Blood draws are Oct. 24-28; health fair moved to fall

Local News | 10/19/2016 |

By Karen Ortner

Don’t wait until spring! The chance for blood draws for special rates has been rescheduled to Monday-Friday, Oct. 24-28, from 6:30-9:30 a.m. at MMH. No insurance or health order is required for the blood draws, and results can be reviewed with a provider for free at the Saturday, Nov. 5, Health Fair, also at MMH.

Residents should note that blood draws require a 10-12-hour fast. Last-minute draws will also be available at the Health Fair, but those who wait until then will have delayed results.

This is the only MMH Health Fair until fall 2017. Interestingly enough, the previous spring time frame for the fair was actually the absolute worst time of the year for analyzing community health.

“It used to be right at the end of the cold weather when people were sedentary,” Aaron Wilson, M.D. at MMH, explained. “Most people in our community are outdoors doing things most of the year. We should see a more accurate view of community health in the fall.”

An active lifestyle results in better measures of cholesterol levels, kidney function, diabetes and even thyroid issues, according to Wilson. “We don’t want people on medications they don’t need to be on,” he said.

Blood draws are available for a variety of analyses, including a complete blood count to test for various disorders and evaluate a person’s overall health, a prostate specific antigen analysis for men, a thyroid stimulating hormone test to check the thyroid gland, an A1C test to measure blood sugar over the last three months and, new this year to MMH, a vitamin D analysis.

The vitamin D analysis was not an option in the past, as MMH does not have the equipment to analyze vitamin D levels on-site. However, due to popular request, MMH has decided to offer the test and send the samples to Great Plains Regional Medical Center in North Platte, Nebraska, for results.

Scholarships are available for the blood draws if needed. Contact Sharon Bernard for more information at 970-854-2241.

Other highlights of the Nov. 5 MMH Health Fair include balance assessments; height, weight and body mass index measurements; peripheral vascular disease (a circulation disorder that causes the blood vessels outside the heart and brain to narrow, block or spasm) tests; flu shots available at a minimal cost; and, still in the works, possible hearing screenings and a helicopter landing.