Area residents flock to the annual Ottawa Kiwanis Health Fair, drawing as many as 2,000 people for the spring event.
Area residents flock to the annual Ottawa Kiwanis Health Fair, drawing as many as 2,000 people for the spring event.

OTTAWA- The Ottawa Kiwanis Club is rapidly preparing for their annual spring health fair. The health screening event, now in its 26th year, is set for Saturday, May 11 at Ottawa-Glandorf High School from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The health fair's main product is the Standard Chemistry Profile Test. The blood draw exam involves tests for electrolytes, renal function tests, cardiac and liver enzymes levels, lipid tests, and a complete blood count test. The doctor recommended test, which can sometimes cost upwards of $250 to $300, will be available to the general public for $35.

Other tests that will be available will be a men's prostate cancer test ($40), a screen used to monitor the glucose control of diabetics ($15), thyroid function exam ($25), and a magnesium test ($20). All tests require 12 hours of fasting. No food or drinks, other than water, should be consumed during the fast.

"The doctor's offices are really behind us in this health fair because it's a really inexpensive way for the general public to get their testing done that they might not otherwise do," said Kiwanis member Jim Heringhaus.

The testing will be done by Lima-based Medlab, Inc. Medlab will have 35 phlebotomists on site to perform the blood draws.

"Also, the way we have it set up and with 35 phlebotomists, we assure our patrons that 15 minutes is the longest they will have to wait to go through the blood testing area," said Heringhaus.

Once the blood is drawn, MedLab will be delivering the samples to their Lima lab to immediately start testing. By Monday, the results are sent to individuals' personal doctors. The doctors will then interpret the results and contact the individual.

"Every year we have patrons that, due to the testing, will say they have found issues they were totally unaware of," said Heringhaus. "It is a real shot in the arm for us to know the patrons are truly benefiting from this."

Following the on site blood draws, patrons can proceed to the vendor area. Local health companies and groups will be present with additional health information, testing, and literature. According to Heringhaus, there will be approximately 40 to 50 health vendors at the fair.

Additionally, a buffet breakfast, provided by Rosehaven Bed & Breakfast, will be served in the cafeteria for $6.

The Ottawa Health Fair, which started with roughly 100 people more than a quarter of a century ago, has grown to be Medlab's largest health fair with over 2,000 people expected to participate in this year's spring event. Kiwanis also sponsors the fall health fair which routinely sees nearly 1,000 people.

More information can be found at www.ottawahealthfair.com.