Western Health Screening recently announced that the practice will close permanently on June 30, as owners Bill and Marge Hall are retiring. For residents of the North Fork area, this affected the annual Early Blood Draws and Health Fair that allowed hundreds of residents to stay informed of their individual and community-wide health.

However, the blood draws and health fair will continue through a partnership with Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) and health fair vendor It Starts With Me.

“We have made many friends, and friends that we consider family,” Marge Hall said in a press release through DCMH. “We will miss everyone, but we are leaving you in good hands with the people of It Starts With Me health. Health fair blood screenings will continue with this great team in fall 2020.”

The Paonia Lions Club, one of the organizations which volunteers at the events, said the changes being implemented will not affect the services residents will receive.

“We’ve always partnered with Delta County Memorial Hospital and whoever provides the services,” said Bob Buschta, Paonia Lions Club secretary. “[The closure] has delayed services for seven or eight months from what we’ve done in the past, but we anticipate the services will be about the same.”

The Early Blood Draws are now scheduled to take place in Paonia on Oct. 7, 2020, in Cedaredge on Oct. 8 and in Delta on Oct. 9-10. The Health Fair is scheduled for Nov. 11, 2020 in Paonia, Nov. 13 in Cedaredge and Nov. 14 in Delta.

DCMH stated in the release it hopes that by having the main health fair on a Saturday and rescheduling the events to the fall, they will be more accessible to more families. The events will also have a new look in 2020.

“This year we have named our year-long campaign and Health Fair events as, Foresight 2020: Foresight for Your Health,” stated Jacque Davis, DCMH Marketing Director in a press release. “This year’s focus will be on stepping back to look forward for your health by taking personal control and on being a champion in your own healthcare through prevention, education and health services.”

The events provide health services at a discounted price for community members who may have limited access to affordable healthcare.

“It serves the community because they both are more affordable alternatives to having those services provided by, say, a doctor’s office,” Buschta said. “We provide the service and the people that receive it are able to take that information and take it to a doctor and follow up on it.”

Signups for the Early Blood Draws and Health Fair will continue to take place through DCMH. Jacque Davis encourages the community to bring any questions to her at 970-874-2291.

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