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FARMINGTON — As Gloria Bishop made her way among the booths set up during a health fair today at the Farmington Civic Center, she paused to have her glucose level checked.

The free test was offered by Basin Home Health and Hospice Inc., which was one of 33 businesses and services that participated in the event sponsored by the Farmington Chamber of Commerce Health and Wellness Committee.

Bishop, of Farmington, said she completed the test because she was curious about her sugar level and was pleased with the results.

"It's under 100, I'm glad, she said.

Chamber of Commerce President Audra Winters said the health fair provides residents the opportunity to learn about the various medical services, home health companies, health insurance providers and fitness facilities that operate in the area. In addition, those businesses can connect with new customers, she said.

It is also important for employers to know about those services so they can keep their employees healthy, Winters added.

Farmington resident Tillie Muñoz also took advantage of the glucose screening, as well as having her blood pressure checked.

There were also free screenings for vision, blood type, spinal health and body mass index.

"I'm a retired senior, and I wanted to see if there was anything available that I could afford. As a senior on a fixed income, you have to look for all that," Muñoz said.

Some of the information she collected centered on personal trainer services and assisted living care for her older brothers.

"This is awesome, and everybody has been so helpful," she said.

Personnel from United Blood Services tested attendees for blood type and shared information about how to donate blood. Kristan Velarde, a donor recruiter with the nonprofit organization, said only 5 percent of the U.S. population donates blood.

"So we're in critical need for blood all the time," she said, adding that the goal was to have 10 people donate during the three-hour event.

To accommodate donations, the nonprofit organization's van was parked next to the Civic Center.

As for the blood type test, Velarde said it is important for people to know their type because if they are in an accident, and a blood transfusion is necessary, time isn't taken up by testing.

About 30 people took the blood type test, including Farmington resident Jane Banes.

Banes said she used to know her blood type but forgot. She watched as the results appeared on the test card, which showed she has type A positive blood.

"I try to come every year, and it's a good thing they do for the community," Banes said about the health fair.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.

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