Monday Medical: Fall into health with YVMC fair

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The YVMC Community Health Fair is from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Yampa Valley Medical Center and the adjoining Medical Office Building on Central Park Drive. Low-cost blood tests and free health screenings will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit www.yvmc.org for more information or to pre-register. Online registration closes at noon Friday.

Prevention. Health promotion. Wellness. Community. Take responsibility for your own health. These words and phrases describe why Yampa Valley Medical Center is planning its first annual "Fall into Health" community health fair.

This event offers low-cost blood tests, flu shots, free health screenings and health education booths provided by YVMC employees, YVMC Auxiliary members, local healthcare providers and community volunteers.

YVMC is excited to offer this health fair at a new time and new location (the hospital campus). Also new this year is a personal registration process, a Web site pre-registration option and a quicker turn-around for receiving blood test results.

These improvements are made possible by YVMC's decision to separate from the statewide 9Health system and organize a true community event. Providers and participants will reap many benefits.

For example, YVMC will process the blood tests at our own laboratory, instead of sending them to a Denver lab. We also will store each participant's results in a computerized medical record. This will allow individuals and their physicians easy access to this important health information.

Our commitment to "keeping it local" is pumping new energy into the health fair. Numerous providers are volunteering to provide new services - such as cardiovascular screenings and breast exams. Local organizations and caregivers are eager to offer free health information about a wide variety of topics.

A fun new addition to this year's health fair is a prize drawing available to participants who visit 50 percent or more of the screenings and health education booths.

We encourage people to wear comfortable walking shoes, as services are available throughout the YVMC campus, including the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association in the adjoining Medical Office Building. Plenty of volunteers and maps will be on hand to direct participants to the areas of their interest. Screenings include:

- Low-cost blood tests

- Blood chemistry (an 18-component test that includes a cholesterol panel, glucose, thyroid, iron, liver function and kidney function) for $30

- Complete blood count (hemoglobin, red blood cell, white blood cell) for $15

- PSA (prostate specific antigen for men only) for $25

- Flu shots at VNA for $22

Health fair attendees also will find free screenings for peripheral vascular disease, hearing and vision, skin, allergies, dental and oral, foot, lung function, body in balance, blood pressure and height/weight.

In addition, there will be plenty of free materials and in-person health education for a variety of topics, including: asthma, Alzheimer's, autism, sleep disorders, joint replacement, diabetes, emergency preparedness, healthy aging, tobacco, pulmonary health, mental health, advance directives/living wills, and nasal and sinus problems.

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue will perform infant/child car seat safety checks in the parking lot. There will be plenty of parking available in the hospital's newly expanded lot. The yellow line of Steamboat Springs Transit makes a stop at the hospital front entrance; bus riders can check with SST for times.

We welcome long-time, loyal attendees, as well as everyone who never has visited a health fair. This is the perfect opportunity to see your friends and neighbors, meet local health care providers and take charge of your health.

Visit www.yvmc.org by noon Friday if you want to pre-register for blood tests. This is the first time we have been able to offer this convenience. We enthusiastically are committed to making this truly local health fair the best one yet.

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