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Health Education & Wellness

The PAWS health education team provides services in the clinic and on campus. PAWS stands for “Promoting and Achieving Wellness for Students.”

Our vision is to create a community of empowered, healthy, academically successful University of Kentucky students.

Our mission is to provide inclusive, collaborative, innovative, evidence-based health promotion programs and services to University of Kentucky students that support optimal physical, mental, and social health by reducing risk, preventing illness, and empowering healthy behavior change.

Wellbeing image

In the clinic, we provide nutrition counseling, sexual health education and counseling and tobacco cessation. These are covered by the health fee.

On campus, we provide a number of education and awareness events, workshops, and presentations in residence halls, Greek houses, classrooms and for student organizations.

We also have student peer educators who amplify our health education efforts and provide their peers with information and connect them to campus resources.

The Student Health Advisory Council works with University Health Service to improve the quality of health care for UK students.

Additionally, we offer advice about the following health and wellness topics:

  • Sexual Health Counseling & Information

    Meet with our health and wellness nurse or sexual health educator to ask questions and for peace of mind. We offer birth control counseling, STI testing and counseling, pregnancy testing and counseling, and an educational session for women who are having their first annual well woman exam. We can also connect you to a number of resources for honest, accurate sexual health information. We also provide free condoms and other safer sex supplies to students who need them.

    Appointments: Call 859-323-2778 (APPT) or schedule online through Medicat.

    The Sexperts are a group of peer health educators that provides students with honest, accurate sexual health information. To request a Sexperts presentation for your residence hall, Greek organization, class or other group, email the Sexperts. Other sexual health resources:

  • Nutrition Counseling

    It can be hard to balance your busy school life with nutritious meals. But in order to perform well and feel good, you need to eat food that fuels your mind and body. The registered dietitian sees patients for one-on-one nutrition counseling for the following:

    • Referral from clinician (University Health Service, UK Behavioral Health, UK Counseling Center or outside clinician).
    • Known medical condition (IBS/GI concerns; high cholesterol, high blood pressure, blood sugar concerns, food allergies/intolerances).
    • Eating disorders or disordered eating concerns.

    For students wanting general healthy eating information please contact either the Health and Wellness Coach or UK Dining Dietitian. 

    Nutrition counseling is free for students who have paid the Health Fee. For students who have not paid the Health Fee, nutrition counseling is available on a fee-for-service basis.

    Initial visits usually last about 60 minutes. Follow-up visits usually last 30 minutes.

    Appointments

    Call 859-323-2778 (APPT)

    Questions

    Contact Shannon Winke, Registered Dietitian

    Nutrition resources

    • UK Health and Wellness Coaching: Please contact Meghan Berger at meghan.berger@uky.edu, health coach, to schedule an appointment. This service helps guide students in establishing lasting health behaviors based on their needs.
    • UK NCAA D1 Student Athletes: Please contact Monica Fowler at monica.fowler@uky.edu, registered dietitian, for sport nutrition needs.
    • UK Employees: Nutrition services are offered for UK employees, retirees, spouses and sponsored dependents through UK Health & Wellness.
    • UK Dining: Please contact Lauren McKnight-Ford at lauren.mcknight-ford@uky.edu, registered dietitian, for general nutrition counseling for students living on campus and eating on a meal plan. She can also help manage celiac disease and severe food allergies when dining on campus.
  • Health and Wellness Coaching

    Begin your wellness journey with a UHS Health and Wellness Coach! A health and wellness coach is an ally who helps you become an active participant in achieving your self- identified health goals. You are the expert on your own life and through coaching, you will gain a partner who will assist you in setting goals, identifying barriers, and providing accountability to enhance your well-being.

    Health & Wellness Coaching is free for students who have paid the health fee.

    Initial appointments last about 60 minutes, while follow up appointments last about 30 minutes.

    Appointments

    Call 859-323-2778 (APPT) or schedule online through Medicat.

    Questions

  • Campus Events

    Our health education team hosts a variety of events that students look forward to every year, including:

