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9Health Fair is Saturday at the high school

You can enjoy Easter brunch and those chocolate Easter eggs on Sunday, as well as come by the 9Health Fair on Saturday. There is no reason you can’t do both.

The 2012 9Health Fair will be held at the Pagosa Springs High School from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 7.

Past health fairs have demonstrated that the majority of the participants come for the low cost blood work. For $30 you can get the blood chemistry screening, which provides baseline information on your cholesterol, blood glucose, liver, kidneys and thyroid.

The blood cell count screening is offered at $15 and gives you a general picture of your overall health by checking your white blood cells, hematocrit, hemoglobin levels and blood-clotting abilities. Your body’s ability to fight infection, anemia, liver disease and certain cancers can be discovered with this screening.

Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a worldwide problem. Many studies also suggest an association between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of certain types of cancers, nerve disease, immune disease and heart disease. This screening is used to provide you with a baseline level of vitamin D and available for $40.

The hemoglobin A1C test shows your average blood glucose over the last 60 to 90 days. This screening could potentially reduce the number of patients with undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes and kidney disease. This screening is offered for $25.

A PSA screening for men measures a protein that is only produced by the male prostate gland. Elevations of PSA may occur in men with non-cancerous prostate diseases or prostate cancer. This blood draw screening is available for $25.

All of these screenings can help you and your doctor monitor your health and prevent health issues from becoming emergencies. You must fast 12 hours prior to these blood draws and drink plenty of water. You can have black coffee or black tea and continue to take your regular medications. If you are diabetic, do not fast.

A take-home colon cancer screening kit will be available on Saturday for $20.

In addition to the potentially life-saving blood tests, other health screenings are offered at no cost. You can get checked for height, weight and body mass index, vision, and skin fold. Basic breast exams, spinal and oral health evaluations are available, plus you can have your blood pressure and pulse rate checked.

Another benefit of the 9Health Fair is Interactive Education Centers that provide educational brochures and visual one-on-one demonstrations to increase public awareness and encourage healthy lifestyles. Local health professionals and community organizations at the 2012 Health Fair include Alcoholic Anonymous and Al-Non, American Cancer Society, Red Cross, Veterans Administration, Pagosa Fire Protection District and the Pagosa Mountain Hospital and Medical Center. Information regarding pancreatic cancer and Alzheimer’s will be available. In addition, the Colorado State Patrol will have an interactive driving simulation booth.

After you have had your blood drawn, enjoy a pancake breakfast at the health fair from 7 to 10 a.m., or hot dogs, hamburgers, and stuffed baked potatoes from 10 a.m. to noon, provided by the Pagosa Springs High School Skills members. This fund raiser will help the Skills group to compete at state Skills USA in Denver this month.

The mission of a 9Health Fair is to promote health awareness and encourage individuals to assume responsibility for their own health. The Pagosa Springs 9Health Fair volunteers have worked hard to bring this service to our community and we hope you will take advantage of this once a year event. Supporters and sponsors include Pagosa Mountain Hospital and Medical Center, The Pagosa Springs SUN, Bank of Colorado, Alco, City Market and Wal-Mart.

If you have any questions, or need more information, call Caroline Brown at 731-4248.

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