May 30, 2024  
2015-2016 Catalog 
2015-2016 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Health Promotion

Return to: About UC Merced 

H. Rajender Reddy Health Center
Phone: 209-228-2273 (CAT-CARE)
Fax: 209-228-7650

The Health Promotion team is comprised of professional staff, student workers and student volunteers who work together to encourage undergraduate and graduate students to make healthy choices that will enhance their academic performance. The mission of Health Promotion is to develop programs that:

  • Provide students with accurate information and skills necessary to make healthy life choices;
  • Create campus and community environments that encourage healthy life choices; and
  • Connect students to resources such as medical providers, counselors, health educators, dietitians and peer organizations.

The department offers programs for individuals, groups and the campus community that address nutrition, physical activity, body image, sexual health, substance use, depression, stress, relationships and sleep.

Health Services

The Health Center provides basic medical treatment and prevention services provided by board-certified physicians and certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Staff and peer health educators also provide information on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, sexual health, stress management, nutrition, body image and smoking cessation. We encourage students to become active partners in promoting their own health and well-being.

Services include: consultation with medical service providers for injury, illness, or chronic health conditions; laboratory testing; medications, immunizations and injections; and health and wellness education. Core services are covered by student services fee and campus health fee and are provided at no cost. There may be a cost for some laboratory work, radiology, medications and immunizations.

Eligibility for Services

All registered graduate and undergraduate students may use the Health Center and Health Promotion services even if they opt out of the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP). All services are confidential and offered to registered students. The H. Rajender Reddy Health Center houses the Health Center and Counseling and Psychological Services in the Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center.

Medical Insurance

All registered graduate and undergraduate students attending the UC are required to have major medical health insurance as a non-academic condition of enrollment. Unless a student shows proof of prior insurance coverage and requests a waiver by the posted deadline, the student is automatically enrolled in the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) and billed through the student’s account. UC SHIP offers comprehensive and affordable health insurance. It supplements the Health Center’s medical services and provides for extended medical care, emergency services, hospitalization, specialty care and out-of-area care. The program fee covers the cost of the medical, dental and vision insurance plan and program administration. A student who is covered by another health insurance may waive UC SHIP by demonstrating that their coverage is comparable to that provided under UC SHIP. The student must apply for a waiver by the specified deadline. All registered students are eligible to utilize the campus health center even if UC SHIP is waived. For information on insurance, including the waiver process and deadline, refer to the Health Services web page at or contact


The University of California is committed to protecting the health and well-being of our students.  Therefore, all of the UC campuses are implementing procedures to ensure that students are educated about and receive vaccinations to prevent potentially serious and contagious diseases.   Despite the fact that many people do receive the required and recommended vaccines, there are still documented outbreaks of vaccine-preventable-diseases (VPD) in California each year amongst those who were not completely immunized.  Information about these VPDs is provided below. Students should enter their immunization history on our secure web server at and send a copy of their immunization card(s) to Health Services for verification.

California Department of Public Health Immunization & Screening Recommendations For College Students. All students are strongly encouraged to obtain these vaccines prior to starting classes.

UC Merced Required Vaccinations


Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)

2 doses; first dose on or after 1st birthday

Varicella (chickenpox)

2 doses; first dose on or after 1st birthday

Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap)

1 dose in the last 10 years.

Meningococcal conjugate (preferred to polysaccharide vaccine)

One dose on or after age 16 for all undergraduates  (and for graduate students new to residence hall settings)

Meningococcal serotype b

Recommendations pending from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Hepatitis B

3 doses

(Currently Hepatitis B vaccine is REQUIRED for all students under the age of 19.)

Screening for Tuberculosis

All incoming students who are at higher risk for TB infection should undergo either skin or blood testing for TB infection. (Higher risk includes travel to or living in South & Central America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East; prior positive TB test, or exposure to someone with active TB disease.)

​​Additional immunizations recommended for preventive care include: 

  • Influenza vaccine (annual)
  • Hepatitis A vaccine.
  • Human papillomavirus vaccine. For women through age 26 years; males through age 26 years may also receive the quadrivalent HPV vaccine.
  • Pneumococcal vaccine. For students with certain medical conditions e.g., severe asthma, diabetes, chronic liver or kidney disease.
  • Poliovirus vaccine. If series not completed as a child.
  • Vaccines for international travel, based on destination.