A little before 7:30 a.m. on April 6, vehicles lined the streets for blocks surrounding Wellington Community Church — a clue that the 2013 9HealthFair was off to a busy start. The first of a series of 9HealthFairs in Northern Colorado, the event also took place in Windsor on this day.
Lots of volunteers, identified by their bright red T-shirts, directed traffic and manned booths offering information on everything from stroke prevention to ovarian cancer awareness. There was a short wait for blood pressure checks, and a longer line for low-cost blood screening.
Girl Scouts, Delaynie Greiman, a fourth grader at Eyestone Elementary, and Ashton Noyer, a sixth grader at Wellington Middle School, greeted attendees with big smiles and plastic bags they’d need to carry home giveaway items.
Anthony Petterson, a regular at 9HealthFairs, came from Fort Collins. “I do this for my own peace of mind,” he said as his blood pressure was checked by volunteer Robert Walton, a nursing student from the University of Northern Colorado.
First-time volunteer Kelley Delaney, a Cross-Fit coach in Eaton, checked blood pressure for Monique Allen, who says she attends the fair every couple of years.
Lisa Smith, a Wellington resident and teller at First National Bank in Fort Collins, had her blood drawn by experienced volunteer Linda York, a registered nurse who works at the Eye Center of Northern Colorado.
Vivacious, smiling registered nurses, Sherri Schroeder and Kimarie Brown, provided an opportunity for anyone to ask questions anonymously.
“Sometimes people have a question they are embarrassed to ask their own doctor,” Schroder explained. “Being anonymous takes the edge off for them.”
For example, Schroder said she has received questions regarding sexually transmitted diseases. Brown says there’s plenty of misinformation out there. Both women work at Poudre Valley Hospital. Brown also works at Colorado State University Student Health Service.
New this year, Brown initiated distribution of an information sheet with a list of online resources and general health information helpful for volunteers and Fair participants. It covers available resources in 31 different health areas.
Veteran 9HealthFair organizer Amber Wich said the health fair always draws a crowd. “We’re busiest right when the doors open, then things usually level off for a while before the crowd increases again as we approach closing time.”
Wich says Fair participants are particularly interested in blood pressure screening which is free of charge and can quickly identify issues that may need further medical attention.