is a no cost appointment held at SHaW's Hilda May Williams Building.

These appointments are delivered by our Know-U-Well Nurse Coaches. Call (860) 486-2719 to book your appointment today.

Nurse Coach Wellness Visit

Know U Well new logo

Nurse Coach Wellness Visit

During the Nurse Coach Wellness Visit, we will create a personalized plan geared towards your specific needs. This evidence-based approach will help you better understand the physical, behavioral, social, and environmental causes that influence your health and well-being. This holistic approach begins the process of developing healthy behaviors, and lays the foundation for life-long health.

There is no additional out-of-pocket expense for this visit.

Health Assessment
Meet with the nurse coach to determine factors that may impact your health. 

Measurements of your blood pressure and other vital signs will be reviewed during the visit. Recommendations for additional testing will be referred to a clinician appointment.

Preventive Care
We will review and provide preventive health care such as immunizations for HPV and influenza.

The Nurse Coach
The nurse coach will provide you with the encouragement and motivation needed to achieve personalized health goals.

Plan of Care
A personalized plan for improving your health and well-being will be developed and will include ways to sustain healthy behavior change.

The initial appointment takes 40 minutes dedicated to your individual needs.

To make an appointment, please call 860-486-2719

Mental Health Screening

Everyone experiences stress, sadness and anxiety from time to time—it’s part of life.

But if you are feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or unable to do the things you once enjoyed, it may be time to assess your emotional health. If you are concerned about yourself or someone you love, take a few minutes to complete an anonymous self-assessment.

Mental Health Screening Tool

Sleep Habits

Most healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night.A habitual sleep pattern helps the body learn what time to relax and what time to be alert. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.

Sleep & Studying

How much sleep you get can affect how your study session goes. Sleep is when we consolidate what we have learned into memories we can recall.There is no “best time” to study; it depends on when your body is most productive.Just be careful studying doesn’t interfere with the amount of sleep you get. 


  • Minimize bright light at night. Avoid using electronics before bed, if possible. 
  • Avoid long naps. 15-30 minutes is the ideal nap length. Longer naps can leave you feeling sluggish and interfere with your ability to sleep at night  
  • Associate your bed with sleep and sex only. Try to do your schoolwork at a desk or table and only utilize your bed for restful and relaxing activities, if possible.  
  • Regular exercise can improve your sleep patterns. Exercising right before bed may make it more difficult to fall asleep. 

Stress Management

Stress is a normal part of everyone’s life. Stress is how the brain and body respond to any demand. Every type of demand or stressor(i.e.exercise, work, school, major life changes, or traumatic events)can be stressful.You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts. Even positive life changes, such as a getting the internship you want, produces stress. 

Stress Reduction Techniques:

Mindfulness based practice is an evidence-based way to cope with stress and anxiety. Mindfulness can be defined as “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.” It is important to note that most of us will never be mindful 100% of the time, and that this is not the goal. Instead, engaging in a daily mindful practice, whether that is yoga, meditation, deep breathing, nature walks, or stretching can help lead you towards a path of reduced anxiety, better sleep, and heightened energy.  

Physical activity has been shown to improve both physical and mental health. Physical activity reduces the body's stress hormone levels, and stimulates the production of endorphinsEndorphins can produce the feeling of relaxation and optimism. Regular activity can decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. 

Social connection can help us manage stress and improve our overall wellbeing. Benefits of social connection include: improves ones ability to cope with stressful situations, promotes good mental health, enhances self-esteem, and promotes healthy lifestyle behaviors.  


Skin Care

Skin Smart Campus

Skin Smart Campus

UConn is an Indoor Tan-Free Campus. What does that mean? There are no tanning beds on campus; there are no tanning salons that accept HuskyBucks as payment. UConn is committed to providing information about Skin Cancer Prevention to its students.

Skin Cancer Facts

Skin cancer is the most common cancer worldwide. In the United States, 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer by age 70. There are three major types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. While carcinoma is more common than melanoma, melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Although rates of most common cancers in the United States have declined, rates of melanoma have increased in the last 30 years. Each year, over 91,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma. That is 1 person every 8 minutes. Experts believe that 90% of all melanomas are caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun or indoor tanning devices.

Common Risk Factors for Skin Cancer

Fair skin. Anyone, regardless of skin color, can get skin cancer. Having less pigment (melanin) in your skin provides less protection from damaging UV radiation.

A history of sunburns. Having had one or more blistering sunburns as a child or teenager increases your risk of developing skin cancer as an adult.

Excessive sun exposure. Anyone who spends considerable time in the sun may develop skin cancer, especially if the skin isn’t protected by sunscreen or clothing. A tan is your skin’s injury response to excessive UV radiation.