    • K-Week: Our health educators and peer health educators are out on campus to teach you about University Health Service with Candy, Coffee, & Condoms, an interactive game of sexual health trivia; and Bubbles and Brunch, when you can visit UHS and enjoy a delicious breakfast to kick off your first week on campus.
    • Flu clinics: In the month of October, you will find UHS staff around campus providing flu shots for an affordable cost. Stay updated via social media so you can be a flu fighter.
    • Free HIV testing: University Health Service & The Sexperts partner with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department to provide free HIV screenings to students. No needles, results in 20 minutes! One in seven people living with HIV don't know it.
    • Love Your Body Week: This is a week of events dedicated to promoting and developing a positive relationship with one’s body.
    • Tobacco-Free Tailgate: Join “The Great American SmokeOut” and celebrate UK’s campus being tobacco free. 
    • Safer Sex Week: Learn about how to have healthy relationships and positive interactions. This week will provide you with tools and resources to learn more about how to understand yourself and understand your values to have great, satisfying relationships.  
    • UK Kick It Day: Games and giveaways help raise awareness about how smoking and tobacco use affects our lives.
    • Less Stress, More Success: UHS partners with other organizations on campus to provide fun, interactive activities to help you minimize stress around finals week.
    • iCheck Biometric Screening: Find us on campus providing free health screenings to learn more about your health (cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose and blood pressure).
    • Dietitian On The Go: Find the UHS dietitian out on campus every month.  Available to answer any of your nutrition questions while getting a healthy snack.
    • Healthy Happy Hour: Drop into the PAWS Center located on the first floor of UHS for free tacos and wellness information every month.
    • Sweet Spot: Find the UHS Sexual Health Educator out on campus every month.  Available to answer any of your sexual health questions while also getting a sweet treat. 
  • Health Educator Presentations

    We give a variety of presentations in residence halls, Greek houses, classrooms and for student organizations. If you’d like to bring one of our presentations to your group, please contact Fadyia Lowe or make the request with our online form.

    Healthy Living in College: This interactive program focuses on prevention as well as early detection and treatment of health problems. Good health enables students to study effectively, maintain regular class attendance, and reach life goals. By the end of this session, students will be able to identify lifestyle behaviors that promote health (e.g., nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, immunizations, hygiene) and make healthy choices about common issues faced by students (e.g., alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sex).

    Put Down the Spoon! How often have you reached for something to eat not because you were hungry but because you were stressed? Nearly half of UK students have reported that within the last 12 months their level of stress was more than average. This session focuses on the health impact of stress, how to effectively manage stressful times and healthy eating recommendations to ensure your body is prepared to cope with stress.

    Looking in the Mirror: A negative body image can affect overall health, sense of well-being, and academic performance. This presentation will focus on positive body image, educating about disordered eating and eating disorders. Students will learn how to identify an eating disorder, the signs and symptoms, societal issues, how to help a friend and the resources available on campus.

    Sexual Health Jeopardy: This interactive class will cover the basics of sexual health, with the goal of empowering students to take control of their bodies and sexual well-being as they navigate college life. Topics covered include consent, making informed decisions, preventing sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), getting tested, birth control options and campus/community resources.

    Nutrition Jeopardy & Ask the Dietitian: Be ready to compete in this team style “Jeopardy” game that will teach students the basics of healthy eating. This game will focus on nutrition related topics, such as MyPlate, common nutrition myths, and eating on campus. Students will be encouraged to come prepared with nutrition related questions to ask the UHS registered dietitian, after the game.  At the end of this session, students should be able to have a better understanding of healthy versus unhealthy nutrition recommendations. 

  • UHS General Wellness Presentations

    For more information, or to request a program presentation by a peer health educator, contact Fadyia Lowe.

    Hunger Games (45-60 minutes): Be ready to compete in this team style “Jeopardy” game that will teach students healthy eating habits. This program will focus on nutrition related topics, such as MyPlate, common nutrition myths or facts, and eating on campus.

    Wheel of Wellness (45-60 minutes): Come learn how to live a fulfilled and healthy life while in college. In this program, participants will learn the six dimensions of wellness,  what impact the dimensions have on their health, and what they can do to increase their overall sense of well-being.

    Less Stress, More Success (45-60 minutes): Through this interactive program, students learn about the causes and consequences of stress and how to manage it. Students will have the opportunity to assess their own stress levels and develop a brief plan to manage or reduce the daily stressors in their lives.

    Love Your Selfie (45-60 minutes): Negative body image can affect overall health, sense of well-being, and academic performance. This program will focus on the importance of positive self-image and societal pressures regarding appearance. 

  • Sexual Health Presentations

    While the main program topics are different, all programs include discussions about consent, condoms, getting tested, and campus/community resources. All programs are LGBTQ*-inclusive. To request a Sexpert program, email uksexperts@gmail.com.

    Know Your Sweet Spots (45-60 minutes): One of the major components to having a healthy, safe, and pleasurable sexual experience is knowing our bodies. This program covers basic sexual/reproductive anatomy and physiology through a fun trivia game.

    What's Your (Safer) Sexpertise? (45-60 minutes): In this engaging trivia game, participants learn about the state of sexual health on campus and the basics of having a healthy sex life as a college student.

    Pillow Talking (45-60 minutes): As official Bedsider.org representatives, The Sexperts cover the basics of the most common birth control methods and provide resources to empower participants to take control of their bodies and to choose when pregnancy is right for them. 

    Peaches & Eggplants (45-60 minutes): This program uses fun and engaging activities to teach participants about the importance of safety and communication when using dating apps. The Sexperts discuss the language used to talk about sex and how this affects our perceptions and expectations.