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Free health screenings encourage pro-activity

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The Southern Colorado 9Health Fair is coming to Pueblo on Saturday, April 18. It will be held at the Praise Assembly of God on Troy Avenue and is offering many free and low-cost screenings.

The health fair is currently looking for medically trained personel to volunteer.

News First 5/30 (KOAA-TV) has recently become a partner with the health fair in hopes of spreading knowledge of the services available to the public and creating a larger volunteer base, said Ethan Buete, Creative Service Director at KOAA-TV.

“I was extremely excited to raise awareness about such a great community event,” said Buete.

“Pueblo has one of the most complete fairs in the program,” Buete said.

The fair in Pueblo offers most of the services which are generally available, Buete said.

Free screenings may include finger-stick glucose, skin and breast cancer, hearing and vision, pap smears, testicular, Body Mass Index, skin fold measurements and cardiac risk assessments.

Other screenings available are blood chemistry for $30, blood count for $15, prostate specific antigen for $25 and a Colon Cancer screen  for $20.

“It is so important to know your numbers,” Buete said.

He is planning a news segment in the future on what screening numbers represent.

The health fair served approximately 95,000 people in 2008 alone, according to Dianne Pape from 9Health Fair, and over 1.7 million since it was founded in the 70s.

Currently the program runs at 171 sites in Colorado, according to Pape. The sites are all ran by community volunteers.  The health fair’s 21 faculty members are “conveners of community resources.”

Beute said the fair is not designed to diagnose or treat patients, but to give screenings in order to provide information.

“It is not a substitute for a doctor visit,” Buete said.

Being proactive instead of reactive is part of 9Health Fair’s mission, Pape said. The screenings will give people the knowledge they need in order to prevent health problems.

After the screenings are done, the volunteers will recommend seeing a family physician if necessary, Pape said. If a family or individual does not have a doctor or can’t afford one, they will be provided with clinics in the area that are on a sliding fee scale according to income.