Health fair at Westside Center
Free screenings, 80904 report by UCCS nurses

       UCCS nursing students have been “taking the temperature” of people in the 80904 zip code, and the readings will be announced as part of a health event Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou St.
       The other part, from 1 to 3 p.m., will consist of opportunities for the general public to check on personal health issues and visit the recently opened nursing center/clinic at the center. Event planners say they will offer free screenings for cholesterol, blood glucose, body mass index, bone, spine and oral health, as well as flu shot vouchers and $89 mammogram coupons.
       For those interested in finding out how it feels to drive or walk in an inebriated state, “beer goggles” and a go-cart course will be available at the center to simulate a drunk-driving condition.
       The 80904 health report will be provided at an invitation-only lunch Dec. 3 in the center's Hughes Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
       According to Barbara Joyce, public health nursing instructor at UCCS' Beth-El School of Nursing, the 80904 report will reflect recent research on the Westside by community health nurses at UCCS who are in their last year in the university's nursing program. They have been talking to representative individuals from four basic socio-economic groups in 80904 - churches, businesses, schools and child-care centers - and what they've been told will be analyzed in conjunction with regional statistical studies, including those in this fall's Quality of Life Indicators document, she explained.
       Invited to the luncheon will be 35 to 40 “key leaders in the community,” Joyce said. Her students will do a “small presentation, including recommendations for collaboration and partnership,” based on their findings.
       One of her students, Mary Karbo, said that key areas of concern will include nutrition and activity, middle school health challenges and the elderly. One disturbing statistic she's seen is that 47 percent of the single mothers in the 80904 area are living below the national poverty level.
       “Our goal for the whole thing has been to find out what the community would like to see or not see,” Karbo said. “Our job is to take all that into account and look at the resources that may or may not be there.”
       Joyce's classes study “a different zip code every semester,” she replied, when asked why 80904 was picked. As for the timing, the Westside seemed like a natural choice because Penrose-St. Francis Mission Outreach - which works with Beth-El - just opened a nurse center/clinic at the Community Center. “So we jumped in as a partner to help out,” Joyce said.
       The 80904 zip code covers much of the Westside, bounded in part by the western city limits, Garden of the Gods Road, Mesa Springs, the Near Westside, Cimarron Street, 21st Street and Lower Gold Camp Road.
       For more information, call the Westside Community Center at 385-7920 x100.

Westside Pioneer article