It is the medical equivalent of one-stop shopping; the health-care version of a bumper-to-bumper auto diagnosis and tune-up.
At the Mogollon Health Alliance's Fourth Annual Community Health Fair 2002, Saturday, Nov. 2, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., nearly every part of your body can be checked out by one test, screening, exam or another.
And almost all of it is free to the public. So if you've been ignoring your health, whatever excuse you've conjured up whether it has to do with finances, time or opportunity is about to expire.
"The way this is set up is so non-invasive," said MHA Marketing Director Judy Baker. "It's a very relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. I think everyone needs to show up. Most of our registration is full, but there's still a lot of room for walk-ins. And if they have physical problems they've been concerned about, all of the providers who will be there are there to help them."
Held in and around Payson High School's old gymnasium, Community Health Fair 2002 is co-sponsored by the MHA, the Payson Lions Club, RTA Hospice, Payson Regional Medical Center, the Kiwanis Club, Habitat for Humanity, and the Arizona Diamondback Charities.
This year's event promises to be more of a family affair than ever before, with its new focus on children's health and safety. In addition to a separate Children's Health Fair where local medical professionals and civic organizations will offer free testing and screening to youngsters the Payson Police Department will host a "Bicycle Safety Rodeo," in which entire families can learn about bike safety.
There will also be instruction of the proper installation and use of car seats, and kid-friendly tours of several types of emergency vehicles, including a Native American Air helicopter.
Health for grown-ups
Post-adolescents can once again take advantage of these Community Health Fair staples:
Free hearing tests, vision screening, blood pressure screening, breast exam screening, dental/oral cancer screening, bone density screening, podiatry/diabetes screening, spinal exam, skin cancer/dermatology screening, oxygen saturation screening and lower extremity circulation screening.
Learning opportunities regarding advance directives, organ donation, Vial of Life, community resources, holistic healing, rehabilitation services, massage therapy, hospice and palliative care, Medical Closet, PATH, emergency medical services, and many other medical providers and services.
Blood tests: CMP+, cholesterol, glucose, PSA (men only). Women $10, men $15. Requires a 12-hour fast restricted to water and medication only prior to testing.
Free Medication "Brown Bag." Bring in your medications and visit with a pharmacist to learn about drug interactions. Bring in expired medications for proper disposal.
In addition to all of the above, the Community Health Fair allows one-on-one discussions with doctors and medical personnel, as well as representatives from medical and health organizations.
Education, information, screening and testing booths will be manned by Dr. Ivan McLaws (podiatry), Dr. Rodney Anderson (spinal exams), Dr. Cindy Booth (breast exams), Dr. Michael Salwitz and Lynn Vigil (dermatology/skin cancer), Dr. Michael Lowe (lower extremity circulation), Dr. Scott Anderson (dental/oral cancer), Dr. Alan Michels and RTA Hospice (heart and lungs), Mark Studdard (nutrition and immunization), Path Volunteers (fingerprinting), the Lions Club (hearing and vision tests), and PRMC (blood tests).
Vendors scheduled to participate this year include Manzanita Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center, AARP, Time Out, Back to Basics, RTA Hospice and Palliative Care, Powell House Assisted Living, Miracle Ear Hearing Center, Payson Regional Medical Center Rehab Services, Payson Healthcare Management, Gila Aging Service, Massage for a Reason, Blue Marble Meds and the Breast Cancer Support Group.
To register for specific tests and screenings, or for more information, call the Mogollon Health Alliance at 472-2588.