2019 9Health Fair

For 2019, our theme is “Super 9Health Fair” because we’ve teamed up to provide health screenings and education for adults and children for the first time! Our fairs cover Montezuma and Dolores County at the following locations and dates:


Cortez – April 20th from 8am – 1pm @ MCHS

Dove Creek – April 6th

Mancos – April 13th

We offer comprehensive blood chemistry screenings. Talk to your doctor to learn about what screening is best for you.

9 health fair logo

Attend the fair:

We would love to have you participate, and there is no cost to you to have a booth in these events. Our ultimate goal is to promote health awareness and encourage individuals to assume greater responsibility for their own health. To do this, we collaborate with health care providers and volunteers to provide health screenings and interactive educational opportunities.

Registration for fair goers is online at https://www.9healthfair.org/attend/ or day-of the fair. We now accept credit cards online before the fair. You can select the blood chemistry screenings that you or your doctor would like to see.

We want to offer as many screenings as possible. If you are willing to provide one of these screenings, let us know! https://www.9healthfair.org/attend/available-screenings/

We provide ALL of the following screenings at our 9Health Fairs:

  • Blood chemistry- $35 “This screening provides baseline information on cholesterol, blood glucose, liver, kidneys, thyroid, and more. These screenings can help you and your doctor monitor your health and prevent health issues from becoming emergencies. Information from this screening can also be used to complete your employers’ Health Risk Assessments (HRA). Based on the most current research, fasting is optional for the blood chemistry screening. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER and continue to take your regular medications. Persons with diabetes, should not fast.”
  • Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)- $35: “The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recently recommended against routine screening of persons with a prostate with the PSA test.  Please speak to your healthcare provider if you have questions. PSA is a blood screening that measures a protein that is only produced by the prostate gland. Elevations of PSA may occur in persons with non-cancerous prostate diseases or prostate cancer. A normal PSA level does not entirely exclude the possibility of prostate cancer. A traditional manual screening, performed by a health care provider is strongly encouraged in conjunction with PSA screening.”
  • Hemoglobin A1C Diabetes Screening- $35: “A1C is a blood screening that measures your average blood sugar control for the past 2 to 3 months. The results give you a good idea of whether or not you are at risk for diabetes. For people with diabetes it indicates how well your diabetes treatment plan is working.”
  • Vitamin B12 Screening- $20: “This blood screening provides baseline Vitamin B12 levels, which play a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and the formation of red blood cells. ($20 value)”
  • Blood Count Screening- $25: “This screening gives you a general picture of your overall health by checking your white blood cells, hematocrit, hemoglobin levels, and blood-clotting abilities. Your body’s ability to fight infection, anemia, liver disease and certain cancers can be discovered with this screening.”
  • Vitamin D Screening- $50: “This screening is used to provide you with a baseline level of Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a worldwide problem. Your body requires Vitamin D to absorb calcium and plays an important role in protecting your bone health. Many studies also suggest an association between low Vitamin D levels and an increased risk of certain types of cancers, nerve disease, immune disease and heart disease.”
  • Colon Cancer Screening Kit- $30: “This take-home/mail-in kit checks for human blood in the stool. Also, learn about preventing colorectal cancer, one of the most preventable cancers, and current recommendations for further screening, including who/when should get a colonoscopy.”
  • Testosterone Screening- $40: “Tests the level of testosterone in your body. This screening is for both men and women.”

Interested in Volunteering or having an Educational Booth?  Click the link to sign up!  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2019Fair  

If you are interested in volunteering or  having an educational booth, please contact Meghan Higman, RN, BSN, director of education, for more details. Email mhigman@swhealth.org 

Learn about our new partners, the Montelores Early Childhood Council at http://monteloresecc.org/

Education at SHS

Training & Education Resources


Southwest Health System’s emergency services (EMS) education, training, and resource center in Cortez is located on North Mildred Road in our new, state-of-the-art ambulance station. We provide state licensing for healthcare professionals, as well as several classes for continuing education and refresher courses. Our purpose and goal is to benefit local EMS agencies as well as the general public. Our classes are based on national EMS educational standards. We are proud to offer comprehensive training and certification options for a lower cost. We have a higher first time pass rate than our competitors.

You’ll find we offer flexible scheduling and different class levels. We teach the skills and concepts many employers are looking for. Click here to learn more or to enroll in the next available classes that meet your needs.

AHA Authorized Training & SHS Training Schedules

Classes for Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support(PALS), First Aid and more are available through the American Heart Association Authorized Training Center at Southwest Health System.

Student & Medical Education

Southwest Health System offers programs that expose students to the field of healthcare. Shadowing, internships and various affiliations allow students to dive into different programs to see what sparks their interest. These programs allow students to gain valuable patient care experience to appreciate the true essence of working in a hospital setting.

Employee Education

Employee Education

Online education, tuition discounts and more!

