Health fair offers free, low-cost screenings
Aspen may be an active, healthy community, but since none of its occupants are getting any younger, the hospital is holding its annual community health fair tomorrow.For the 23rd straight year, Aspen Valley Hospital has gathered close to 100 volunteers to provide incredible deals on health screenings like blood draws for kidney and liver function, blood sugar, cholesterol and a lot more. Some of the exams are completely free, including blood pressure, hearing, vision, knee and skin exams.”It’s a fun event – the whole community turns out for it, so it’s kind of a social thing,” said Vicki Seyffert, who is coordinating the fair. “That’s why the volunteers love working it, because they get to see people they haven’t seen in awhile.”The fair happens tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Aspen Valley Hospital.This year’s newest low-cost blood test is the “Cardio C-Reactive Protein” for $35. The Cardio CRP – which measures small levels of inflammation – is recommended for anyone who wants to assess their risk of heart disease. According to the hospital, the combination of that new test with a cholesterol screening is a better predictor of a heart attack than just a cholesterol test.The Cardio CRP increases when inflammation is present, therefore test results can be affected by being overweight or obese, or from cigarette smoking, tissue injury and infections.Other low-cost screenings at the fair include a bone density analysis for $25, colorectal cancer kits for $4, and the popular lab profile blood draw for $30. The lab profile screens for thyroid stimulating hormone, kidney function, liver function, blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL and LDL. Seyffert estimated that the lab work alone would normally cost around $250.For accurate results, fairgoers are reminded to fast for 12 to 14 hours before having blood drawn, and they’re asked to drink plenty of water.”Lots of people get up in the morning and need to eat, so if you can come in early you can get your blood drawn soon so you can go get breakfast and have some coffee,” Seyffert said.The hospital’s cafeteria will have breakfast specials and lunch during the Health Fair for a low cost. Free screenings at the fair include blood pressure, hearing, vision, height and weight, oral cancer and skin exams. Participants are asked to wear shorts if they’d like a free knee exam.There will also be plenty of health information stations, and a free mini massage from Aspen Massage Associates. Simple pedometers will be sold for $10, and the Emergency Medical & Trauma Advisory Council along with the hospital’s trauma program will have drawings for bike helmets with free fittings.For more information about the health fair, call 544-1295.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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