Koreisha Senior Care & Advocacy (KSCA) and the Japanese American Medical Association (JAMA) will hold the 39th Community Health Fair. The event will take place on October 29, 2023 Sunday afternoon from 12 noon at the Maryknoll Japanese Catholic Center, S. 222 Hewitt Street, Los Angeles 90012.
The annual Nikkei Health Fairs in Little Tokyo were conducted by the dedicated members of the Taisho Club for 38 years. Along with physicians, nurses, other health care providers and volunteers, they made the yearly event possible to as many as 800 participants. They held dance parties each year to raise funds for the Fair so that individuals can benefit from free medical consultations offered by numerous specialists who were assigned to booths on the Maryknoll campus. For a minimal fee, participants were able to get a blood test and have the results explained to them 2 weeks later in Japanese or in English. Over the years, the Fair became a valuable tradition of the community. Particularly for Nikkei seniors who found it difficult to travel to the doctor’s office, this was an opportunity to ask all the questions they had always wanted to ask of the experts. Translation was provided for the monolingual Japanese attendees. Past events had specialists in internal medicine, ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology, urology, general surgery, podiatry, gastroenterology, orthopedics, rheumatism, chiropractic/massage, psychiatry, dentistry, acupuncture and others.
Mrs. Toshiko Sugiyama coordinated the Fair for many years and is an expert when it comes to all the details involved in operating an event with nearly 100 volunteer doctors, nurses, students and members of the Japanese American community. The number of attendees varied anywhere from 500-800 each year and some had come as far away as San Diego. She states that the Taisho Club disbanded recently because of aging members but that there is a need to carry on the tradition since getting medical care in America for Nikkeis has been difficult enough with language and cultural differences. She still keeps photos to show long lines of people waiting to receive consultations and to have their blood drawn.
KSCA and JAMA are excited to hold the 39th Health Fair this year, with hopes of continuing the tradition into the future. We look forward to seeing new faces as well as familiar faces and we welcome all to attend. Reservations are not necessary; however, if you opt for the blood test, we request that there be no food intake after dinner the night before.
We will be sending out notices to the community with further details, such as which specialties will be present at this year’s event, the cost of the blood test, and the procedure to follow once you arrive at the Fair.
For inquiries in Japanese and in English, please contact John Kanai 626-278-3653, Toshiko Sugiyama 626-572-7461, or Masano Seo 626-675-6436.
Koreisha Senior Care & Advocacy
Japanese American Medical Association