Health Promotion

Contact Us

Patricia Atwater
Interim Director

Jirapat Techachakrit
Student Engagement Coordinator (Volunteer Program Management)

Tobacco Cessation Program
(206) 685-7848

The Health Promotion office is on the main floor of Hall Health and is directly to your right as you enter through the front door, Room #187.

Our Health Promotion staff and volunteers are committed to helping people make informed, voluntary, and health-promoting behavior changes by thinking critically about lifestyle choices that will enhance wellbeing and academic success.



Our services include:

  • tobacco cessation program featuring one-on-one coaching sessions, resources, and tips.
  • International Student Health Insurance Plan (ISHIP) and general domestic insurance consulting.
  • Free condoms, lubricants, and dental dams out front in the Lobby, or in the cabinet located in Health Promotion office. (10 of anything of your choice/week)
  • Easy access to health education materials on topics including alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, healthy relationship, nutrition, physical fitness, sexual health, and stress management.
  • Free consultations on health-related topics with professional health educators.
  • Tours of Hall Health Clinic.

Student volunteer program

The Health Promotion Department offers students an opportunity to gain meaningful volunteer experience, serving the UW community in the Health Promotion.  To learn more about becoming a Health Promotion volunteer, contact Jirapat Techachakrit at or at Health Promotion office.

International Student Health Insurance Plan (ISHIP): provided to us by the International Student Services (ISS)

Chris Dessert, Counselor, International Student Health Insurance Plan – Chris has been assisting UW students with their health insurance benefits for the past 13 years.  For the past 3 years, he has been helping international students access health care in the U.S. as an insurance counselor with International Student Services.

Contact Information:

  • Hall Health Center 187B 4060 E Stevens Way NE, Box 354410 Seattle, WA 98195-4410; Health Promotion Office
  • (206) 543-6202
Meet the Staffs & Volunteers
  • Patricia Atwater, Interim Director of Health Promotion – Patricia previously worked in a variety of health care and health promotion settings including managing the University of Washington Tobacco Studies Program. Preferred pronouns: she/her.
  • Jirapat Techachakrit, Student Engagement Coordinator – Jirapat previously volunteered for the Wellness Resource Center (now Health Promotion) and is excited to work on improving health care outreach and health promotion for students of the University of Washington. Preferred pronouns: she/her.

Meet the Health Promotion Volunteers (Previously Wellness Resource Center)

Each quarter, a team of volunteers to help staffs the Health Promotion.  Here is a list of the people who are currently involved as of Spring Quarter 2017:

  • Ashlesha Rijal
  • Beatrice Breckheimer
  • Daniel Phan
  • Georgia Downey; Preferred pronouns: she/her.
  • Heena Kumar; Preferred pronouns: she/her.
  • Lila Faulhaber; Preferred pronouns: she/her.
  • Melanie Lee
  • Natyra Hertica; Preferred pronouns: she/her.
  • Philip Narasethapong
  • Paige Raymond; Preferred pronouns: she/her.
  • Shukri Salad; Preferred pronouns: she/her.
  • Sulemma Zaldivar
  • Victoria Tran
  • Youssef Azami
Thanks to all of these dedicated volunteers for giving their time to assist in staffing the Health Promotion!
Condom Club

Join the Condom Club!

Condoms can cost as much as $1 each at drug stores and pharmacies. As of the start of Summer Quarter 2016, the Condom Club will be free, with the following guidelines:

  • Each person can get 10 condoms per week
  • No funds are collected

Have questions or want to come in to join the Condom Club? To set up a time to stop by, send a message to Mark Shaw, Director of Health Promotion, at When you do come in, the location is in Wellness Resource Center, just to your right as you come in the main entrance of Hall Health Center.



Tobacco Cessation Program

Tobacco Talk is an expanded program to help UW students, UW employees, and patients of Hall Health Center stop using tobacco products.

Starting the conversation

Quitting smoking can be hard, but it’s often easier than people expect. We’re here to offer a safe space to talk about using tobacco, no strings attached. Whether you want to quit right away, or aren’t sure you want to quit right now, that’s okay. We’re here to help you start the conversation.

Asking questions

  1. Why is it that you smoke (or use other tobacco products)?
  2. Do you see yourself smoking this time next year? In two or five years?
  3. How much does it cost you to smoke? What about long-term?
  4. Have you tried to quit before?
  5. How do you feel about smoking?

