Last Saturday I attended the Lions’9HealthFair at the Fraser Elementary school. Because it was a beautiful day, and probably the last one with Fall colors on full display, I almost didn’t go. But now I’m glad I did make the time.
The Lions’ 9HealthFair was, and has been for over 30 years, an important community event that allows attendees to be tested and seen by highly qualified doctors, nurses and other health care providers. There were over 20 free and low-cost screenings available plus flu shots. Importantly, there were 7 free tests for children. Wait times were relatively short and a very relaxed environment seemed to prevail (not often the case when visiting any health offices!)
The numbers for the Health Fair were impressive. Let me give you a rundown: 132 flu shots were given; 122 Blood pressure tests; 61 skin screenings; 36 hearing tests; 19 “Body in Balance” screens; 14 Dental screens; and 23 vision tests. Overall 298 people attended and selected the tests and screenings they wanted. If people had medical questions about what tests or screens to consider, Dr. Nancy Germer was in the registration area and helped direct them.
The medical team was both professional and friendly. Dr. Lucinda Young and Kathy Jamison managed the Dental screenings, Jamil Young and Amy Nagel handled PT, Cathy Pacocha (PA-C) and Dr. David Mellman gave skin tests and Scott Linn provided vision screenings. Also, nine nurses donated their time to draw blood. And the Safeway team managed flu shots.
I managed to stop at most of the stations, getting my blood pressure tested and blood drawn. My most interesting test was hearing, and the test indicated a problem with my left ear. The testers suggestion I get a full test. With help from Byers Peak Family Medicine, I learned that Grand County now has an audiologist that comes to Granby twice a month to do testing. On November 1 I’ll be in Granby to be tested by the Community Hearing Center, based in Estes Park. They’re in Granby just twice a month, every first and third Friday. We also now have a once-a-week dermatologist in Winter Park/Fraser to perform thorough skin screenings. While growth may have its downsides, it also brings some much needed positives.
The Health Fair is a major undertaking each year and it’s the only Fall Health Fair in Grand County. Since 1986, the Lions Club of the Fraser River Valley have been the organizers. To learn more about what it takes to organize an event of this size, and importance, I sat down with Susan Odneal who is the director of this event for the Lions. Susan told me that nearly 76 volunteers made this happen, including many health professionals and approximately 50 community/Lions volunteers. And this event would not be possible without committed sponsors such as this paper, the towns of both Fraser and Winter Park, Citywide and Grand Mountain Banks and Quest Diagnostics. City Market and Safeway are also sponsors with Safeway providing flu shots at the fair under the same terms as at Safeway (yes, that means you get a 10% discount on your next trip there).
Susan Odneal also mentioned that the Lions club is also trying to expand the range of services in the future. After talking to her, I believe next year’s fair will be even bigger.
To learn more about Health-related topics you can go to 9HealthFair.org. And next year’s Health Fair is October 3 so mark your calendars now.
Please send any comments to Bebarwick@gmail.com.