PRESIDENT OF 9HEALTH FAIR
A leader serving the community
9Health Fair is celebrating its 40th anniversary. For the past 4 decades, these health fairs have changed the lives of more than 2 million people and they are ready to continue to help improve the health of the community in Colorado. Gary Drews, CEO of the organization, is in charge of this important celebration and focused on adapting 9Health Fair’s mission to the challenges of the times.
“I couldn’t be prouder and more excited to be part of the 9Health Fair family. This cherished Colorado organization and its far-reaching network of volunteers has worked tirelessly throughout its 40-year history not only to help Colorado continue towards its goal of becoming the healthiest state in the nation, but also literally to save lives,” said this alumnus of the University of Colorado Boulder.
Drews has a tremendous leadership experience in the health care sector and track record of improving every organization with which he has been affiliated. He served as the interim CEO and Executive Director of Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s health insurance exchange. During his one-year appointment, Drews led the organization through a strategic planning process while enrolling over 150,000 Coloradans.
From 2006-2013, Drews held high executive positions at the Colorado Health Foundation. His leadership responsibilities included strategic finance and planning; mission and portfolio investment management; hospital system joint venture management; graduate medical education academic affairs; and accounting, facilities, and legal. Previously, Drews had already held executive positions at Regis University; Colorado Outward Bound School; and Walt Disney Studios.
“With uncertainties facing our health and health care environments, 9Health Fair has both the challenge and the opportunity to impact lives for the better through the kind of innovation and dedication that have been the hallmarks of their work,” said Drews. This executive explained that for this spring, 9Health Fair is preparing more than 100 events throughout Colorado.
Drews emphasized the importance of these health fairs. “Many health issues have no symptoms but the professional screenings at 9Health Fair can uncover your health risks early, before it is an emergency. With medical costs skyrocketing, it pays to use your community non-profit health fairs,” he said. And he concluded, “we must be aware that our small decisions, on a day-to-day basis, can improve our health”.
More than 100 events
9Health Fair is the largest education and health program ran by volunteers in the United States. During the spring, there are more than 100 9Health Fair events throughout the state. In the all, this organization puts together another 150 events. Most of the services provided at these events are free or are very affordable. 9Health Fair has the support of the Colorado Medical Society; the Colorado Nurses Association; and the Colorado Hospital Association.
The support of volunteers
Drews explained that volunteers are the engine that guarantees the success of all 9Health Fair events. He explained that every fair has a team of volunteers that performs all aspects of the event. These volunteers from each community work under the guidance of 9Health fair personnel. Based on the needs and wants of the community, the local volunteers decide which exams to offer; the strategies to promote the event, and how the fair will unfold in general.
Community leader Maria Zubia confirms what Drews said: “I have volunteered as a member of the planning with the 9health fair family in Commerce City for many years. I continue to volunteer because the 9health fair family provides an opportunity for members of our community to get health care services and assessments that they may not otherwise have access to. I appreciate the unique nature of this health fair as we try our hardest to make sure that there are a variety of services, resources, and assessments for all,” said Zubia.