The last time a health fair in Grand Valley, Colorado offered the residents low cost health screenings was in 2013. The health fair has returned and Saturday brought in an excess of 1,000 residents to the Fruita Community Center. The event was sponsored by Colorado Canyons Medical Center and Hospital and Family Health West. The city of Fruita and the nonprofit 9Health Fair assisted with the organization. The event filled an important niche within the community because the other organizers had made the decision to discontinue the fair.
Viki Stevens of Orchard Mesa spoke of her appreciation for a local health fair. During the hiatus of the Grand Valley health fair she had to drive to Rifle because this was the closest fair she could find. Individuals in the past drove to Delta or the next health fair with the closest location. For additional information please visit https://www.gjsentinel.com/news/western_colorado/patients-celebrate-health-fair-s-return-to-grand-valley/article_b1e9df4a-463c-11e8-878e-10604b9ffe60.html.
Viki Stevens said the fair was a convenient and an inexpensive way to get her blood work done. She stated the results gave her a good base as to where she was. On Saturday she spent $115 for numerous tests including screenings for blood count and blood chemistry as well as the hemoglobin A1C test. This test measures the average blood sugar for the last several months and helps in the diagnosis of diabetes. She believes the same tests anywhere else would have cost her hundreds even with insurance. She hopes the health fair will continue to return every year. She spoke of the importance of the fair for everyone on a fixed income, individuals with no doctor for primary care and people with almost no disposable income. These individuals need access to low cost screenings.
The fair additionally provides everything from evaluations for bone density to screenings for sun damage to the skin. The attendees had the ability to ask medical professionals important questions. This was an opportunity most residents did not previously have access to. One of these professionals was a radiologist from Family Health West. Dr. Michael Neste answered numerous medical questions and his family volunteered. This included his daughter Cadence who is only fifteen years old. He believes ensuring the locals can access information and basic screenings is important. He said many people avoid doctor visits due to the inconvenience. Mesa County has a shortage of primary care doctors. Dr. Neste believes the health fair will grow in the future.