9Health Fair to offer blood tests, screenings and more Saturday

By Caroline Brown
Special to The PREVIEW

After weeks of preparation, it’s time for the 2017 Pagosa 9Health Fair on Saturday, April 29, from 7 to 11 a.m. at Pagosa Springs High School.

Screenings offered at 9Health Fairs for anyone 18 years or older can indicate potential problems and identify serious issues such as heart disease, prostate cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, thyroid problems or anemia at an early, treatable stage, before symptoms are evident.

In preparation to have your blood drawn at the 9Health Fair, be sure to drink plenty of water. Drinking generous amounts of water the night before and the morning of the 9Health Fair is the best way to prevent any issues during the blood draw experience. Fasting prior to the blood draw is optional and participants should check with their health care providers if they have questions as to whether or not you should fast.

New blood screenings will be offered at the 2017 9Health Fair in Pagosa. Testosterone screening for men ($35) and women ($45) provides baseline testosterone levels. Testosterone can affect the brain, bone and muscle mass, fat distribution, the vascular system, energy levels, genital tissues and sexual functioning.

A free vitamin B12 screening is available with the purchase of any other blood screening or take-home colon cancer kit. This blood test provides baseline vitamin B12 levels, which play a key role in the normal function of the brain and nervous system, and the formation of red bloods cells.

In addition, five other blood tests will be available, ranging in cost from $20 to $45 and will provide measurements of key overall indicators that assist participants when discussing their health and any areas of concern with their doctors or health care providers.

The basic blood chemistry test ($35) measures the levels of 27 indicators that provide a baseline check on the overall health of blood sugar (glucose), triglycerides, liver, kidney, bone and thyroid functions, as well as cholesterol levels.

The blood cell count ($20) measures the white blood cells, hematocrit, hemoglobin levels and blood-clotting abilities, which indicates your ability to fight infection and may identify anemia.

The hemoglobin A1C test ($30) measures your average blood sugar for the past two to three months, indicating your risk of diabetes or your effectiveness at managing your diabetes.

The vitamin D test ($45) measures the level of vitamin D, which has found to be at very low levels across the country due to reduced sun exposure, increased use of sunscreen and low levels of fortified milk consumption. Vitamin D plays an important role in protecting bones and preventing osteoporosis.

The PSA test ($30) is for men over 40 with a family history of prostate cancer or males between 50 and 75. A take-home colon cancer test is sold for $25. It is a mail-in test that checks for blood in the stool.

In addition to the low-cost blood tests, free medical screenings are provided by volunteer professionals including blood pressure, breast exam, spinal exam, hearing, vision, as well as height, weight, BMI, body fat skinfold, nutrition and memory and stress screening.

The 2017 Pagosa 9Health Fair is excited to partner with the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office for the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 29. If you have outdated or unused prescriptions, you can bring them to the health fair and the sheriff’s office will safely dispose of them.

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.

Some of the local health professionals and community organizations at the 2017 Pagosa 9Health Fair include the Geothermal Greenhouse Project, San Juan Basin Public Health, Centura Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center, Southwest Independent Living, THRIVE and Rise Above Violence.

Credit cards are not accepted when you register at Pagosa Springs High School on April 29. However, you can preregister online with a credit card at www.9healthfair.org/FindAFair. You must complete your online registration at least 24 hours prior to April 29. If you register online, you will still have to go to a registration table, but not the cashier table. You will also have to wait in the blood draw line with all the other participants.

Come out on Saturday, April 29, to the Pagosa 9Health Fair from 7 to 11 a.m. at the high school, where you can visit with your friends and neighbors as well as take advantage of low-cost blood tests, free medical screenings and an abundance of health-related information and education.

You can also enjoy breakfast or lunch fare sold by the high school SKILLS group as part of its annual fundraiser.

If you have any questions about the 9Health Fair, please contact Caroline Brown at 731-4248.

This story was posted on April 28, 2017.