Connecting Coloradans through new 9Health Neighbors program

Post written by: Byron Reed, 9NEWS

For more than 40 years, 9Health has provided preventative care and health awareness across Colorado.  They’ve provided health screenings and answered questions to provide people with the tools they need to take responsibility for their own health.  This spring, 9Health had to postpone all the health fairs to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s been challenging with the shift but everyone is being really creative and we have quite a few volunteers who are open to new possibilities,” said 9Health’s Director of Volunteer Engagement Alex Andrews.  “This was going to be our 41st season of spring fairs so all of those medical and non-medical volunteers that typically come in droves, they don’t have the same type of volunteer opportunities of 9Health that they did in the past.”

9Health, the largest volunteer-driven, nonprofit in the country, has launched a new program, 9Health Neighbors, to help provide answers to health questions human connection during the new coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic. The 9Health Neighbors are dedicated 9Health medical volunteers who are there to help local Coloradans with their health questions, connect with the public and inspire people with positive and local stories.

“If an individual wants to have a medical question answered, they’re going to call a private telephone number and then they leave a message,” Andrews said.  “Then after they leave that message (with their name and medical topic) within 24 hours, a medical volunteer will call them back and just have a chat with them.”

It’s an opportunity that long time 9Health Volunteer Margie Haas wanted to be part of.  She’s a former nurse who had to retire due to underlying medical issues.

“Ever since this Coronavirus came about I felt like I can’t go back to the front lines due to my autoimmune diseases and I just felt like I needed to do something to help out,” she said.

Medical volunteers like Haas have been hearing COVID-19 questions.  They said people want to know different circumstances that may be happening in their lives that put them at risk and how can they keep themselves safe.

“The biggest (question) is what the CDC recommendations are,” Hass said.  “And what should they be doing if a family member feels like they have it.”

9Health said they are still providing medical education through those steadfast volunteers that have been with them for decades.

“We also want our participants to know that 9Health is known for medical screenings and medical education,” Andrews said.  “(And) that education can still go on even though we don’t have those physical 9Health fairs going on.”

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