Quitting smoking is within your reach

  • One-on-one coaching, in person, by phone, or through email
  • A personalized Quit Plan developed for what’s going to work for YOU
  • FREE Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products (patches, gum, etc…)
  • Referral to other services to offer more comprehensive support
  • Optional medical follow-up through Hall Health’s providers
  • Access to Hall Health’s Health Promotion Office

Tips for quitting

  1. Get support. Talk to friends or family (or anyone else) who might be helpful through your quit.
  2. Make a plan. Quitting is easier when you have a plan and we can help you make one!
  3. Set a date. Setting a quit date is one of the most important things you can do.
  4. Take it slow. Make a small change between when you decide to quit.
  5. Use medications. People are much more likely to be successful quitting if they use an approved medication and use it correctly.
  6. Tobacco proof. Get rid of your tobacco and related items before your quit date.

Benefits of quitting

  1. Save money. A pack a day, at $7-$8 a pack, costs nearly $3,000 a year.
  2. Feeling better. Your sense of smell and taste will improve after just a couple days of not smoking. You’ll start breathing more easily after just a couple of weeks.
  3. Avoid serious illness. After a year of being smoke-free, your risk of a heart attack is cut in half.
  4. Protect friends and family. Secondhand smoke isn’t just a nuisance, it’s also a serious health concern.
  5. Freedom. Not being dependent on cigarettes or nicotine anymore. No more having to leave friends or an event to find a place to smoke.

There is no cost for the program for UW students (subsidized via the Services and Activity Fee), and UW employees and patients of Hall Health Center (courtesy of a substantial gift from the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe). The program covers a series of one-on-one discussions (which after the first meeting could take place by phone), and follow up three and six months after your quit date.

For further information about the contact the Tobacco Talk Program at (206) 685-7848 or

What people are saying about Tobacco Talk

“The tobacco cessation program at UW has been essential in my efforts to quit smoking. Colin has been the best support I could have asked for, and I am truly grateful. He walked me through the entire process and helped me establish a plan. This plan was what helped me realize I could quit smoking. I hope you continue to offer this program in the future for other tobacco users at UW because it works. I owe Colin, the program, and UW a big thank you for helping me!”

Additional resources


The Health Promotion Department uses the Wellness Wheel to help students  evaluate and improve their overall health and wellness.

Online general health resources

Walking resources

  • UWalk
    Sign up for UWalk, and you can join walking groups, participate in events and group activities, keep track of your progress, and connect with a community of walkers across campus sharing stories and photos. (UW)
  • Seattle Walking Maps
    This map brochure helps residents and visitors explore and navigate in and around Seattle’s University District and nearby neighborhoods, including north Capitol Hill, while leaving their cars at home. (Metro King County)
  • Walking Maps in King County
    Take advantage of the beautiful neighborhoods, paths and trails in King County. Includes maps provided by Public Health – Seattle & King County in cooperation with local communities throughout the county. (Metro King County)
  • Walking: A Step in the Right Direction
    Provides tips on starting a walking program, safety, warming up, and the benefits of walking. (National Institutes of Health)
Confidential Testing for STDs

Find out more about STD testing in the Seattle area.

Reading a Nutrition Label

Understanding the information on a nutrition label can often be a confusing task. This is unfortunate as the provided information can aid you in choosing the right foods needed to live a healthy life.

Nutritional labels are composed of five sections:

  1. Serving size
  2. Percent daily value sidebar
  3. Calories
  4. Nutrients
  5. Daily value footnote

Serving size

At the very top of the nutrition label sits the serving size information. A package’s serving size is extremely important since the rest of the nutritional information on the label is based on serving size.

There are two components of the serving size data:

  • Serving size: Serving size shows the amount of food that the values are based on and determines how many servings are included in the product. Be aware about how much of the food makes up one serving. If a package of macaroni and cheese states there are 200 calories per servings and 4 servings per package, and you eat the whole package then you are consuming a total of 800 calories, (200 calories x 4 servings) not simply the 200 calories per serving.
  • Serving per container or package: This value gives information about how many servings are in the whole container. For example, if you are looking at the label for a bag of six cookies and the serving size is two cookies, then the total number of servings in the whole package is three.

The percent daily value (%DV)

Located on the outer right-hand side of the label, the %DV tells you whether the food contains a high or low level of a specific nutrient. For example, if the label shows there is 18% DV of total fats in a food, then if you eat one serving size you will be consuming 18% of the recommended total fats for that day.

The %DV can be a useful tool in comparing different brands in order to make the healthiest choice. to compare foods since you can easily see the nutritional differences.

