9News Health Fair to offer blood screening, other services

Annual event has been helping the community for 30 years

If you go

What: 9News Health Fair senior blood draw

When: 7 to 11 a.m. Thursday

Where: Sunset Meadows II, 595 Ledford St.

Call: Kristi Shepherd at 824-5814

What: 9News Health Fair

When: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Sunset Elementary School, 800 W. Seventh St.

One drop of blood can say a lot about a person.

From 7 to 11 a.m. Thursday at Sunset Meadows II, seniors older than 65 can have their blood drawn and screened. On Saturday, anyone older than 18 can attend the 9News Health Fair from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sunset Elementary School.

Kristi Shepherd, the site coordinator for the events, said blood chemistry screening is a vital part of the Health Fair, which now is in its 30th year in Craig.

"It's an inexpensive way to get screenings," Shepherd said about the Health Fair. "The blood screening has 31 different results - all from that one screening. It really makes a huge difference."

The blood screenings cost $30 and are one of the many screenings offered at the fair.

"There's the blood chemistry, PSA prostate exams for men, the blood count - to see if you're anemic," Shepherd said. "There are also breast cancer screenings, measuring height and weight, eye screening, finger glucose stick for diabetes and blood pressure tests."

The Craig Lions Club has sponsored the event since it debuted in 1979.

Stuart Nadler, a Lions Club member for more than 30 years, said few things have changed with the fair since it first was brought to Craig.

"Basically, there are more services," he said. "But otherwise, it's been pretty consistent."

Shepherd said the popularity of the Health Fair has grown because of word of mouth.

"People have heard of it - it's been around for 30 years," she said. "A lot of the people who come have been coming for 30 years. They plan on it every year.

"The numbers go up every year. The state of Colorado serves 93,000 people every year, and it's expected to go up to 94,000 or 95,000 this year."

Shepherd said there are many people in the community who depend on the Health Fair to get screened.

"The goal of the Health Fair is to help out people in the community who probably never go to the doctor," Shepherd said. "It's not trying to replace the doctor, but this is a great pre-check. Anyone who comes in can take their results to the doctor to have them review the results with them."

Nadler said the fair offers screenings to people who wouldn't have otherwise considered it.

"People come because it's a low-cost way to get screenings," he said. "People who wouldn't otherwise have regular visits get a chance to get screenings."

As a result of having the Health Fair at the same time every year, people have made it a part of their spring, Shepherd said.

"It's about getting people to pay more attention to their health," she said. "Once you've done this, you can plan on it, so you can plan on having the results at the same time every year."

Information from previous blood chemistry screenings can be used for comparing results.

"We can get your results from prior years using your Social Security number," Shepherd said. "That way, you can look at your result from two years ago and look how you've done in comparison."

Shepherd said doctors could use the results to monitor trends.

"You can take that to you doctor, and they can say, 'Your cholesterol has gone down since the last test,'" she said. "So it really is helpful for everyone."

Shepherd said the Health Fair was made possible through the Lions Club and her volunteers.

"The Lions Club sponsors it, but I have between 50 and 60 volunteers who help out," she said. "It's an excellent community event."

Registration for the Health Fair can be done at Sunset Elementary School the day of the fair. The blood chemistry test costs $30, the blood count costs $15, the prostate exam costs $25 and a take-home rectal test costs $20.

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