By ABIGAIL SNOW
Moapa Valley Progress
The annual Veterans Health Fair was held on Sat., Oct. 28 at the Sun City Mesquite Pioneer Center. The Fair provided area veterans with a variety of health services, screenings and information on health topics and programs.
Present at the event were the Veterans Administration, Mesa View Regional Hospital, service groups and healthcare vendors all gathered to assist veterans in various areas.
Lifestyle Director at Sun City, Deborah Demos, said Sun City offered to help provide a location for the health fair a few years ago when they found out the previous location at Mesa View Regional couldn’t accommodate the increasingly growing event anymore.
The event started with a flagraising ceremony at 9:00 am. The National Anthem was sung by Victoria Howland and Jenny Roberts. After that, the newly appointed Grand Marshall for the Mesquite Veteran’s Day Parade, Robert Barquist, thanked everyone for attending.
Mesa View Regional Hospital provided free flu shots and blood pressure checks to attendees. They also were pulling fasting glucose blood draws and lipid panels to check cholesterol levels.
“We want to make sure veterans have the proper access to healthcare,” said MVRH Director of Business Development and Community Relations Rob Fuller. “The population we are trying to reach out to right now are the younger veterans, or veterans of modern warfare. They don’t tend to get involved as much as the older generation of veterans do.”
According to Fuller, the Veterans Health Fair started over 10 years ago. The CEO of Mesa View Regional at the time, Sue Conley, wanted to start holding the health fair because there wasn’t a place in the community where veterans could have basic screenings and obtain health information.
Veterans qualify for different types of health insurance depending on their length of service in the armed forces. Because of this, it can vary on the kind of coverage they have, said Fuller.
“One of the great things that happened four years ago is the PC3 program through the VA,” said Fuller. “It is called the Patient Center Community Care. We are now where the VA primary care doctors can refer their patients into this program and they can receive some care here in Mesquite.”
The Mesquite Fire and Rescue were also available to check blood pressure and provide glucose monitoring including; Captain Jayson Andrus, Zeb Jensen, and Kennedy Alexander.
The Veterans Administration were present to provide information on veterans benefits and enroll veterans in VA Healthcare. Many others were in attendance from local veteran’s center representatives, healthcare providers, to nonprofit health groups such as the Cancer Help Society.
Fuller said they had a great turnout and steady flow of people attend their successful event this year.