Herding Health Care at the Rodeo

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    When you attend the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo every year, health care and doctors are probably the last thing you think about.

    When you attend the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo every year, health care and doctors are probably the last thing you think about. Visiting the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Booth (Booth 316 and 318) in the Expo Hall, it is staggering to learn that of the sixty-three counties in Colorado, residents in over half those counties lack adequate healthcare.

    Of the thirty-seven counties without adequate healthcare, eleven of them have fewer than ten medical providers. Jackson County, Crowley County and San Juan County are just a few. This means that whenever people in these counties require medical attention, the chances are that they are not going to get it quickly.
   

    AHEC, which is part of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, is offering health screenings for blood-pressure, glucose levels, and overall general health. AHEC realizes that for rural Coloradans, especially farmers and ranchers, this may be the only time of the year that they access medical help and information.
   

    With eight adult stations, and three stations for kids ages 2-18, staffed by CU Health Sciences Center nursing students, there is plenty of room for everyone. Adults can participate in glucose and heart tests, while the kids can complete an online survey, which prints out a HeartPrint chart that highlights potential risks to future heart health. Though trained, the nursing students are not able to diagnose, but can recommend a follow up with a doctor.

    One goal of AHEC is to provide screenings for people without medical care on a regular basis. For the eight nurses running the booth, a successful day would be to reach 150 people.

    While you might expect to learn a lot from the animals at the Stock Show, you’ll be surprised what you can learn from a visit with Nurses Adam Dworetsky or Julia Gaertner at the AHEC Booth.