Low-cost health fair is set for April 17

April 17 will mark the 25th year of the 9Health Fair in Craig. The fair, sponsored by the Craig Lions Club, provides low-cost or free health screenings to Moffat County residents 18 and older.

"Taking an active role in the future of your health is one of the most active things you can do for you," said Alice Rigney, co-chairwoman of the health fair.

From 8 a.m. to noon at Sunset Elementary School, blood chemistry analysis will be offered for $30 and prostate specific antigen exams will be offered for $25. A take home colon cancer screening test is available for $5.

The blood analysis is the main reason many people attend the health fair, said Rigney, who also is director of human resources at The Memorial Hospital.

The blood testing checks for diabetes, electrolytes, and kidney, muscle, bone and liver function. It includes a screening for cholesterol and thyroid function.

To obtain the most accurate results, those who expect to have blood drawn should drink only black coffee, tea or water in the 12 hours before the health fair. It is recommended that participants drink plenty of water before having blood drawn.

Free breast and vision exams are some of the other services that will be offered that morning.

Results of the tests will be available four weeks after testing. People are encouraged to take their test results to their doctor for further analysis and discussion.

"This doesn't replace a normal yearly physical. It's just a screening, an opportunity to get blood work done at a reasonable cost." Rigney said.

The basic free screening includes height and weight measurements, blood pressure, vision, oral cancer screenings, breast exams and informational booths for mental health and diabetes.

The event serves about 500 people annually, Rigney said.

Between 75 and 100 volunteers typically come together to make the health fair possible. Members from the Craig Lions Club, Cedar Mountain Lions Club, the Craig Rotary Club, employees of TMH and Colorado Northwest Mental Health all volunteer at the health fair. Students from Colorado Northwest Community College also assist, but Rigney said the fair could use help from doctors, resident nurses and those experienced at taking blood pressure.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or by e-mail at rgebhart@craigdailypress.com.

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