Monday Medical: Get a powder day for your health

Health fair offers free screenings Saturday

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If you go

What: YVMC Community Health Fair

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

Where: Yampa Valley Medical Center campus, 1024 Central Park Drive

Cost: Free

Contact: Call 871-2500, e-mail wellness@yvmc.org or visit www.yvmc.org

Lynne Meyers is excited to wait in line Saturday.

Just like a long gondola line on a powder day, the free health screenings at Yampa Valley Medical Center's annual Community Health Fair are worth the wait to Meyers, who has lived in Steamboat Springs for 23 years.

"All of your health needs for the year can be checked off in one morning," she said. "It's a great opportunity to take responsibility for your health and find out what you've wanted to find out for free."

Those who know Meyers know she stays very active as a tennis coach, skier and hockey player.

They also know that like many other local residents, she is proactive about her health. She was one of more than 400 who attended last year's Community Health Fair at YVMC.

This year's event will be extended by an hour, with an extra half-hour at the beginning and the end of the event, an idea suggested by attendees at last year's event.

Saturday's health fair is from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.

What has not changed is the diverse selection of free health screenings and low-cost blood tests.

Nearly 30 different screenings or education stations will be available.

Free screenings include: cardiovascular, hearing, vision, skin, allergies, dental and oral, foot, lung function, body in balance, blood pressure and height/weight - to name a few.

One-on-one health education booths include: 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.

New stations this year include:

- 2009 H1N1 (swine) flu information

- Acupuncture

- Asthma and exercise

- Nicotine addiction counseling

- Pain management

- Peripheral artery disease

- Stress management

Meyers said she is motivated to find out more about her health because the health fair takes the cost out of it. She also likes the fact that she takes her health in her own hands and decides what information she needs.

"What's impressive is there is so much expertise under one roof," Meyers said. "Each station provided me with either steps I can take for preventive care or a baseline for future check-ups."

Stations will be staffed by local heath care providers. Plenty of free educational materials will be available. Also, attendees will receive an eco-friendly reusable grocery bag to carry home materials.

In addition to free physical screenings and education, attendees have the opportunity for low-cost blood tests including a health profile, with cholesterol and glucose checks, for $30; complete blood count for $15; prostate-specific antigen for $25, men only; and hemoglobin A1C, also for $25. The tests will be processed by YVMC's laboratory.

Yampa Valley Medical Center's Web site, www.yvmc.org, provides more information about these tests on its Community Health Fair page.

The complete list of stations and local providers at Saturday's event is available, as well as updates on any additional screenings.

And for those planning to get blood tests, online pre-registration also is available on YVMC's Web site. This will save attendees the task of having to register Saturday morning.

Also at Saturday's health fair, tickets will be available for the YVMC Auxiliary's "Last Chance Ski Pass" drawing. Tickets cost $10 each, and the drawing will be held at the Halloween Stroll, from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday on Lincoln Avenue.

Attendees can expect to stand in line for the health fair, so dress comfortably. Services are available throughout the YVMC campus, including physicians' offices and the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association office in the adjoining Medical Office Building.

Volunteers and maps will be on hand to direct participants to the areas of their interest.

"Last year I showed up not knowing what to expect, and I just jumped in line," Meyers said. "This year, I've been going online to come up with a list of my priorities.

"I'll be pressing glass for a vision screening."

Riley Polumbus is communications specialist at Yampa Valley Medical Center. She can be reached at riley.polumbus@yvmc.org

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