WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — 2022 marks the 41st annual Wichita Asian Festival.

Ahead of events, the group is hosting a health fair to combat health inequities in our community.

An eye exam, like other checkups, is supposed to happen every year.

Several obstacles can prevent this from being a regular occurrence for people.

“A lot of it is cost of care, access to care, transportation, biggest thing is language,” said Dr. Diana Ho, an optometrist volunteering her time at the Wichita Asian Festival.

“Everybody’s health, no matter who they are, is important,” said Dr. Ho.

She’s taking a personal approach to breaking down barriers.

“My Spanish is terrible, but my patients appreciate it so much when I try to speak it, and my Vietnamese patients, if they don’t understand anything in English, it just makes them feel at home and that someone is truly listening,” said Dr. Ho.

Not just hearing but understanding.

“I think there is a stigma and stereotype in the Asian American community about approaching preventative health care,” said Taben Azad, Wichita Asian Association president.

“At times, our parents or grandparents will only go to a doctor when it’s the last means. At that point, it’s very costly, it’s very dangerous to their bodies, their health, and so being able to promote preventative health care throughout this health fair is the main goal,” said Azad.

A goal is to make regular health checkups accessible to everyone.

“Knowing the resources of where to go, how to get that care, no matter what situation you’re in, insurance or no insurance,” said Dr. Ho.

Improving the health of our community beyond an exam room.

The health fair is free and will take place Saturday, Oct. 15, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Century II. Directly after, the Wichita Asian Festival will begin at 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Three Ways to Support the Wichita Asian Association:

  1. Become a member
  2. Be an ally
  3. Support Wichita Asian Festival