By Caroline Brown
Special to The SUN
If you have not already done so, mark your calendars for April 6, 7 a.m. to noon, for the Pagosa Springs 9Health Fair at the Pagosa Springs High School.
During this annual event, low cost blood screenings are available to anyone 18 years or older. In addition, free basic medical screenings and interactive educational materials regarding local health and human services are also offered.
The low cost blood screenings that are available are Blood Chemistry ($30), Blood Cell Count ($15), Vitamin D ($40), Hemoglobin A1c ($25) and Glucose Sensitivity ($45). PSA screening for men only is offered for $25. No matter how many blood tests you choose, one small needle does it all. Be sure to fast 12 hours prior to your blood draw and drink as much water as you possibly can. A take home colon cancer screening kit, recommended for men and women 50 or older can be purchased for $20.
The Hemoglobin A1c screening indicates your average blood sugar (glucose) level over the past 2 to 3 months and can indicate whether or not your blood sugar is being controlled over time. Recommendations from the American Diabetes Association state that hemoglobin A1c is the preferred method for making a diagnosis of diabetes. If you have diabetes, it is also useful in monitoring your average blood sugar over the past couple of months.
Returning to the health fair this year is the popular bone density screening, using a heel bone density device. Women and men with low bone mass (osteoporosis) are at risk to break bones in the hip, spine and wrist. There are no symptoms of osteoporosis until a fracture occurs. Postmenopausal and small, thin women are at a greater risk for osteoporosis. This screening, along with other basic medical screenings including blood pressure and pulse, vision, hearing and spinal are free.
Health education is an essential part of the 9Health Fair. San Juan Basin Health, Pagosa Springs Medical Center, Archuleta County Senior Services, Colorado Neurological Institute, and Veteran’s Services are a few of the health professionals and community organizations that will be at the 9Health Fair to provide educational materials and answer questions.
The above mentioned screenings and community organizations are only a few that will be offered at the health fair. Next week’s SUN will have detailed information regarding all of the blood screenings, free medical screenings and interactive educational centers.
The Pagosa Springs 9Health Fair is not able to accept credit or debit cards. Please bring cash or a personal check. There are still a few vouchers available for the $30 blood chemistry screening.
Call Caroline Brown at 731-4248 for more information regarding the vouchers or any other aspect of the 9Health Fair.