COLORADO SPRINGS — Usually this time of year we are talking about the 5Health Fairs happening across southern Colorado. The annual 5Health Fairs, in partnership with 9Health Fairs across Colorado, emphasize the importance of knowing your personal health numbers, and provide a way to get them for free or at low cost.
This year, like every large gathering of people, the health fairs have had to be put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gary Drews, President and CEO of 9Health Fair, says it’s actually caused them to be more proactive, taking the fairs virtual, so the people of Colorado can still be proactive when it comes to managing personal health.
Gary says, “There are a lot of other things that you can do virtually right now to move your preventive health forward while all this pandemic craziness is going on because our health is happening literally all day every day.”
One of the biggest draws to the in-person health fairs has been a blood test. Screenings like blood work and blood pressure and reveal important clues as to what’s happening in our bodies.
While it’s not a full blood draw and work up, you can still have a blood test right now that is an effective screening tool.
Gary says, “You can now order blood tests through the mail. You can go to 9healthfair.Org and register, just as you would with a health fair and get your blood tests received through the mail, it's a finger stick because it's easy to do, you just do it and mail it back, and you can then go online afterwards to get the results.”
Also, on the 9Health Fair website you will find many of the many of the screenings that usually happen at a health fair - and more.
Gary says, “We have additional screenings that you can do online for free. You can do sleep apnea, cardiology and blood sugar to name a few.”
Very timely in the midst of the pandemic and new through 9Health Fair is a mental health therapy option that can include free sessions which is especially helpful for many who live in rural parts of Colorado.
Gary says, “We have a free mental health therapy program going through telehealth. One of the challenges of rural Colorado is there are not quite enough providers to go around and that includes therapists. What we have done is link up therapists in the Denver metro area that are willing to volunteer some time, and they're connecting with folks in rural Colorado, especially Southeast Colorado through the southeast health group. You're able to speak with a therapist for free, in five to ten sessions, Right now with anxiety going through the roof for a lot of people with the pandemic it's something really proactive we can do.”
So if avoiding the long lines at the health fair have been your excuse not to be proactive about your health that's not an issue right now.
Gary says it only comes at a small extra cost. “It's a little more expensive because of the postage and the test just costs more, but we're passing those savings on as much as we can because we are a nonprofit and as most nonprofits are going through a challenging time right now.”
To learn more, and register for health screenings and tests, visit (https://www.9healthfair.org/)