Asian Americans for Change Health Fair - - The News for South Mississippi

Asian Americans for Change Health Fair

By Krystal Allan – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Shoe shopping wasn't what Kim Tisdale of Ocean Springs expected to do at a health fair.  During the fair, organized by Asian Americans for Change, she ran across Advanced Diabetic Solutions, a company specializing in diabetic footwear.

"Before I was a diabetic I had 30 pair of shoes in every color you could imagine so, getting one pair a year you have to be selective," says Tisdale.

Tisdale gets one pair of diabetic shoes each year through Medicare.  Not only did she find Advanced Solutions, she also found out someone can come to her home and fit her for a new pair of shoes.  Thanks to Asian American for Change, Tisdale and others are getting important information to help them meet their health needs.

"I think everyone in the community needs to be aware of what's out there," says Tisdale.

Event organizer Kaitlin Truong says the services and screenings the fair offers are vital to the community.  She recalls a conversation she had with a man at the fair.

"I talked with him and he said from the blood glucose testing to the hepatitis B and C testings, it saved him over $400.00," Truong says.

Ward 1 Councilman, George Lawrence says such fairs are needed now more than ever in light of the economy and the country's healthcare crisis.

"Right now with all the problems everyone is having with with health care, insurance and affording healthcare you can't ask for anything better than this," says Lawrence says.

Hospitals, non-profits and health-related businesses were among the vendors on hand.  The fair also offered something new this year.

"We offered the brown bag event which was a medication review by pharmacists," says Truong.

Health professionals with Singing River Health System used the brown bag event to check for drug interactions among medication.

In the past three years, the number of vendors has grown from 28 to 45.  Those who came say it's likely to grow as more people look to the fair for help with their health needs.  

"Everybody needs this, and since they started it's been a great program and I think it's gonna get better," Lawrence says.

Asian Americans for Change are looking to hold the fair each year in March.

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