Patient Resources

The Gunnison Valley HealthSpot

The Gunnison Valley HealthSpot is a monthly resource for information on a variety of topics ranging from the best way to get a good night's sleep to women's health.


April's Topic: Laboratory and Blood Work

Your blood has the answers

If you want to know what’s going on with your personal health, your blood is a great place to start. Having your blood tested regularly (we recommend having it done every year) is great way for you and your health care provider to understand a variety of your health considerations.

Blood tests can tell you how well your organs, such as your kidneys, liver, thyroid, and heart, are working. They can also help diagnose a variety of diseases from cancer to diabetes to anemia to coronary heart disease. Having your blood tested year over year can give you a sense for how well medications you may be taking are working by monitoring your levels over time.

Blood tests are commonplace, easy to collect, and have few risks. They don’t require a bunch of special preparations, though you may need to fast for 12 hours before being tested. Once your blood is analyzed in the laboratory, your healthcare provider can use the information along with your medical history, vital signs, and other test results to get a picture of your health.

Gunnison Valley Health will be providing low cost blood tests to the community at the upcoming Gunnison Wellness Fair on Saturday, April 29 from 6:30-11 a.m. The Wellness Fair will take place in the Fred Field Center at 275 S. Spruce Street in Gunnison. Please drink water prior to your blood being drawn.

About the Gunnison Valley Health Laboratory.

We all have had our blood drawn from a nurse or a phlebotomist. The tubes are filled, labeled, and then mysteriously disappear out of the room. So where do they go? What happens to your blood? Well, the blood is delivered to the laboratory of the hospital. The Gunnison Valley Hospital laboratory is a laboratory where tests are performed on blood samples, urine samples, and other body fluids. These tests are performed to obtain valuable information about the health of a patient as pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease including; cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, infectious mononucleosis, and identification of bacteria or viruses that cause infections, as well as in detecting drugs of abuse, and much more.

The laboratory consists of different departments. The specimen, after processing, is distributed to the department in which it will be tested. The following is a brief breakdown of the responsibilities for each department at GVH Laboratory:

  • Hematology – utilizes whole blood to analyze complete blood counts, blood slides as well as many other specialized tests.
  • Chemistry – utilizes serum or plasma to analyze a wide array of substances, such as lipids, blood sugar, enzymes, drug levels, hormones and more.
  • Microbiology – utilizes swabs, feces, urine, blood, sputum, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, as well as possible infected tissue to look for suspected bacteria (pathogens) which, if found, are further identified based on biochemical and molecular tests. Also, sensitivity testing is carried out to determine whether the pathogen is sensitive or resistant to a suggested antibiotic.
  • Coagulation –utilizes plasma to determine blood clotting times and coagulation factors.
  • Blood Bank – utilizes serum, plasma, and whole blood to determine blood groups, and perform compatibility testing on donor blood and recipients. Multiple blood products are stored and made available for transfusion.
  • Urinalysis - utilizes fresh urine for testing multiple analytes in the urine to help with diagnosing kidney failure, bladder problems and many other conditions.

The GVH Laboratory has up-to-date instrumentation and is capable of processing many different tests in an extremely timely and efficient manner. GVH Laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists and deemed status with the Joint Commission. GVH is staffed with two Pathologists, Dr. Michael Benziger and Dr. Nicholas Radovich, Board Certified Medical Technologists, Technicians, and Phlebotomists.


Check in regularly or check the Crested Butte News, Gunnison Country Times, or Gunnison Shopper for the latest monthly HealthSpot topic. You can also hear the HealthSpot on KBUT.

Read previous Healthspots:
January 2017 - Behavioral Health
February 2017 - Heart Health
March 2017 - Opioid Abuse Prevention


Gunnison Valley Health
711 North Taylor Street | Gunnison, CO 81230 | 970-641-1456