Family Programs
Operation CoCare kicks off health fair event for Ute tribes of Colorado 
By Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Nicole Manzanares, 140th Wing Public Affairs 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012     

Air National Guard Capt. Kinder Blacke

TOWAOC, Colo. (7/24/12) – The Colorado Air National Guard's 140th Medical Group kicked off a five-day health fair, better known as Operation CoCare, with an opening ceremony at the Ute Mountain Recreation Center in southwest Colorado July 24.

The fair is in conjunction with the fourth annual Tri Ute games competition being hosted by the Ute Mountain Tribe in Towaoc.

The Adjutant General of Colorado, Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, attended as a guest speaker at the opening ceremony. Also attending was Brig. Gen. Trulan Eyre, commander of the 140th Wing; and Brig. Gen. Rick Martin, commander of the Colorado Air National Guard.

“It’s really a privilege and an honor to be with you today,” said Edwards. “Take advantage of the health fair; it’s a great opportunity to have your overall health checked and to spend some time with our wonderful folks of the 140th Medical Group.”

Eighty-two members of the 140th Medical Group will perform screenings for hypertension, high blood pressure, diabetes and weight management issues, as well as provide dental and hearing consultations, and sports physicals. The health fair features an interactive area where children can learn simple first aid, try out some medical equipment, and learn about what medical professionals do in the military.

“We have a comprehensive collection of medical capabilities here to serve you,” said Col. Paul Shingledecker, commander of the 140th Medical Group. “We have physicians, nurses, physician assistants, medical technicians, dentists and assorted other professionals working with us.”

In addition to the health fair, the 140th Medical Group is providing an emergency medical team to administer first aid services during the Tri Ute Games.

Three Ute tribes are coming together for the four-day competition that includes basketball, golf, ultimate warrior triathlon, girls volleyball, swimming, archery, bowling, hand games, skateboarding and cross country.

The Ute Mountain reservation comprises parts of southwest Colorado, southeast Utah and northern New Mexico. There are two communities on the Ute reservation, the Tribal Headquarters in Towoac, Colo., and the Small Community at White Mesa, Utah.

The 140th Medical Group has also conducted clinics throughout El Salvador in 2009 and for the homeless community of Oahu, Hawaii in 2010.

Such clinics allow the unit to conduct hands-on, real-world missions tailored to the unit’s unique capabilities while providing assistance to communities.

For media inquiries about Operation CoCare, please contact Capt. Kinder Blacke, 140th Wing Public Affairs, at 720-847-6164, kinder.blacke@ang.af.mil.


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