Chris Gardner, a medical technician at The Memorial Hospital, draws blood from Bill Willison, of Craig, on Thursday at the 9News Health Fair senior blood draw at Sunset Meadows II.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Chris Gardner, a medical technician at The Memorial Hospital, draws blood from Bill Willison, of Craig, on Thursday at the 9News Health Fair senior blood draw at Sunset Meadows II.

Seniors get blood drawn at 9News Health Fair

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Maxine Howe gives blood Thursday at the 9News Health Fair senior blood draw at Sunset Meadows II. The blood draw is used for a blood chemistry test that yields more than 30 indicators, including sodium and potassium levels, among many others. "I come every year," Howe said. "I think I've missed once in 18 years."

If

What: 9News Health Fair

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

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

— In 1997, Betty Cook's blood chemistry test revealed something her doctor couldn't.

"I had a thyroid dysfunction discovered because of a blood chemistry test," she said. "Because of the test, I was able to have it taken care of, and it's back to normal now."

On Thursday morning, Cook was one of many area seniors to have a test performed during the 9News Health Fair senior blood draw and screening at Sunset Meadows II.

The Craig Lions Club sponsors the Health Fair.

Cook said she attends the health fair every year to have blood drawn.

"I always take the results to my doctor afterward," she said.

The senior blood draw is the first part of the 30th annual 9News Health Fair. The second is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Sunset Elementary School for residents older than 18.

Lines of seniors moved from booth to booth Thursday to have their blood pressure and pulse checked or to have blood drawn.

For Craig residents Ted and Sharon Elliot, having blood drawn at the health fair is an annual spring event.

"It's a regular yearly thing for us," Sharon Elliot said. "We've probably been coming since it first started."

The two go to the senior blood draw and then take the results with them when they visit their doctor.

"It's a cheaper way to have the tests done," Ted said. "I'll take the results with me when I go in for my yearly physical."

He said he likes that the results give him a range of numbers, so he knows what his tests mean.

"What I like about it is you don't get just a number," he said. "They give you the high numbers and low numbers, so you know where you fit."

Kristi Shepherd, health fair site coordinator, said the number of seniors getting blood drawn was similar to other years.

"It's all going very well," she said. "The weather has been great, and I think that's helped get people out."

Shepherd said the senior blood draw usually has a good crowd, but Saturday's health fair was the big event.

Michelle Moore, Health Fair co-coordinator and lab supervisor, has helped with the fair for the past 17 years.

She said the fair has grown in popularity since she first started.

"It's grown a lot in just the last few years," she said. "Steamboat stopped having the 9News Health Fair - they have something different now in its place, so we get a lot of the people from Steamboat and Hayden.

"Last year, there were 150 more people than the year before."

For the health fair, Moore coordinates phlebotomists and volunteers.

"I make sure all the blood drawn is where it should be, and that the information along with it is accurate," she said.

At Saturday's health fair, there will be more tests and screenings available, including screenings for breast cancer, prostate exams, a blood count to screen for anemia and height and weight measurements in addition to the blood chemistry test.

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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