Sunny or high-altitude climates. People who live in sunny, warm climates are exposed to more sunlight than are people who live in colder climates. Living at higher elevations, where the sunlight is strongest, also exposes you to more radiation.

Moles. People who have many moles or abnormal moles called dysplastic nevi are at increased risk of skin cancer. If you have a history of abnormal moles, watch them closely for changes and schedule regular appointments with a dermatologist.

A family history of skin cancer. If one of your parents or a sibling has had skin cancer, you may have an increased risk of the disease.

Tanning Beds and UV Radiation

Sunbeds are not safe, they emit UV radiation, which is a known carcinogen. The World Health Organization lists indoor tanning beds as a cancer-causing agent.

The use of tanning beds increases your risk for all types of skin cancer. In fact, using a tanning bed before age 35 increases your lifetime risk of melanoma by 75 percent.1 Among women of all ages, the higher the frequency of indoor tanning, the higher the risk of developing melanoma.2


Myths vs. Facts

Base Tan:

Myth: Often you’ll hear that you can protect yourself from a sunburn/UV damage by building up a base tan.

Fact: A tan is a sign that your skin has experienced damage as a result of prolonged UV exposure. If you plan to be outside, use the recommended 30 SPF sunscreen, wear sun-protectant clothing, and seek shade.

Vitamin D

Myth: UV light from tanning beds gives my vitamin D a boost.

Fact: UV light from tanning beds are not a safe or effective way to increase your vitamin D levels. If you need to increase your vitamin D, it should be done through diet and/or supplements.

Gyms with Tanning Beds Send Mixed Messages:

Myth: Seeing a tanning bed in the gym means it is part of a healthy lifestyle.

Fact: Many gyms across the country offer indoor tanning to members. A recent article in UConn Today suggests a connection between exercise and tanning; people who tan in gyms tan more often. Ongoing, occasional use of tanning beds triples a person’s lifelong risk of melanoma, according to the Melanoma Research Foundation.

Sun-free Melanin:

Myth: There is a new drug that produces melanin to protect your skin.

Fact: Researchers created a drug that causes human skin cells to produce melanin without any sun exposure. However, the melanin produced from this drug gives the equivalent of 3 to 4 SPF, which does not compare to the recommended 30 SPF sunscreen for outdoor activities. Drugs like these will not protect your skin from UV damage.

Seasonal Depression:

Myth: Tanning beds help treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Fact: Light therapy is a way to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and certain other conditions by exposure to artificial light. Tanning beds do not emit the same type of light as used in light therapy to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder. Therefore, sunbeds are not a proven treatment. If you suffer from SAD, talk to your healthcare provider about therapy options.


Avoiding UV Exposure

Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent. If you plan to be outside for prolonged activity, you should be using a broad spectrum, water resistant 30 SPF sunscreen. Avoid prolonged sun exposure during peak hours (10am-4pm). Also consider wearing ultraviolet protective factor (UPF) clothing when spending time outdoors.

Early Detection- ABCDE

When performing a skin self-exam, the first five letters of the alphabet are a guide to help you recognize the warning signs of melanoma.

A is for Asymmetry. Most melanomas are asymmetrical. If you draw a line through the middle of the lesion, the two halves don’t match, so it looks different from a round to oval and symmetrical common mole.

B is for Border. Melanoma borders tend to be uneven and may have scalloped or notched edges, while common moles tend to have smoother, more even borders.

C is for Color. Multiple colors are a warning sign. While benign moles are usually a single shade of brown, a melanoma may have different shades of brown, tan or black. As it grows, the colors red, white or blue may also appear.

D is for Diameter or Dark. While it’s ideal to detect a melanoma when it is small, it’s a warning sign if a lesion is the size of a pencil eraser (about 6 mm, or ¼ inch in diameter) or larger. Some experts say it is also important to look for any lesion, no matter what size, that is darker than others. Rare, amelanotic melanomas are colorless.

E is for Evolving. Any change in size, shape, color or elevation of a spot on your skin, or any new symptom in it, such as bleeding, itching or crusting, may be a warning sign of melanoma.

If you notice any of these warning signs, see a dermatologist promptly. A Student Health and Wellness – Medical Care provider can evaluate your health concern and assist with arranging a dermatology appointment.

  1. The International Agency for Research on Cancer Working Group. The association of use of sunbeds with cutaneous malignant melanoma and other skin cancers: a systematic review. Int J Canc 2006; 120:1116-1122.
  2. Lazovich D, Vogel RI, Weinstock MA, et al. Association between indoor tanning and melanoma in younger men and women. JAMA Dermatol 2016; 152(3): 268–275. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.2938