All's well at Martha's Vineyard Hospital Health Fair
It's easy to get lazy about healthy living during the long Vineyard winter when, on a cold gray day, the couch beckons. But with spring on the way, Martha's Vineyard Hospital is offering the community an inspiring and enjoyable way to get back on the track to good health.
This Saturday from 8 am until 12 noon, the annual Martha's Vineyard Hospital Health Fair will present dozens of health care professionals who will offer information on any number of topics and motivation to start taking better care of ourselves.
Rachel Vanderhoop, the hospital's director of development, along with event coordinator Erin Rathmell, have packed the program to accommodate a broad range of subjects and approaches. "People who are in good health will come in to the hospital to get healthier, not because they're sick," said Ms. Vanderhoop.
More than brochures and information, there will be lectures and demonstrations about health involving exercise and nutrition, as well as a number of important no-cost medical screenings, individual evaluations, and consultations.
Close to 40 participating health professionals will share their expertise. Visit the Outpatient Lab for cholesterol screening for a $5 fee, or get a flu shot free of charge. Ms. Vanderhoop noted that bone density appointments are already fully booked, although cancellations are possible.
Although Ms. Vanderhoop admitted she had to turn away some prospective participants for lack of space, the event will fill much of the hospital's common space. Centered in the main lobby, the fair will sprawl out through three corridors and several separate rooms. Signs will give clear directions to various attractions. "Everybody will get a lot of exercise," she said.
"Because of who responded, I'm happy to say that this year's fair will be much more interactive than the past years," said Ms. Vanderhoop.
Whatever your concern, from nutrition to addiction, hearing to heart health, women's health to hospice care, there will be someone there to answer questions. The list of participants includes many Island health-care providers - optometrist David Finkelstein performing glaucoma screenings; podiatrist Jay Segel offering ultrasonic foot imaging and gait analysis; Margaret Knight explaining the Alexander Technique.
Also on the agenda are massage, acupuncture, and balance screenings. Hospital staff will help visitors set up clear medication records that they can present at health visits. Representatives from Island agencies and organizations will provide everything you need to know about councils on aging, addiction services and 12-step programs, becoming a foster parent, or learning about Windemere.
There are many notable offerings on everything from physical therapy, yoga, Pilates, nutrition, information about tests for potential blood marrow transplant donors, and help unraveling the mysteries of the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act and Commonwealth Care Insurance.
"Over the past few years another new direction is to include complementary care providers," said Ms. Vanderhoop. "There is a big interest here on the Vineyard in that kind of care."
"Our thought is that perhaps people will walk away with some idea about how they can change their lifestyle to have a positive impact on their health," said Sharon Clauss-Zanger, R.N., program director for the Visiting Nurses Agency.
Of course any good fair must serve refreshments, but don't look for coffee, soda, and Danish pastries here. Ms. Vanderhoop said she has been consulting with kitchen staff to make sure refreshments are in keeping with the event, and promised that the menu will lean towards selections like juice, yogurt, and fruit.