Alaska Health Fair is searching for volunteers

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Alaska Health Fair happens across the state. In Juneau three events are seeking volunteers.

    One of the events in Juneau is a private fair for the legislative session on Feb. 15, but it's still in need of two more volunteers.

    Then there will be a two day community fair on Mar. 24, and 25, a Friday and Saturday at the Thunder Mountain High School.

    Betty Reith is the Program Director for the Alaska Health Fair. She gave details on what kind of help they need.

    "We are looking for anyone, especially who draws blood for all three events listed on the application. We are looking for people to take blood pressure. If we have enough, we'll move some to helping people get around the health fair and to help the exhibitors that will be there educating. There is a meet and greet where you hand out a packet to people. There is a post meet and greet that someone's there to answer questions on how to fill out the application. If you're a translator for one of the common languages, we would call you over. Most importantly, though, we need one person to help take money and at least six more people that can do blood draws, you will find the application again on our website."

    Furthermore, Reith said if someone is in need of renewing their medical license, they can do so through volunteering.

    "If you are looking to renew your medical licenses, especially nurses, nurse practitioners, the hours you volunteer for us count against your next time you get your application filled out to get your new license. That's every two years, but they count now for two years from now."

    The health fair is free to attend, and offers affordable screenings while providing education resources, Reith said.

    "Chemistry hematology, which is your comprehensive, your lipid panel, your CBC. Most people give a seven to an 11 panel test, ours is 27. So we then include your kidney disease, your clotting ability, kidney and adrenal function, heart function. That's a muscle test. That's all in there. You can get thyroid screening. For the gentlemen, a prostate and that is a blood test. Vitamin D screening, which to my knowledge, insurance does not pay, but in Alaska, it's a very important part of your health. A1C is your estimated average glucose for diabetics, pre-diabetics, and I'm finding out runners like to know what their sugar levels are. The B12 is letting you know how much B12 you have in your system. Ferritin is a different type of iron that's not included in the big chemistry test. It tells you if you how much iron your red blood cells are holding. And too many is not good and not enough is not good. So it's a really good test. And then for the males, it kind of goes along with the prostate disease, the testosterone level, that is what we do. Our prices and more detail is on our front page of our website as well."

    Reith said for safety reasons, they have gone to an application to make an appointment. They will take walk-ins for someone who doesn't get an appointment.

    These are some of the exhibits that are scheduled, however Reith said there could be more signing up.

    "We have a chiropractor coming. We have several places from Bartlett coming. The Oncology Center, probably the diabetes. Just trying to hit the big questions most people have. We have the SAIL (Southeast Alaska Independent Living) coming, they're gonna talk about the loan closet and ORCA peer support, medical waivers, that kind of thing. I am waiting for several others, we may have a fireman there. But there is also physical therapy people. They give you information if you'd like it, if you have questions, they answer them. The diabetes people I expect are absolutely amazing. They have programs that are free, they have programs to help you with your diabetes, or they can just give you some information preventatively."

    January is National Thyroid Awareness Month, which the Alaska Health Fair will educate people about.

    "It is so important for many things, and you don't necessarily know you have a thyroid issue. So on our website, there is an article about it. But there are many hospitals that will explain what the thyroid does. We like it because the first test most practitioners will do is the TSH. That is one that we do. It just lets you know if you need to contact a doctor or a practitioner, and have yours rechecked. But thyroid affects so many things from your thoughts in your brain, how your body deals with things. If your hair's falling out, sometimes people will have bulgy eyes. That's just a few. There's so many things that your thyroid helps control. It's good to keep a check on."

    Reith adds that it's up to the attendee on what tests and screenings they choose.

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