9Health Fair partners with local businesses to feature preventative resources
IF YOU GO
What: 9Health Fair
When: Saturday, April 18, from 7 a.m. to noon
Where: Summit High School
How much: Free to attend. Low-cost blood tests and other health screenings will be available.
This year you won’t have to rush to get your blood drawn before breakfast.
Summit County’s long-running 9Health Fair, which normally attracts hundreds of locals for low-cost medical tests as well as a wide range of free screenings and health information, has made a couple of changes, including no longer requiring fasting before those blood tests.
The fair is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Summit County and St. Anthony Summit Medical Center and will be held Saturday, April 18, from 7 a.m. to noon at Summit High School.
Started in 1970 by the National Institutes of Health and 9NEWS, 9Health Fair became an independent nonprofit in 1987 and has impacted 2 million people in its 36-year history.
Jim Goddard, 9Health Fair president and CEO, said the fair’s medical advisory committee has been watching the evidence against required fasting before blood draws grow over the years and is confident that removing the requirement won’t compromise results.
“We hope that it will now be even easier for Coloradans to own their health,” he said.
The event will now encourage locals to take charge of their health and focus more on proactive prevention than reactive illness care.
Also new this year will be a total wellness area where people can learn about complementary and alternative therapies and healthy practices.
“Plan another hour for the visit because there’s going to be more here than you’ve seen before,” said Mike Spry, a Keystone resident, Rotarian and owner of the Sunshine Cafe.
Spry said 21 local organizations and individual health and wellness providers have signed up for tables at the fair, including recreation centers, insurance providers, yoga studios, acupuncturists, chiropractors, grocery stores and nutritionists.
The core of the event is still the medical screenings, said Don Parsons, a retired surgeon and an event organizer.
Attendees can take advantage of a $35 blood chemistry screening that provides information about blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides; liver, kidney, bone and muscle function; and that may show warning signs of diabetes, heart disease and other concerns.
To best prepare for a blood draw, people should drink plenty of water and continue to take their prescribed medications.
Other affordable screenings include a $30 men’s prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening, which checks for prostate gland issues and cancer; a $20 blood cell count screening, which checks blood health; a $45 vitamin D screening; a $30 hemoglobin A1C screening, which gives an average blood sugar level over the past few months; and a $25 colon cancer screening take-home kit.
Free blood pressure, vision, oral, hearing and foot screenings are also offered.
More than 100 volunteers, including Rotarians and medical professionals from Summit Medical Center, donate their time to provide the screenings and education.
Summit High School students in the med prep vocational program who have become certified nursing assistants will also help out, and fifth-graders from Summit Cove Elementary working on a disease project with the Summit County Public Health Department will give out free radon and water quality test kits.
Health coverage guides from the Family and Intercultural Resource Center will offer health insurance assistance.
About 770 people attended last year’s fair, Parsons said, though previous years have attracted nearly 1,000 visitors. He attributed the 20 percent decrease in attendance in 2014 to required coverage of prevention services under the Affordable Care Act.
Still, he said, the event is a bargain even for those with insurance because of its educational opportunities.
Mike Whitehill, another event organizer, said the fair can save many a trip to the doctor’s office. “You can get good-quality health care and screenings and one-on-one conversations with professionals in a very relaxed atmosphere,” he said.
For more information, visit http://www.9HealthFair.org or call 1-800-332-3078.
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