Fair to help Los Alamos stay healthy

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By Kirsten Laskey

Being healthy has its challenges. It can be tough to remember to get your flu shot, schedule every doctor’s check-up and eat nutritious foods. Luckily, the Los Alamos Heart Council, the Los Alamos Medical Center and the Los Alamos County Library System are extending a helping hand. These agencies are bringing health care services to the public and conveniently located them under one roof.  


The 24th annual Los Alamos  Heart Council Health Fair will be held from                  8 a.m.-noon Saturday at Los Alamos High School’s Griffith Gymnasium. The fair is also supported by United Way of Northern New Mexico.

Just what can be expected at this fair? Ann ReVelle, president of the Los Alamos Heart Council, said services will include free seasonal flu shots for adults, low-cost blood work and free bike helmets for children. The Tuff Riders will provide helmets to children who are accompanied by an adult.

Participants can also receive a CMP or blood profile for $20. Fasting is required to receive the profile. Additionally, prostate screenings for prostate cancer will be available for $5, thyroid screenings for thyroid cancer will be offered for $10, High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein will cost $10 and Homoglobin AIC, a test for diabetics will be provided for $10.

Free seasonal flu shots will be offered to adults. ReVelle said the flu shots for H1N1 flu not be given.

In addition to blood screenings and tests, the community can receive information about various local health agencies. These organizations include LAMC, which will feature some of its providers such as the cardiac rehabilitation department and surgeons. Also, the Los Alamos Fire Department, Los Alamos Police Department, DWI, Family YMCA and AARP will make an appearance.

In total, 60 booths will be at the fair. Between 1,500 and 2,000 people are expected to visit these booths.

“We have a lot of things that are really helpful to people uninsured or under-insured,” ReVelle said.

The benefits of the fair are three-fold, she said. Besides the uninsured and underinsured getting services, there’s “also the aspect of having everything under one roof so people can find out what’s going on in the community … we have a lot of booth exhibits that offer free screenings and there are booths to get blood sugar checked … there’s a lot of information and resources available that the people will be interested in.”

Besides, she said, there is something for everyone of every age.

“It’s just a good resource for a lot of things,” ReVelle said.

There will even be some entertainment. The Barranca Mesa Elementary School Double Dutch Jump Rope Team will perform at 10 a.m. during the health fair.

ReVelle said, “Our vision is to promote heart health and wellness. Encouraging children at a young age to engage in and find enjoyment in fitness and exercise activities outside of the classroom and organized sports can teach them to value fitness and wellness that will last a lifetime.”

This vision started out as a Heart Council program under Dr. Carolyn Linnebur.

“I think she saw it as a need,” ReVelle said.

The fair started out in Fuller Lodge before it added the community building. It outgrew these locations and moved into the LAHS classrooms. It has been held in the gymnasium for 15 years.

ReVelle said one of the reasons behind its success is “I think part of it is we have a very professional set-up and (we) try and offer it at the same time of year.”

In addition to a professional company setting up for the fair, maps are posted to guide people through the different booths.

“People respond to it because they know it’s professionally set up and run,” ReVelle said. “We have rules … we send out packets to our exhibitors so they know what the expectations are.” There is no admission fee to attend the fair. For more information, visit   www.losalamosheartcouncil.org.