More than 700 patients, volunteers converge for free health care day

Fairmount Park in northeast Wichita was the site of a free health care event on Saturday.
Fairmount Park in northeast Wichita was the site of a free health care event on Saturday. The Wichita Eagle

A free health care day in northeast Wichita on Saturday attracted more than 200 patients, organizers said.

A collaborative effort led by Via Christi, Wichita State University and the city took place from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fairmount Park, just steps from the university’s campus.

People with little or no health insurance coverage were welcomed to receive services – including medical testing; dental, vision and hearing screening; foot care and behavioral health care – provided by close to 500 volunteers.

Peg Tichacek, chief mission integration officer with Via Christi and an organizer of the event, said 230 patients were treated.

“A lot of people helped with this,” Tichacek said. “There were about 40 community organizations that helped in some way. There were a lot of other major community events today, so I think we had a good turnout.”

Mike Mullins, Via Christi’s CEO, said he hopes the free health care day will become a regular event.

“I think it was a success and I think much of that has to do with the community support we received,” Mullins said. “We don’t want this to be a ‘one-and-done’ day. We want to, along with our community partners, make sure that people are able to continue receiving the care they need.”

Tichacek said that about 200 of the volunteers were Wichita State students. Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell also attended the event.

“Today's events are another great example of our community showing how much they care,” Longwell said. “It is part of what makes Wichita a great place to live, work and play.”

Bryan Horwath: 316-269-6708, @bryan_horwath