The Best Gift You Can Give – Give the Gift of Health

By Tamera Manzanares

Holiday activity and expenses can distract us from one of the best gifts we can give to ourselves and loved ones: The gift of health.
The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association (NWCOVNA) provides individuals and families low cost options to maintain or improve their health and prevent long-term health problems.
The following are ways the NWCOVNA can help you or someone you love get 2013 off to a strong start:

•    See a doctor. NWCOVNA’s Steamboat Springs location, 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101, will open its Community Health Center in early January. At this time, patients will be able to see a doctor on a sliding fee scale, in addition to benefitting from existing NWCOVNA services. Prescription assistance also will be available to eligible clients. NWCOVNA’s Community Health Center is now taking appointments. Call 970-879-1632.
•    Get insured. Is a lack of health insurance preventing you or your family from receiving the care that you need? NWCOVNA provides eligibility screening and application assistance for families interested in Family Medicaid or CHP+ – health and dental insurance for children. Families must meet income limits and other requirements for both programs. Families who do not qualify for Medicaid may still be eligible for CHP+. For more information, call 970-871-7616.
•    Get screened. Does disease run in your family or are you concerned about your health? NWCOVNA offers free annual clinical breast exams, Pap tests/pelvic exams and also mammograms to eligible women who are at a high risk for certain cancers.
NWCOVNA also provides diabetes and cardiovascular screenings (BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol panel and blood glucose check) at no cost. Community Health Educators provide personalized education for individuals who have or are at risk for developing diabetes or heart disease. For more information about screenings, call 879-1632.
•    Quit tobacco. An important first step for tobacco users who want to get healthy is to quit their habit. QuitKits with information about how to stop smoking or using smokeless tobacco are available for no cost in the lobbies of NWCOVNA Steamboat and Craig offices. Free cessation support also is available through the Colorado QuitLine: 800-QUIT-NOW.
•    Get vaccinated. Everyone age 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine annually, especially young children, pregnant women, older adults and people with health conditions. Adult flu shots at the VNA are $25, and flu vaccines for children are $14 or less. A high-dose vaccine for seniors also is available. Drop in flu clinics are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. most Thursdays through January at the VNA. Call the flu hotline to verify flu clinic times: 970-871-7624.
Health professionals also are urging adults and children to get vaccinated against Pertussis (Whooping Cough), a highly contagious respiratory infection that can be deadly to infants. Pertussis vaccines must be kept up to date to be effective. The cost of the vaccine at NWCOVNA is $14 or less. Meningitis, human papillomavirus (HPV) and travel vaccines also are available at NWCOVNA. For more information, call 970-879-1632.
•    Exercise. Winter can be a challenging time to get moving, but there are affordable options for developing safe indoor exercise routines. NWCOVNA’s Wellness and Aging Services offers fitness classes for adults 50 and older throughout Routt County. There is a $3 requested donation for most classes. Stop by NWCOVNA to pick up a winter calendar or call 970-871-7676.

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