Apr 13, 2011 7:22 PM by Dr. Anya Winslow

Where you can get your health report card

Let's face it, not too many people like going to the doctor's office for a check-up, let along getting blood work done. Most importantly, many elements of a doctor's visit can be costly, especially if you do not have insurance.

Southern Colorado Health Fair's, which run over a several week period in the spring, can help alleviate those costs.

Over 350 people attended Saturday's health fair at the Masonic Center. We were able to catch-up with a few fair goers to hear their reactions about the fair.

"It's a pretty efficient and rather inexpensive way of getting blood screening done," says Richard Owen, who has been attending the fairs for, at least, the past six years.

The fairs offer a variety of free screenings including spinal, vision, oral, blood pressure, women's health screenings and many more.

"Blood chemistry screenings," President and CEO of 9Health Fair, Jim Goddard says, "are our most popular," and this year they are offering vitamin D screenings.

Why vitamin D?

In recent years it has been shown that many people are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in helping the body absorb calcium, and the Mayo Clinic reports that recent research suggests that it may also protect individuals from osteoporosis, high blood pressure (hypertension), as well as several autoimmune diseases.

Vitamin D is found in fatty fish, eggs, fortified milks and cereals, as well as in supplements. Exposure to the sun also stimulates the production of vitamin D.

Doctors at the fair said that if a patient's insurance company were to not cover the vitamin D screening, it could cost a patient north of $200 dollars (versus the fair's $40 charge).

Yvonne Pace, who has a primary care physician says, "I wanted to finish my health screenings ‘cause I've had a full battery of blood, but not vitamin D and a colon screening. So, I decided to come here and complete that."

Everyone in the community is able to tap into the resources offered by the fair. Even if you have insurance, as well as a primary doctor, you can get the test done here and take them to your physician.

Some of the screenings, as some health fair attendees said, may be cheaper than your co-pay and/or offer less hassle.

"I have Medicaid ‘cause my son has Medicaid. So, I could go through all the procedures and rules of Medicaid, but I'd rather just come here and get it over with in one day," says 23-year-old Aubrey Gonce.

Southern Colorado Health Fair organizers say if you do get blood work done, you will get your results in the mail in about 4-6 weeks. If there is an immediate concern in your results, health professionals will notify you within 48 hours.

Ultimately, the fairs will equip you with information about your health state - give you your health report card. However, it is up to you to decide how you are going to move forward knowing the state of your overall health.

News First 5 will be going live at this Saturday's Southern Colorado Health Fair in Briargate at the Colorado Springs Health Partners facility.

Click here for specific fair details and to find a location near you.

Click here to learn more about things you should keep in mind before getting your blood drawn.


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