Organizers push health fair back from fall to spring

The inaugural Grand Valley Health Fair has been rescheduled after the event’s steering committee announced Wednesday that moving the event from this fall to next spring was ideal for both organizers and prospective attendees.

Sue Kiser, of the Grand Valley Health Fair Steering Committee, said local residents asked the committee to move the fair to spring because their attendance at previous 9Health Fairs got them on a routine of bloodwork and screenings in spring and physicals in summer. They didn’t want to change the routine, Kiser said.

The Grand Valley Health Fair is now set for March 21-22, 2014, at Two Rivers Convention Center.

The event’s steering committee announced in January it cut ties with the Front Range-based 9Health Fair group after more than 30 years to create a new, exclusively local event.

Coincidentally, the 9Health Fair is March 21-22, 2014, at IntelliTec College, 772 Horizon Drive. 

Both events will offer health screenings.

However, the Grand Valley Health Fair will be exclusively planned by local volunteers with resources that stay on the Western Slope. In an Feb. 4 article in The Daily Sentinel, Kiser estimated that several thousand people attend the 9Health Fair each year, getting low-cost or free screenings that meant $200,000 in laboratory fees went to Denver. Now, they’ll contract with St. Mary’s Hospital for all blood screenings.

Kiser said the demand — and need — is there to offer two health fairs.

The Grand Valley Health Fair committee hopes to pull even more uninsured or underinsured people of all ages to its fair for education and health screenings.

The new, local health fair will align with the recently adopted Community Health Improvement Plan, with an emphasis through education on five themes: parenting, the ‘walkability/rideability’ of the area, access to health care, social/emotional well-being and building a sense of community.

More information about either event will be released closer to the March dates.

The Grand Valley Health Fair’s website is grandvalleyhealthfair.org but it was still under construction as of Wednesday, and 9Health Fair is online at 9healthfair.org.


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