Alaska Health Fair is a nonprofit delivering around 100 health education and blood draw events statewide each year since 1980.
Many of AHF clients are local businesses and organizations, such as oil companies, federal agencies, utilities, and others. Recently people have been asking if COVID-19 had any impact on the availability of AHF worksite wellness events. The answer is yes, and no. AHF still offers worksite wellness and blood draws. However, we offer these by appointment only, and with a limited health education presence, in a safe environment in accordance with our state-approved COVID-19 Mitigation Plan.
AHF is considered an essential service by the State of Alaska because many people still need their blood tests, even in the middle of the Pandemic, to keep track of vital indicators and manage diabetes and other conditions.
AHF has an approved COVID-19 Mitigation Plan on file with the State Department of Health and Human Services, and is able to offer blood draws by appointment following all applicable social distancing, disinfecting/cleaning, and masking protocols.
We have had to think out of the box to meet the mandates from the CDC and the State of Alaska. We have created a very different health fair model, using a special software to schedule appointments and many new processes. Participants book their own appointment online, and important COVID-19 information is covered during the booking process and right before the appointment. With scheduled appointments and streamlined paperwork, AHF can control the flow of foot traffic, eliminate lines, maintain the requirements of social distancing, and remain under the group maximum allowed for public gatherings.
Everyone is required to wear a face covering, and temperature readings are taken as clients enter the facility. Clients are then given their packet that have their name and appointment time on it. This is where we maintain the schedule. Participants that arrive too early are asked to go back to their vehicle, if applicable, and only allowed to enter the facilities 5 minutes before their scheduled appointment.
Every blood draw station is disinfected between appointments. Tables, doors, and high touch surfaces are disinfected frequently. Pens are single-use only, and hand sanitizer is readily available at all stations.
Exhibitors and health educators are invited on a limited basis, in accordance with the wishes of the host organization.
Offering the affordable blood tests to the community fills the void and serves an essential need. Many health providers require blood testing before they will refill a maintenance drug for their patients. The new, by-appointment system received high marks from our clients. Clients report they feel safe, appreciate the availability of services, and appreciate how quickly the services are provided with the new system.
If you are thinking about hosting a worksite wellness event this fall, please don’t hesitate to call us and reserve your spot. We are certain your concerns will be alleviated once you learn about our state reviewed and approved COVID-19 Mitigation Plan and the steps that we are taking to keep everyone safe.
Please call with questions: (907) 278-0234 in South Central or (907) 374-6853 in Tanana Valley area.