Nanticoke Health Services holds annual Tribute dinner

By Lynn R. Parks

Dr. Mark Granada was the first pulmonologist to come to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. He has been practicing in Seaford for 35 years and last week, he was inducted into Nanticoke's Physician Hall of Fame.

"I was shocked and surprised to learn that I was going to get this," Granada told the audience at the annual Nanticoke Tributes Dinner, held last Thursday at Heritage Shores in Bridgeville. "I should be the one who is giving a medal of appreciation to Nanticoke, because I feel that I owe the hospital more than what I've given it."

Tom Brown, senior vice president of Nanticoke Health Services, president of the Nanticoke Physician Network and master of ceremonies for the Tributes Dinner, disagreed. "Like so many other doctors, Dr. Granada's efforts have gone unnoticed," Brown said. "He is quiet and professional and tonight, we shine on him the spotlight that he has avoided all these years and thank him for the service that he has provided."

Granada said that when he and his wife, Edwina, arrived in Seaford, "our reception was terrific." They decided that they would stay in western Sussex County for at least one year; the decision to stay on came after he realized that he was "wanted and needed" in Seaford.

"That was one of the most memorable decisions I have made in my lifetime," Granada said. "Here, I was able to obtain success of my personal and professional dreams."

Also inducted into the Physician Hall of Fame was the late Dr. Richard Tobin. Tobin, who came to Seaford in 1959 to join the surgical practice of Dr. William Cooper who died in 1970 at the age of 42. At the dinner to accept his award were his widow, Dr. Judith Tobin, who is retired from Nanticoke as well as from the state Medical Examiner's Office and who herself is in the Hall of Fame, and two sons, Stanley and Clark.

"My father was larger than life," Clark said. "What he did, he did with passion, and I see a lot of that in the Nanticoke family of today."

"We have always felt that we were part of a bigger family, the Nanticoke family," Stan added. "To see that Nanticoke has become the backbone of this town the way that it has would really make our father proud. We thank you, and my father thanks you from up above."

Honored with the Founders Award was former county councilman Dale Dukes, Laurel. Dukes was on the county council in 1991 when the county started its paramedic service. Back then, the service's annual budget was $500,000, Dukes said. Now, the service has eight stations, 109 employees and an annual budget of $14 million.

"I truly see the value of it," said Dukes, who has also served on the Nanticoke board of directors. "It has saved many lives. And it is a model for other paramedic services across the United States. Many other services visit us to see what we are doing."

The Charles C. Allen Jr. Leadership in Philanthropy Award was given to husband and wife Jim and Lois Hartstein, both of Laurel. Jim, president of the Insurance Market and a member of the La Red Health Center board of directors, is a former member of the Nanticoke board of directors. Lois, a member of the Laurel School Board, is on the committee that arranges the annual Nanticoke auction.

"They both have been devoted to philanthropic causes throughout their careers," Brown said. "They have demonstrated selflessness with their time and resources to the betterment of the community."

This was the ninth year that Nanticoke has held its Tributes Dinner. The hospital has adopted a quote by Sir Isaac Newton for the motto of the event. Newton said, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

"Tonight, we are in the presence of giants," Brown said. "That's why we have this event every year, to remember those who have helped us along."

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