On April 27 and 28, the Juneau Public Health Fair will take place once again at Centennial Hall. The Health Fair goal is to help communities and businesses provide both comprehensive free and low-cost health screenings.
Free health services include height and weight measures, vision and glaucoma screening, blood pressure checks, hearing tests and an opportunity to go over the results, individual counseling, review health history, discuss potential risk areas and determine personal health goals, referral to medical care and answers to health questions.
There's is also a low-cost comprehensive blood chemistry test available for $25. You must fast 12 hours before this test but continue to drink lots of water. Diabetics should not fast, and perspiration medication should be continued as directed. A comprehensive blood analyses includes screening for diabetes, anemia, kidney function, liver function, metabolic function, bone and joint disease, infection, nutrition, cardiac function, cholesterol, tissue disease and coronary heart disease.
A prostate specific antigen test is available for men. This is a $30 blood test that does not require fasting. It is recommended for men over 50 or for those with a family history of prostate disease. It is not a complete cancer screening but it will alert you to high PSA levels and the need to see your physician for follow-up testing for determination.
New this year is a thyroid blood test. You do not have to fast to take this test. It is recommended for women over 45 to obtain a baseline, persons with a family history of thyroid disease, persons with symptoms of fatigue, unexplained weight change and/or a swollen thyroid, or if recommended by your physician.
The Alaskan Kidney Foundation has made a small grant available for folks unable to afford blood tests. They are limited however. Please call the Southeast Program Director, Valerie O'Hare, at 790-4072, to find out more information about this and other Juneau Public Health Fair questions.