3 reasons to consider attending a health fair | AspenTimes.com

3 reasons to consider attending a health fair

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From free screenings to important blood tests, health fairs provide services that cost less than a doctor's office visit

Written By Lauren Glendenning
Brought to you by Aspen Valley Hospital

Roaring Fork Valley residents who have seen insurance premiums skyrocket in recent years are used to shopping around for the best health care deals, which is why attending a health fair should be high up on the list of ways to save money on healthcare.

Open to the public, health fairs offer important healthcare services such as blood draws that test cholesterol, blood sugar, kidney and liver function, among other important metabolic functions.

Aspen Valley Hospital hosts several health fairs throughout the year, including the upcoming Midvalley Health Fair on Oct. 14. Here are three reasons why you should consider attending a health fair.

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  1. Free or reduced-cost services

The Midvalley Health Fair is offering its Health Fair Profile for $65, which tests 32 metabolic functions. A colorectal cancer screening kit will run $25, flu shots are $40 and free screenings include blood pressure checks, vision checks and screening for height, weight and body mass index.

"The same testing you find at the health fair would likely cost hundreds of dollars outside of this opportunity," said Jennifer Slaughter, Aspen Valley Hospital spokeswoman.

While anyone can attend a health fair, Aspen Valley Hospital recommends those with insurance to check their benefits before participating because not all plans cover health fair screenings.

  1. Blood draws and lab tests

The 32 metabolic functions tested in the Health Fair Profile include blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides, kidney and liver function, complete blood count, thyroid stimulating hormone and more, Slaughter said. A cardio c-reactive protein test checks for elevated levels of the protein that can indicate vascular inflammation, which can lead to clogged arteries. Prostate-specific antigen tests are recommended annually for men over the age of 50 and will be offered for $35 at the health fair. A Vitamin D test for $45 will measure nutritional and sunshine absorption levels of the vitamin to determine whether the patient has a deficiency.

Other free screenings for things like blood pressure, vision and weight will also  be offered.

"These are important health markers for people who might not 'know their numbers,'" Slaughter said. "Our mission is to put information in the hands of the individual so that he or she is empowered to take charge of their own health."

  1. Quality healthcare and education

Dedicated healthcare providers, physician assistants and nurses will be on hand to service health fair participants. Information stations at the health fair will complement blood draws and free screenings, offering attendees information on the various services offered through the hospital, including speech therapy and trauma prevention, the After-Hours Medical Care clinic, and the Midvalley Surgery & Imaging Centers. Additional information will be offered by community partners Aspen Strong, Komen Foundation, Pathfinders and Response.

Interested in a health fair blood draw?

Anyone looking to have their blood drawn and tested at the Midvalley Health Fair should register online prior to the event at aspenhospital.org. Walk-ins on the day of the event will be accepted, but appointments are encouraged. Online registration closes Oct. 13 at 6 p.m.

All payments for services at the health fair must be made with cash or check. Anyone interested only in free screenings should arrive an hour before the event closes.

The Midvalley Health Fair is Saturday, Oct. 14 at the El Jebel Community Center, 0020 Eagle County Dr., from 8 to 11 a.m.

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