Glenwood Springs health fair widens scope to include major Spanish outreach effort
The return of the 9Health Community Health Fair in Glenwood Springs next week not only marks the first such event in three years following the pandemic suspensions, it also features a major effort to inform the area Latinos about health matters and services.
The Glenwood installment of the annual 9Health 365 Fair is set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 7 at Glenwood Springs High School, 1521 Grand Ave.
In addition to the usual free or reduced-cost health screenings that will be offered to participants, this year 9Health approached the newly organized La Clinica del Pueblo (people’s clinic) in Carbondale, about partnering up to present the first-ever Glenwood Springs Feria de Salud (health fair in Spanish) as part of the event.
The project aims to ensure the area’s Spanish-speaking population knows about the health screenings that are available not only that day, but year-round through the many human service organizations that are based in the Roaring Fork Valley region.
More than 50 organizations have been invited to set up booths with information in both Spanish and English, said Brisa Chavez, Hispanic engagement coordinator with Garfield County Public Health.
Ahead of time, volunteer promotoras working with La Clinica del Pueblo are helping to make sure Spanish-speakers know about the health fair and register them for the blood screenings and other services. COVID-19 vaccinations will also be available.
“There has been a major effort to get the message out that this is happening, and that if we are all healthier it makes for a healthier community overall,” Chavez said.
Hazzell Chévez de Manzano became a licensed obstetrician/gynecologist in El Salvador, and now works with Eagle County’s WIC nutrition program. She is the lead medical coordinator for Feria de Salud, and provides services through La Clinica del Pueblo.
“Many Latinos don’t have health insurance and won’t go to the doctor until they are sick or in pain,” Chévez said.
Even when they do have a specific concern, they often don’t know where to turn, she said.
“We want to let people know that there are a lot of affordable services they can access, and many for free,” Chévez said. “The (health fair) is a great opportunity to learn about these resources.
“It’s also a great opportunity for them to come and to see where they are with their health and if there are any issues they should address,” she said of the screenings that will be offered.
The 9Health fairs take place in April and May at more than 40 locations across Colorado, including a recent event in Rifle on April 9.
“Following the unfortunate but necessary postponement of our community health fairs in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re thrilled to once again offer our spring health fairs to residents across Colorado,” Gary Drews, CEO of 9Health 365, said in a news release.
Medical professionals are slated to be on site to offer advice and assistance, helping participants to decide which screenings are right for them.
Individuals who cannot make the event can still obtain the same screenings through Quest Diagnostics. No doctor’s visit or insurance is needed.
The health fairs are continuing to follow CDC safety guidelines and require participants to wear masks. Walk-up screenings will be accepted, but appointments are encouraged.
Volunteers are also still needed to help run the event. More information is available here: [9health365.org/volunteer-1/].
Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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