Full-service health fair
The annual Martha's Vineyard Hospital Health Fair provides health screenings, information about wellness and fitness, and the various health services that are available to our Island community. Coming up this Saturday, March 14, from 8 am to noon at the hospital, the event has been held for more than a decade. It has grown in scope, and this year, according to organizer Rachel Vanderhoop, "It will be more interactive than ever."
The focus of this year's health fair is on comprehensive multi-disciplinary services and healthcare options that include prevention, early detection, and the components of a healthy lifestyle.
Photo by Ralph Stewart
Says Ms. Vanderhoop, "We do [the health fair] to keep people informed about preventive care and health-care education, and to let them know what's available to them at the hospital - both short-term and long-term services. We've seen more and more people come every year."
Research has proven that there are many benefits from touch therapies, and they will be included at Saturday's event. Introductions to massage therapy (with Lily K. Morris), chiropractic (posture screening), acupuncture, and yoga will be available at the health fair. The Sacred Circle of Yoga presentation will offer ways to reduce stress.
Vineyard Complementary Medicine will present craniosacral therapy, a method of alternative medicine used by physical therapists, massage therapists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and osteopaths. At its simplest, in involves the therapist gently touching areas of the spine, the skull and its cranial sutures, and other areas to restore proper circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid throughout the central nervous system. Therapists use it to treat mental stress, neck and back pain, and such things as chronic pain and migraines.
File photo by Jeremy W. Smith
Other participating hospital departments include the stroke team; case management team, which offers continuing care and rehabilitation for patients who need acute care; and the food and nutrition team.
It is an opportunity for Islanders to receive a broad overview of the components of health care. Fitness information will be available through representatives from Curves, Lisa's Studio, and Vineyard Tennis Center Workout and Spa.
Exhibits and presentations will be set up in various locations in the hospital. The health fair will present a variety of screenings, tests, and information in many areas. A balance screening will be available in the Rehab and Wellness Department, assessing one's risk of falling, which, according to Ms. Vanderhoop, is the leading cause of injury, especially in senior citizens.
Other participants and events include the towns' councils on aging; an opportunity to sign up for summer camp with the Martha's Vineyard Boys & Girls Club; the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act, which provides an opportunity to sign up with Commonwealth Care insurance.