Come to the (health) fair!

Bone density screenings are popular at the hospital's (free) health fair. — Photo by Heidi Wild Photography

Here’s what you can’t do at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital’s annual health fair next weekend: Get open heart surgery, or a lung transplant, or your eyelids lifted.

Here’s what you can do at the health fair: Get your cholesterol screened, and your skin (for cancer) too; have your eyes, ears, balance, and bone density assessed. You can learn better sleep habits using relaxation approaches; enjoy acupuncture, Thai Yoga Massage (and even learn what it actually is), chair yoga classes (if you’re over 65), and craniosacral treatments.

And it’s all free.

Since 1996, the hospital’s been hosting a health fair with increased practitioner participation each year. Last year, more than 200 people were seen by 40 practitioners. “It’s really an amazing chance to learn about what health services are out there,” Rachel Vanderhoop, the hospital’s director of development and community relations told us. “It’s a great opportunity to meet the people who provide the service; better to meet them before you need them! It’s the same with the hospital: Come tell us who you are, and see our amazing and growing art collection.”

Though attendance has been steady, Ms. Vanderhoop says she still “prays for rain” on health fair day. “I figure folks will say, ‘What the heck, can’t work on the garden, might as well go to the health fair.’ ”

Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Health Fair: Saturday, March 16th; 8 a.m. to noon;