Organizers report numbers down for 9Health Fair

Laquita Johnson, 9Health Fair’s new coordinator, says, “Now I know what to expect and I’ll be looking for just the right people to fill volunteer vacancies for next year.”

Under the leadership of a series of competent coordinators, the event has taken on the characteristics of a well-trained army of volunteers with experienced individuals responsible for the different sections, i.e., blood draw, screening, interactive educations centers, security, volunteer care, publicity, etc. Attendees at this year’s fair can attest to that.

For the first time in recent memory, attendance at the 9Health Fair in Pagosa Springs dipped below 700, evidence that, in an economic downturn, healthcare, for some people, must take a back seat.

This year, 696 participants (compared to 744 last year) took advantage of the available screenings of every sort: height and weight, body mass index, hearing, vision, bone density, skin fold measurement, breast exams, oral screening, and much more. They also visited the wide variety of health and safety information readily available at many interactive education centers. There were 666 participants who took advantage of the low-cost blood test; 422 underwent the Blood Count Test; 232 men took advantage of the PSA test; and 145 took home the Colon Cancer Kits. Even with the lower numbers, this is evidence of a community willing to take responsibility for its own healthcare.

All who took advantage of the fair are to be congratulated for taking responsibility for their health, and the 211 medical and non-medical volunteers and the many exhibitors who made this event possible deserve the gratitude of the community.

Remember to mark your calendar now for 2010 — the first Saturday in April is 9HealthFair Day in Pagosa Springs.