Grand Strand Medical Center hosts annual Health Fair Saturday - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Grand Strand Medical Center hosts annual Health Fair Saturday

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Grand Strand Medical Center will host the 34th annual Health Fair on Saturday. More than 100 healthcare workers and volunteers are preparing on Friday in anticipation of at least 3,000 people showing up for the blood tests and free health screenings.

From co-pays to blood tests, keeping healthy is expensive. This health fair is Grand Strand Medical Center's community event to offer a more feasible alternative for some basic health care needs.

The blood test center will be set up in the Dillard's wing at the Coastal Grand Mall. It will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., but people will start lining up around 6 a.m. Saturday. When you arrive, you will need to register then wait in line for the Panel 30 Blood Profile. "It's a great way to be able to look at their overall health. Get the results, see what's happening, whether it's good or needs some improvement. And they can go see a physician for that,” says Julie Kopnicky, the marketing director at Grand Strand Medical Center.

For $30, the profile consists of over 30 different tests including a full cholesterol breakdown, plus iron levels, liver function, glucose, thyroid and much more. If you plan on taking advantage of this blood draw, you need to fast for 12 hours beforehand to guarantee accurate results. Diabetics should bring snacks to eat right after the blood draw is done. You do not need to make an appointment ahead of time, and you don't not need to have insurance. You can pay with cash or check.

"We're doing it for the community and those people who need this test, but they don't have the money to pay for all the results that they get out of it. Thirty dollars is very cost effective. It's a great way for them if they only have to do it once a year to be able to keep track of their results and to see if anything's changed over the year or not. And what to do about it," says Kopnicky.

This event is for anyone over the age of 18. The results will be mailed to you within for weeks.

If you have family history like the risk of heart disease, thyroid problems, or high blood pressure, taking a blood test like this one can be crucial to your health. The results from your blood profile will help you decide if you need to seek further care with your doctor.

There will also be 50 vendors lining the mall hallway from Dillard's down to the food court. These physicians and non-profits will offer free health screenings like blood pressure and carotid artery tests. Health professionals will also be able to offer advice on everything from making a living will to finding a general doctor. And there will be people available with information on signing up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. If you've been online and are not sure what plan is best for you or if you're a complete procrastinator and are just starting the process, they can help give you some advice and direction. The deadline to sign up for health insurance through the exchange is February 15.

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