Annual 9Health Fair returns to Eagle Saturday | VailDaily.com
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Annual 9Health Fair returns to Eagle Saturday

Caramie Schnell
Eagle, CO Colorado

EAGLE, Colorado ” When Laurie Slaughter had her blood drawn at the 9Health Fair in Eagle, Colorado two years ago, she didn’t think much about it. After all, she’s been pricked with a needle at every health fair since the event started in 1981.

Forty-eight hours later, Slaughter, a Gypsum resident, got a phone call. Her bloodwork indicated that her thyroid levels were high.

“They told me I needed to have further tests done and have it checked out by my doctor,” she said. “It did explain some of the symptoms I’d been having.”



Saturday, Slaughter will attend the fair both as a volunteer and a participant. Her 28-year-old son, who doesn’t have health insurance, will also attend, she said. He’s a good example of who should attend the health fair and why it’s an important community service, she said.

The four-hour event offers plenty of free screenings including blood pressure, hearing and vision checks, skin cancer screenings and more. The skin cancer screening is the most popular screening option, said site organizer Joy Ortiz.



“Because of our altitude here, everyone is really careful about trying not to get skin cancer and finding those little spots that indicate skin cancer. The second most popular for optional screenings is body and balance, where doctors run you through a series of tests to see if your balance is good, if everything is working correctly or if you need to go to a doctor.”

Attendees can also opt for a $30 blood draw, which checks total cholesterol levels, triglycerides, blood sugar levels, thyroid, liver and kidney functions; a $25 prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening for men, which checks for prostate gland issues and cancer; or a $15 blood cell count screening, which checks how well the body is fighting infection.

“If you went to your doctor to get that $30 blood draw done, it’d be about $350,” Ortiz said. “It’s a tremendous difference. Now, when people are struggling with not having insurance, it’s really a popular event.”



Ortiz, who has volunteered at the health fair with her husband Dave for the past six years, said just under 1,000 people attended the fair last year and they expect similar numbers this year.

More than 170 volunteer-run 9Health Fairs are taking place around Colorado this April. A record-setting 91,165 people attended one of the health fairs last year, according to http://www.9healthfair.org. The local Lions Club, along with Eagle County, organizes and runs the Eagle 9Health Fair each year. It takes nearly 100 volunteers, including 50 medical volunteers, to put on the event, Ortiz said.

“It takes all of our Lions (Club members) to do this,” Ortiz said. “We feel like we do a big service for the community by providing it.”

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or cschnell@vaildaily.com.

What: 9Health Fair

When: 7:30 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday

Where: Eagle Valley Middle School in Eagle

Details: The fair will include free screenings such as blood pressure, breast exams, finger stick blood sugar test, hearing check, foot check, skin cancer check, tooth and oral health check and more.

Low cost blood work is available at the health fair. Blood screening participants must be at least 18 years old and should fast for 12 hours prior to the draw. Diabetics should eat, drink and take medication as usual and can still be screened.

Low cost screenings include a $30 blood draw, which checks total cholesterol levels, triglycerides, blood sugar levels, thyroid, liver and kidney functions; a $25 prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening for men, which checks for prostate gland issues and cancer; a $15 blood cell count screening, which checks how well the body is fighting infection.

The 9Health Fair is offering a new colon cancer kit this year which is easier to use, requires no special diet and boasts an 87 percent cancer sensitivity. The take-home/mail-in kits check for human blood in the stool. The kits cost $20.

More information: Contact Eagle County Public Health at 970-748-3280 or visit http://www.9healthfair.org


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