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Free Cholesterol Tests in February for Health District Residents (2017)

To help northern Colorado residents keep track of their cholesterol, the Health District regularly offers cholesterol testing at locations across Fort Collins. During American Heart Month in February, the Health District will offer free cholesterol tests for people who are Health District residents (Fort Collins, Wellington, Laporte and northern Larimer County).

A fingerstick test is used to obtain results for total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides and blood glucose. During each 20-minute appointment, a registered nurse runs the cholesterol test and also checks blood pressure and provides health education materials. The test itself takes about 5 minutes, and the RN will explain your results, assess risk for diabetes and heart attack, and provide follow-up recommendations.

During February, cholesterol tests are free for Health District residents. Those who live outside of the Health District pay only $15. An 8-hour fast is recommended, and water and medications are permitted. For more information about testing times and locations, go to the Health District website. To schedule an appointment, call the Health District at 970-224-5209.
 
Flu Cases Increasing Rapidly - But There's Still Time to Get a Flu Shot (Jan. 2017)

2017's flu season is taking off in Larimer County and across Colorado. So far this season, 26 county residents have been hospitalized with influenza - 21 of these have been since the beginning of the year. Visits to physician offices for respiratory symptoms are also increasing.

This season the predominant type of influenza has been A(H3N2), which is likely to be more severe in older adults. The average age of local residents hospitalized is 58; the median age is 65. Six nursing homes/assisted living facilities in Larimer County have been affected. Some hospital systems have implemented restrictions on visitors.

Dr. Adrienne LeBailly, Larimer County Health Department Director, stressed that even though most influenza cases are occurring in older persons, people of any age can still get very ill from the flu - especially if they have health conditions that put them at risk for flu complications. That's why she recommends flu shots for anyone over 6 months old. The component in this year's vaccine against the A(H3N2) flu has changed from prior years' vaccines and should provide better protection.

The Health Department recommends that those who have not yet had a flu vaccination get one soon, because it takes about two weeks to provide protection. The vaccine is especially important for pregnant women and people with chronic diseases. Vaccination is the best way to help prevent the flu. But it's also very important to wash hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading flu in schools and the workplace.

For more information on flu and flu vaccination, go to the CDC website. For information on Health Department's immunization clinics, go to the Health Department webpage.
 
Open Enrollment Deadline for Health Insurance is Jan. 31 (2017)

Open enrollment for health insurance for 2017 ends Jan. 31, so time is running out! If you are confused about your options, Larimer Health Connect can help.

Larimer Health Connect is a free service that helps people find the best options for health insurance to meet their family's health needs and budget. Our trained staff provides free, impartial, in-person assistance finding health insurance, including plans from the Connect for Health Colorado Marketplace. We can also determine your eligibility for Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid Program) and CHP+.

We can help you shop for coverage and complete the application process for health insurance offered through the Marketplace, as well as go over the financial assistance options that are available only through Connect for Health Colorado. We cannot offer advice on what plan to choose, but we can answer your questions about your options. To make an appointment, call 970-472-0444.

Larimer Health Connect is a project of the Health District of Northern Larimer County, a public special district dedicated to improving the health of our community. For information, visit the Larimer Health Connect website.
 
Start the New Year Smoke-Free! (Jan. 2017)

Every year, millions of people all over the country make New Year's resolutions to change and improve their lives. Many of these people renew their commitment to quitting smoking, one of the best things you can do for better health.

If you are one of those who would like to make 2017 the year that you finally kick the habit for good, there are some steps you can take to improve your chances of success:
  • First, start by making the decision to believe that you can quit smoking. One of the most important characteristics of successful "quitters" is their belief that they truly have the ability to quit smoking.
  • Remind yourself that quitting smoking is an adventure. If you approach it with this attitude, planning for that adventure can be good experience.
  • Pick a quit date. You may wish to contact your doctor for information on smoking-cessation medications/nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products, such as gum or patches.
  • Enroll in a quit-tobacco program to increase your chances of success. See the information below about the Health District's Step Free from Tobacco program.
  • Work to improve your nutrition and increase your physical activity. Breaking out of old patterns will help improve your health and fuel your success.
  • Finally, no matter how important it is to you to quit smoking, no matter how confident you are of your ability to succeed, your desire to quit is secondary unless you step out and just do it! Don't give up. Most smokers try several times before they finally are successful at giving up smoking for good. Quitting smoking is a process. Even lapses along the way can be used as learning experiences. Remind yourself that you can quit smoking.

  • It's a new year, it's a new beginning, and it's a great time to make that resolution to "Step Free" from that tobacco habit! Best wishes for a happy, prosperous and smoke-free New Year!


    The next Step Free from Tobacco class begins Wednesday, Jan. 18, 6:00-7:30pm, at the Health District, 120 Bristlecone Drive in north Fort Collins. The six-week class includes free nicotine replacement patches, gum or lozenges.

    If you are unable to attend this class, we offer classes periodically throughout the year, and individual counseling is also available by appointment.

    The cost for the program for residents of the Health District is $10-$100 per person, depending on income. Out-of-district residents pay $100. A "buddy discount" of 25 percent is available for district residents who enroll in the program with a friend or family member.

    For more information and to register, call 970-224-5209 or visit healthdistrict.org/quitsmoking.
     
    Winter Bike to Work Day on Dec. 14 (2016)

    On Wednesday, Dec. 14, Fort Collins will celebrate ten years of Winter Bike to Work Day. People who ride their bike that day will find 30 breakfast stations located throughout Fort Collins. The event encourages people to bicycle for transportation; highlights Fort Collins' extensive bike routes; and demonstrates that bicycling is an easy, fun and healthy means of traveling around the city.

    Come visit any of the breakfast stations from 7:00 to 9:30am, offering a variety of free breakfast foods, quick bike maintenance and more. For more information, visit the city's Bike Winter webpage.

    Bike to Work Day will also mark the launch of the "Eco-Totem" bicycle counter - an 8-foot totem at Remington and Lake Street, which will display in real time the number of people who have bicycled past each day. Join FC Bikes at the breakfast station on Remington at Lake Street to celebrate this exciting new infrastructure, and watch your number tick up on the display.
     

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