Calories and calories from fat

Calories are a measurement of the energy you will receive from consuming food. The food label shows the number of calories per serving for the food. The label also shows the number of calories from fat in each serving.

According to the FDA, the average person should consume around 2,000 calories per day. Eating excess calories can lead to becoming obese and overweight.


The first three items listed on all nutrition labels are also the three you should pay close attention to:

  • Total fat (broken down into saturated fat and trans fat)
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium

You should limit the amount you consume of each of these . Here are the recommended values for the average 2,000 calorie diet:

  • Total fat – 65 grams
    • Saturated fatty acids – 20 grams
  • Cholesterol milligrams – 300 milligrams
  • Sodium milligrams – 2400 milligrams

Eating too much fat (especially saturated fat and trans fat), cholesterol, and/or sodium can lead to various health problems, including chronic diseases like heart disease and high blood pressure.

Five nutrients that you want to try to eat in large amounts include:

  • Dietary fiber – 25 grams
  • Vitamin A – 5000 IU
  • Vitamin C – 60 milligrams
  • Calcium – 1000 milligrams
  • Iron – 18 milligrams

Quick breakdown on other nutrient information (with Recommended Daily Allowances)

  • Fat: Fat is a good source of energy, but too much fat can lead to many health problems, including heart disease and obesity. (Recommended Daily Allowance: 65 grams)
  • Saturated and Trans Fats: Can cause heart disease and high cholesterol. Keep the consumption of these fats to a minimum. (RDA: 20 grams of Saturated Fat; 0 Trans Fat)
  • Cholesterol: Most of the cholesterol needed by people is naturally produced in the liver. Additional cholesterol from foods can lead to the blocking of arteries, resulting in strokes or heart attacks. (RDA: 300 milligrams)
  • Sodium: Often found in large amounts in prepackaged foods (instant noodles and canned foods), sodium is used by the body for nerve transmission and maintaining a proper body fluid balance. Too much sodium can result in high blood pressure. (RDA: 2400 milligrams)
  • Total carbohydrates: Comprised of fiber, sugars, and other carbohydrates, “carbs” make up most of the calories you eat daily. As a rule your carbohydrate intake should only come from whole grain cereals and breads. Furthermore it is recommended that your carbohydrate consumption should be comprised of 50-60% complex carbs, the carbs found in vegetables, breads, and pasta. Complex carbs take more time to digest since they typically contain more fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Your consumption of the more digestible simple carbs should come from fruits and dairy products. (RDA: 300 grams)
  • Dietary fiber:  Helps promote healthy bowel movements. (RDA: 25 grams)
  • Sugars: The sugars found in fruit contain fiber, water, and other healthy nutrients. The sugars found in candy, snack foods, and sodas do not have these healthy nutrients and are simply extra calories that are consumed.
  • Proteins: The body uses protein to build, maintain, and replace all its tissue. This includes your all your muscles, organs, and immune system. Additionally the body uses protein to create hemoglobin, which transports the oxygen in your blood throughout the body. (RDA: 50 grams)
  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A is used by the body for improved eye-sight and healthy skin. (5000 IU)
  • Vitamin C: Improves the immune system, heals wounds, and connects tissues. (RDA: 60 milligrams)
  • Calcium: Keeps bones and teeth strong and improves the contraction of muscles and blood vessels. (RDA: 1000 milligrams)
  • Iron: Necessary for oxygen transportation and cell growth. (RDA: 18 milligrams)

Daily Values Footnote: If the food label is large enough, it will likely have a section that the daily recommended amount of specific nutrients. This portion tells you the amount of nutrients recommended for the 2,000 calorie daily intake. This section should be used as a guide in your daily consumption of foods.

Other information

Foods that are labeled with:

  • Reduced fat means that a product has 25% less fat than the same regular brand.
  • Light means that the product has 50% less fat than the same regular product.
  • Low fat means a product has less than 3 grams of fat per serving.

Always try to choose foods with low levels of cholesterol and saturated/trans fats.

Choose fish instead of meat! Fish contains a lower amount of saturated fat and may aid in preventing heart disease. The recommended fish to eat include salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, and mackerel.

Additional resources

How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label (FDA)

Figuring Out Food Labels (Nemours Foundation)

Nutrition Facts Labels: Understanding DVs, RDAs, and DRIs (

Food and Nutrition Information (American Dietetic Association)

Revealing Trans Fats (FDA)


Authored by:  Hall Health Center Health Promotion staff
Reviewed by: Hall Health Center Family Health Clinic staff (DK), February 2014