Low-cost health screens Saturday

Every spring for the past 25 years, residents have learned a little bit more about themselves from low-cost health screens.

For a few, it means the first step to a diagnosis of prostate or breast cancer.

To others, it can reveal anemia or leukemia.

Saturday's Channel 9 Health Fair can be a first step toward learning about your health through low-cost blood screens, prostate tests and blood counts.

The fair also offers free breast exams and eye and hearing screens. Also available are tests for lung functions, height and weight records and blood pressure tests.

People have to be 18 or older to participate but need not be Moffat County residents.

"I think it's something that people realize is a good deal for $30," said Kristi Shepherd, chair of this year's event.

Blood-chemistry screens are $30, which is a fraction of the cost of having the service done through a regular health care provider or service.

Prostate tests are $25, and blood-count tests are $15.

However, people getting the screens need to have the results reviewed by a health care provider.

Results are mailed to participants' homes in about six weeks.

"The screening exam is not a substitute for seeing a physician," said Alice Rigney, who is helping coordinate the event. "This is not a way people can bypass a regular medical exam."

The event regularly draws about 500 participants, with the first people waiting about an hour before the fair kicks off.

A number of volunteers, nursing students, physicians and service club members staff the event.

Its major funding comes from the Craig Lions Club.

Questionnaires for registration for the event have been reduced to five questions from lengthier versions of years past. That should be good news to people waiting in long lines to register, Shepherd said.

Participants getting blood screens should drink plenty of water and fast for 12 hours before the tests. Diabetics are exempt from this rule.

The Channel 9 Health Fair occurs throughout the state, but organizers provide different screenings based on local needs.

"It's just an overall community involvement thing," Shepherd said. "People come and, yes, they get to see friends. It's a social atmosphere."

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craig-dailypress.com.

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