On April 11, 2009 Erin and I attended an Asian Health Fair at the Columbus's Public Health Department. This event focused on a large group of people that couldn't afford to seek medical help for their ailments. Since health fairs offer blood sugar and blood pressure readings, many were using this fair as an opportunity to make sure they were still reasonably healthy.
Many of the people we spoke to were over 65 and had not considered applying for Medicare or other benefits. Language, cultural differences and not knowing about benefits available to them were barriers to them signing up.
Many of the attendees at the fair were much more comfortable with their native Chinese than with English. Thankfully, we had Theresa Lee, a recently trained Benefit Bank counselor on our side. Ms. Lee was able to serve as a translator at the event and her work has led to several appointments. With Theresa's help, a group of people may soon be able to see a doctor instead of depending on a booth at a festival for their medical needs. I can't imagine a more successful trip.