By Caroline Brown
Special to The SUN
The calendar says that winter is officially over and now it’s time to spring into health at the Pagosa Springs 9Health Fair on Saturday, April 6, from 7 a.m. to noon at the Pagosa Springs High School.
Free screenings, including a breast exam, will be available as well as an interactive education center that offers participants valuable preventative health information. The 9Health Fair promotes health awareness and encourages individuals to assume responsibility for their own health.
Low cost screenings are offered to anyone 18 years or older, and no matter how many blood tests you choose, one small needle does it all. The screenings at the 2013 health fair include blood chemistry ($30), blood cell count ($15), Vitamin D deficiency ($40), hemoglobin A1C ($25), and a PSA for men only ($25). As an added bonus, Pagosa Springs was chosen to participate in a pilot program for gluten sensitivity screening ($45).
The most popular blood screening is the $30 blood chemistry test which provides information on your cholesterol, glucose, triglycerides, liver, kidneys, bone, thyroid, and muscle function. The results tell your doctor about your general health, helps look for certain problems, finds out whether treatment for a specific problem is working and helps assess your risk for certain diseases. A normal test result can be just as significant as an abnormal result. A detailed report will be mailed to you shortly after the health fair and will indicate if you have any results outside of a reference range. This information will help you and your doctor monitor your health and prevent health issues from becoming emergencies.
Prior to a blood draw, be sure to drink plenty of water, fast for 12 hours (unless you are diabetic), and continue taking prescribed medications. Drinking plenty of water the night before and morning of the health fair is the best way to prevent any issues during your blood draw.
The Pagosa Springs 9Health Fair is not able to accept credit or debit cards. Please bring cash or a personal check. There are a few vouchers available for the $30 blood chemistry test. Call 731-4248 for an interview to determine if you are eligible for a voucher.
Read future issues of The SUN for detailed information regarding other blood screenings, costs, and services provided at the 9Health Fair, or call the site coordinator, Caroline Brown, at 731-4248.