Free Screenings Available At Health, Care Fair

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Want to take advantage of free health screenings? Feel like it is the right time in your life to become a community volunteer, but not certain which opportunity might fit you best?

The medical professionals and service organizations in the Rim Country would like to invite you to the Community Heath and Care Fair.

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Medical Closet, a Senior Circle program that loans a variety of medical equipment, including crutches, risers for commodes, and wheelchairs, at no charge to members of the community, will have a booth at the Community Health and Care Fair.

"This is your yearly opportunity to visit with doctors, nurses and other health care professionals free of charge," said Judy Baker, director of Mogollon Health Alliance.

The event is from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 5 at the old gym at Payson High School.

Many volunteer organizations will have representatives at the fair.

Kiwanians will be on hand to tell about "Priority One."

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Gila County will have staff talking about the after-school mentor program or how to become a big sister or brother to a child.

Habitat for Humanity volunteers will tell how to help a family achieve their dream of home ownership.

On the health side of the event are flu and pneumonia shots (most insurance accepted) and blood tests. There will be at least 14 free adult health screenings and five free children's screenings.

Participants who plan to have their blood tested by Lifeline will need to fast for 12 hours before, drinking only water and taking only necessary medications.

Blood will be tested for a variety of information about general health.

One of the tests is for the comprehensive metabolic panel, a routinely ordered, broad screening tool used to evaluate organ function by checking for liver and kidney disease, diabetes and hypertension.

Glucose is defined as a monosaccharide sugar that occurs in plant and animal tissue. It is the major source of energy for the body. When an individual's glucose levels are too high or too low, pre-diabetic conditions may occur, or a person may become diabetic. The "blood sugar" test is done to make this determination.

Cholesterol is considered to be a factor in atherosclerosis, depositing plaque on artery walls. When too much plaque builds up, blood cannot circulate through the heart properly.

Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures these levels in men's blood to help detect prostate cancer. There are many possible reasons for an elevated PSA level, including prostate cancer, benign prostate enlargement, inflammation, infection, age and race, according to the National Cancer Institute.

The cost of blood testing at the fair is $10 for women and $15 for men. No appointment is necessary.

Free adult screenings include: breast exams, hearing, skin cancer and oral cancer.

A grant from the Phoenix Suns Charities is making it possible for parents to have their children's vision and hearing tested.

Immunization and nutrition information will be available.

The Payson Police department will be on hand to fingerprint children.

Local dentist, Steven Booth, will check children's teeth for obvious problems and demonstrate proper brushing techniques.

Children and adults may have their hearts and lungs checked by Joe Wilson, a nurse at RTA Hospice and Palliative Care. He will listen for abnormalities, such as wheezing and fluid in the lungs.

Admission to the fair is free, however there will be a collection box for items to be donated to the local food bank, and another box for old eyeglasses and hearing aids that can be refurbished and recycled.

For more information, call the Mogollon Health Alliance at (928) 472-2588.

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