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Take control of your health at our October 9 Health Fair

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No matter your age or health status, regular screenings are important. Many people may put off labs because of cost, but Community HealthCare System can help. Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 9 and plan to attend at the Onaga Community Hospital between 7:00 and 10:00 a.m. for low-cost labs at the CHCS Health Fair.

During the Health Fair, individuals can receive a complete blood count, chemistry panel, thyroid screen, cholesterol panel, and hemoglobin A1c for diabetes screening for $25. A prostate specific antigen, or PSA, test can be added for $10. Payment is by cash, check, or credit card. Patients are encouraged to schedule in advance by calling 785-889-4241; select Onaga Clinic (option 1) and let registration staff know you’d like an appointment at the Health Fair. Walk-ins will also be welcome.

Pottawatomie County Public Health will be on hand to offer influenza and COVID-19 vaccines. Both high-dose (for those age 65 and older) and regular flu vaccines will be available; those who are interested in flu vaccines should bring their insurance card. Insured individuals will incur no out-of-pocket expense. Those who are uninsured should be prepared to pay $40 for a regular flu vaccine or $75 for the high-dose vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are free, and both Pfizer and Moderna will be offered. Anyone age 12 and up is eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and those 18 and up can receive the Moderna vaccine.

Merica Surdez, chief of provider and clinic operations at CHCS, said it’s a good idea for anyone age 18 and over to have blood drawn for wellness labs. Those with health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity should be sure to have the tests.

“It’s not a bad idea for young, healthy people who would not routinely qualify for screening labs to consider having their labs completed at the Health Fair. It is quick, easy, and affordable,” Surdez said.

“Not all individuals need annual labs, but those with chronic health conditions should have these completed at minimum once a year,” she said.

Individuals should fast before having blood drawn, meaning they should not eat or drink anything other than water or black coffee after 12:00 midnight.

Patients will enter through the hospital main entrance and will be screened for COVID-19 and required to wear a mask per CMS mandates. Scheduling appointments in advance will help ensure that social distancing is maintained. If the lobby becomes full, some people may be asked to wait outside briefly, particularly if they have not scheduled an appointment in advance.

All who participate in the Health Fair will fill out a consent form, proceed to the drawing stations to have blood drawn, and have the opportunity to grab a snack and a drink, plus some information about CHCS services on their way out. Anyone who wishes to receive a COVID-19 or influenza vaccine should plan to spend a little extra time.

“We’re pleased to offer this service to our communities. The pandemic has resulted in a lot of patients getting behind in routine wellness and chronic condition appointments. Obtaining your labs at the CHCS health fair is a great place to start in catching up. We also appreciate our partners at Pottawatomie County Public Health for taking time to bring vaccines so patients have a one-stop shop on October 9," Surdez said.

Individuals will receive blood test results in the mail. Because of the nature of the event, results will not be sent to primary care providers, so individuals should plan to contact their provider’s office for an appointment to discuss results.

"The best thing to do after receiving your results is to schedule an office visit with your primary care provider, or PCP, to review them. Discussing your lab results will help keep your PCP aware and involved in your health, as well as assist with early detection of any abnormalities,” Surdez said.

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