Men's Health

“If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”

That quote has been attributed to comedian George Burns who lived to be 100, jazz musician Eubie Blake who died at 96, writer Mark Twain who saw 74, and baseball great Mickey Mantle who only made it to 63. Wherever the quote actually originated may never be known for sure, but the sentiment behind it surely rings true for anyone middle age and beyond, particularly when they are faced with a health-related challenge.

According to the Social Security Administration, a man who reaches the age of 65 today (e.g., doesn’t die prematurely as the result of an accident or catastrophic health event) can expect to live, on average, until age 84. June is national Men’s Health Month, the aim of which is to increase awareness about preventable health problems and encourage early detection of treatment of disease among men of all ages. We spoke with Cortez internal medicine specialist Andrew McAlpin, MD, to get his take on what men can and should do to stay as healthy as they can for as long as they can.

“When we look at what men die from the big ones are heart disease, cancer, and diabetes,” said McAlpin. All of those are, in part, lifestyle related and may be prevented with proper diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking. “Diet, exercise, diet, exercise . . . we say it all the time because it’s so important,” said McAlpin.

Preventive healthcare is key for any man intent on living a long, active life. “Men tend to see their healthcare providers somewhat less often than women because they don’t come in for routinely for screenings like pap smears,” said McAlpin. “I personally request that all my patients come to see me at least every three years, and after age 50 they should come in once a year.

To keep on top of cardiovascular issues, McAlpin recommends that everyone – men and women – have their blood pressure checked every year or two even if they have no cardiac symptoms or family history. Hypertension is sometimes called the “silent killer” which is unfortunate because having ones blood pressure checked is so simple.

Monitoring cholesterol is also important and McAlpin recommends that patients have this screening blood test every three to five years starting at age 35. “High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. While genetics is the largest risk factor for high cholesterol, diet changes and increasing exercise can bring levels down in some people,” said McAlpin. If these measures are not effective after a period of time or if someone’s cholesterol is high even if they already exercise regularly, don’t smoke, and maintain a healthy weight, then cholesterol-lowering medications (called “statins”) may be indicated.

Type 2 diabetes is becoming more prevalent with each passing year in the United States, in part due to poor eating habits. “Cheap, high-carb diets and obesity are a real problem,” said McAlpin. He recommends screening for diabetes at age 45 or sooner in patients who are significantly overweight or have more than one other risk factor for diabetes such as high blood pressure or a family history of the disease.

In men, the most common types of cancer  that lead to death are lung, prostate, and colon. The bottom line in lung cancer prevention is obvious: don’t smoke, and if you do smoke, stop.

Prostate cancer has been making headlines lately because the recommendations for PSA (prostate-specific antigen) screening have changed. “Based on the most recent evidence and guidelines from the United States Preventive Services Task Force, I no longer recommend routine PSA testing for men of any age,” said McAlpin. If you are a man who has routinely, faithfully undergone PSA screening this might come as a surprise.

“The vast majority of prostate cancers do not cause symptoms or death,” said McAlpin. “Too many men were undergoing unnecessary biopsies and surgery for cancers that were never going to cause them a problem. The chances of harm such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and infections related to treating non-life threating cancers outweigh the potential benefit of screening.” It’s now clear that routine PSA screening does not save lives and likely does more harm than good. Screening for prostate cancer is ultimately a decision for a man to make with his physician.

Many men experience non-cancerous prostate issues later in life due to benign enlargement of the gland. “The symptoms are usually difficulty urinating or having to go frequently,” said McAlpin. The good news is that, unlike in years past when men by the thousands had prostate surgery every year, medications are now available that are very effective at treating prostate enlargement.

It’s well-documented that early detection of colon cancer is critical in preventing death from the disease. “The average man with no family history of colon cancer or other risk factors should have a screening colonoscopy at age 50. If nothing is found then he won’t need another one until age 60,” said McAlpin. “If a polyp is found or a relative is newly diagnosed with colon cancer – both risk factors – then we’d recommend that the procedure be repeated sooner than ten years.”

When it comes to routine health maintenance, often overlooked is the importance of keeping up on routine vaccinations. “Men should get a tetanus shot every ten years, a shingles vaccine starting at age 60, and the pneumonia vaccine at 65. We recommend a flu shot every year for patients 65 and older and for anyone with a chronic medical condition,” said McAlpin.

Common sense plays a role in good health for men of all ages. McAlpin recommends the following: use your seatbelt, don’t drink and drive, wear a helmet, practice gun safety, don’t smoke, use alcohol only in moderation, take medications as prescribed, talk to your primary care provider if you suspect you might be depressed, and get regular exercise.

“Patients will tell me that they get their exercise by working. I know pushing a side roll around a pasture is hard work, but that doesn’t take the place of a cardio workout,” said McAlpin. He recommends at least 30 minutes of brisk walking, hiking, cycling, or swimming at least five days a week to maintain optimum health. “All of these are easy, inexpensive ways to stay healthy. Take advantage of the Rec Center here is Cortez. It’s a great facility,” said McAlpin.

Southwest Health Notes is a public service feature provided by Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez, Colorado. The information provided herein is not intended as patient-specific medical advice or as a substitute for consultation with your personal healthcare provider.