Guest column<br><br>Check your health for free at Saturday’s Health Fair<br>

Each year many organizations work with our staff to make this community event successful and a lot of fun. Bring the kids! The Safari Van from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona will be here to help promote healthy children. We’ll have height and weight checks, blood pressure screening and lots of educational materials on how to keep your children healthy. Also, the Williams Police Department will sponsor the Bounce House for your jumping pleasure!

Back by popular demand is our free cholesterol screening blood test. Valued at $70, the profile will analyze your blood for total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol) as well as the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL which is an overall indicator of cardiovascular risk. Numerous studies have shown that the higher your total cholesterol, the greater your chances of dying from heart disease. Knowing what cholesterol is, what raises your cholesterol level and how to lower it can lead to a longer, healthier life. We’ll have lots of information about understanding cholesterol on Saturday and you will receive your lab results within a week. Just remember, to assure accuracy, have nothing to eat or drink except water 10 hours prior to the test. These tests are intended as screening procedures and interpretation by your physician is vital in the assessment of laboratory data based on individual variation in both health and disease.

Could you be at risk for diabetes? Take a short test and depending on your score, a finger stick blood test will be available for screening purposes. Sponsored by the Williams Diabetic Support Group, they will be on hand to answer questions and provide free handouts on coping with Diabetes.

Hypertension or high blood pressure: the silent killer. Millions of Americans have high blood pressure and don’t know it because it is a disease with no symptoms. There are no early warning signs, so the only way to know you have high blood pressure is to have it measured by a health care provider. When it remains undetected and untreated, high blood pressure increases your risk of having heart disease, a stroke and kidney disease. So come by and take advantage of our free blood pressure checks throughout the morning.

Losing weight, exercising and diet are all important lifestyle factors that will help prevent many diseases and improve your overall quality of life. Our physical therapy department will be here to assist you in determining your basic fitness with body fat testing, flexibility testing and a step test for heart rate. They will have lots of information to promote wellness.

Cancer awareness information will be available through Coconino County Department of Health Tobacco Use Prevention Project. Are you ready to quit smoking? This is your stop for tobacco cessation help. Learn how to talk to your kids about the dangers of smoking and chewing tobacco. See the community representatives for our local Relay for Life event and find out what you can do to help in the race for the cure. Also, the American Cancer Society will provide information on all aspects of cancer prevention.

As you can see, we have a lot in store for you and your family this year. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and we’ll be here until noon. Our staff is very proud to sponsor this event each year and we look forward to seeing you and your family on Saturday.

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