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Pagosa’s 9Health Fair gears up, set for April 3

Spring is definitely on its way. Snow is melting all around us, the temperatures are moderate and mud season has arrived.

A sure sign of spring is the 9Health Fair, to be held this year from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 3, at the Pagosa Springs High School.

First and foremost we need Health Fair professionals, whether active or retired. If you can assist, call LaQuita Johnson, site coordinator, at 264-0661 or lqj121853@aol.com.

We are also seeking non-medical volunteers. So, let’s step up to the plate, as this annual event takes 200 or more volunteers. Last year, 749 Pagosans over the age of 18 had some type of blood work done at the 9HF.

9Health Fair is Colorado’s largest volunteer-run, non-profit health fair program, and starting in April more than 165 communities will host a 9Health Fair for anyone age 18 and older. This is an opportunity for you to “own your health” by being responsible.

Those having blood work, remember: Drinking plenty of water the night before and the morning of April 3 is the best way to prevent any issues during your blood draw experience.

All 9Health Fair locations include four low-cost screenings: $30 Blood Chemistry Screening (12-hour fast is recommended), which provides you information on your blood sugar (glucose), cholesterol, triglycerides, liver, kidney, bone and muscle function and may show warning signs of diabetes, heart disease and other concerns; Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) screening for men over 40 with a family history, and all males 50 or older, checks for prostate gland issues and cancer at a low cost of $25; $15 Blood Count Screening, gives you a general picture of your overall health by checking your white blood cells, hematocrit, hemoglobin level, and blood-clotting abilities. Your body’s ability to fight infection, anemia, liver disease and certain cancers can be discovered with this screening. It is not included in the Blood Chemistry Screening. The $20 Colon Cancer Screening Take Home Kit checks for colon cancer.

Free screenings include;

• Blood Pressure and Pulse Screening (high blood pressure can lead to a stroke, heart attack, heart failure or kidney failure). Your pulse is checked to determine heart regularity and rate.

• Vision Screening, which checks how well you see at near and far distances as you read letters on a chart. If you normally wear glasses wear them during the screening.

• Height, Weight and BMI Screening. You can learn if you are underweight, overweight or average weight.

• Talk with a Health Professional Screening gives you the opportunity to ask local doctors and nurses any question regarding your health and discuss any issues regarding you and your family.

• Finger Stick Glucose Screening — if you meet two or more diabetes risk factors, you can take this screening, which checks for high and low blood sugar levels and diabetes. Through a finger stick, your blood sugar levels are given to you in just a matter of minutes.

• Body Fat Skinfold Screening. Discover your body fat levels by having your skin, muscle and fat thickness measured. Maintaining good body fat and muscle levels increases your overall strength and metabolism and reduces your risk of injury.

• Oral Screening looks for tooth, gum disease and oral cancer by checking the inside of the mouth for sores and lesions.

• Stress Management Screening involves a private questionnaire and checks your mental wellness by asking questions about how you cope with life’s stress. Mental health professionals are on hand for you to talk with as well.

• Nutrition Screening. A questionnaire assesses risk for an unhealthy lifestyle that could possibly lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes or other nutrition-related diseases. The nutritionist will review answers and discuss them with you.

• Breast Screening. A doctor checks for breast cancer by looking at, and feeling your breast, chest and underarm areas for changes in shape, size or skin dimpling.

• Bone Health Screening. If you meet two or more risk factors, you are eligible for this screening. Women and men with osteoporosis can break bones in the hip, spine and wrist. There are no symptoms of osteoporosis until a fracture occurs.

Your local 9Health Fair coordinator is continuing to work on other screenings for our community.

If you have visitors in town, please invite them to come and check out our 9Health Fair.

Remember, we are in need of medical and non-medical volunteers.

Hoping to see you at our 9Health Fair and let us hope that some spring flowers are in bloom.