Thursday, November 19, 2015
Doctor's Perspective
Don't be a slave to fashion

By Dr. Anthony Policastro Many people are slaves to fashion. Sometimes people do not realize that the slavery is harmful. One recent trend in fashion accessories is decorative contact lenses which can change the eye color or eye appearance. The simplest kind of decorative lenses provide a different color to the eyes. The more complicated lenses might result in a cat's eye or devil's eye appearance. The use of these lenses is more common than most people realize. Adolescents often use them with costumes at Halloween. The lenses are also popular for high school dances such as homecoming or prom. About 50% of adolescents use them at some time or another. In some cases optometrists or ophthalmologists provide the lenses. These lenses come from reputable companies and are approved by the FDA. In other cases the lenses come from foreign countries. These lenses are not regulated which means the lenses can be dangerous and the seller does not care. About half of adolescents get their lenses from their doctor and are protected against dangers. The other half get them from less reliable sources. For example, some tattoo parlors sell the unregulated lenses. While tattoo parlors deal with ink on the skin, the lenses also have ink in them. This ink can irritate the eyes. You will certainly not look attractive if you have a reaction to the ink in the lenses. Some beauty salons sell the unregulated lenses. While they might make you look more attractive, these lenses often contain high levels of bacteria which can cause eye infections. If the infection is severe enough, you might lose your vision. We can learn three lessons from all of this. The first lesson is it might not be a good idea to use these lenses in the first place. The second lesson is if you decide to use the lenses, you should only use them through an eye doctor's office. The third lesson is to report places that sell unregulated lenses to the FDA through the FDA's website. The FDA cannot stop the sale of dangerous products if they do not know who is selling them. An early report of a local business selling unregulated lenses might prevent someone in your community from going blind. We know how physically harmful human slavery can be. We sometimes forget that being a slave to fashion can also be harmful.

PHC offers rack cards Peninsula Home Care (PHC), a locally based home care agency serving Maryland and Delaware, wants to make it easier for families to make a decision on what home care agency will be caring for their loved one when the time comes. Peninsula Home Care has rack cards with a check list of questions and criteria to ask when picking a home care company including the following:

  • How long has the agency been providing home care services?
  • Is the agency Medicare certified?
  • What range of services does the home care agency provide?
  • Do they offer the specific services that you need?
  • Does the agency involve the patient and caregiver in the plan of care?
  • Does the agency have 24/7 availability for questions or problems?
  • If I have an insurance other than Medicare, does this agency accept or participate with my insurance?
"Home Care is more than a healthcare service," said Robyn Coughenour, branch director, Peninsula Home Care at Nanticoke. "Ultimately, we want people to make informed decisions about their healthcare. Unfortunately, many don't know what to look for or even ask when it's decision time." For a Home Care Choice rack card, call the PHC office in Seaford at 629-4914 or visit to download a copy.

Hospice Lunch Bunch Lecture "Resiliency: The Art of Bouncing Back" will be the topic of Delaware Hospice's Lunch Bunch Lecture with Dr. Judy Pierson on Friday, Dec. 11. Resiliency is the ability to overcome challenges of all kinds - the loss of a loved one, a traumatic experience, a breakup, etc. It is not the denial of adversity but a way of moving through it that allows you to regain your footing in life. While most people adapt over time, some seem to be able to master challenges more effectively. Learn the resiliency strategies used by those who fair better and build your own personal skills for enduring hardship. Lunch, which is $5 per person, is from noon to 12:30 p.m. The free presentation is from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Registration is required as seating is limited. Register by Thursday, Dec. 10, by contacting Michele August at 302-746-4503 or

Dr. Coleman joins Nanticoke Dr. Karen E. Coleman, MD, FACE, has joined the active medical staff of The Nanticoke Physician Network. Dr. Coleman is board-certified in internal medicine and endocrinology, diabetes & metabolism. She joins Dr. Francisco Padilla at the Nanticoke Diabetes and Endocrinology Center located within Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford. She also provides services at Nanticoke Family Practice in Georgetown. Dr. Coleman received her bachelor of science in nursing from Pacific Union College in Angwin, Calif. and her Doctor of Medicine from Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She completed her residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in endocrinology, diabetes & metabolism at Georgetown University Medical Center. Dr. Coleman is a member of the American Diabetes Association, the American Thyroid Association and the Endocrinology Society, and is a fellow of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology.

Shine a Light on Lung Cancer Join Nanticoke Health Services and local community members at the inaugural Shine a Light on Lung Cancer event at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Nanticoke Cancer Care Center. Shine a Light, sponsored by the Lung Cancer Alliance, promotes awareness for lung cancer and provides hope, inspiration and support for all of those touched by lung cancer. Founded by a lung cancer survivor and caregiver, it is the largest coordinated awareness event for lung cancer in the United States. The lighting of the flashlights to honor survivors and loved ones is a highlight of the evening. Guest speakers include Isabel Benson, AOCNP, nurse practitioner, Cancer Care Center, and lung cancer survivor Betty Lewis. Light refreshments will be provided. This event is free and open to the public. RSVP is preferred, but not required. To learn more, visit To RSVP, contact Rachel Ostroski, marketing coordinator, at or 536-5386.

Dr. Wadi named medical director Ziyad Wadi, MD has been promoted to medical director of gastroenterology and hepatology for Nanticoke Health Services. Board certified in internal medicine, Dr. Wadi completed his internal medicine residency through State University of New York in Brooklyn and his gastroenterology and hepatology fellowship at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. Professional memberships include the American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and New York for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Dr. Wadi has been a part of the Nanticoke family for four years. As medical director, Dr. Wadi will be responsible for a number of activities related to the delivery of patient care. He will also play an important role in the recruiting and development of additional care providers in this area. Dr. Wadi's practice will be moving to the Nanticoke Health Pavilion Seaford on Nov. 23. The practice will provide services for all gastroenterological and liver related illnesses.

Lymphedema support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will host a Lymphedema support group on Thursday, Nov. 19 from 1:30-3 p.m., at the Seaford Library and Cultural Center. The topic is dietary. This free support group is open to anyone affected by lymphedema including patients, caregivers, and relatives. Meetings consist of a lecture by health care professionals and medical equipment providers followed by refreshments and an open question and answer session or discussion among participants. Registration is required. For more information and to register, contact Robert Donati at 629-6224 or

Parkinson's Support Group Nanticoke Health Services, in conjunction with CHEER and Care DE and The Methodist Manor House, will hold a Parkinson's education and support group on Thursday, Nov. 19 from 9:30-11 a.m. at the Methodist Manor House in Seaford. This support group is free and open to the public. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disease that affects the part of the brain that controls muscle movement. Participating in education/support groups is essential for coping with an illness such as PD or other disorders that impair bodily movement. This support group is not only helpful for the individual diagnosed with PD, but also for caregivers, friends and family. Group members welcome guest speakers on a variety of subjects related to PD and provide support through small group discussions. Tara Trout, LPN, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, co-facilitates the group with Kathy Landis, caregiver resource coordinator, CHEER, Sussex County. For more information, contact Trout at 629-6611, ext. 3838.

'Coping with the Holidays' workshop Delaware Hospice will hold a one night grief support workshop on Thursday, Nov. 19 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Milton Library for individuals who have lost a loved one and are dreading the upcoming holidays. This presentation offers coping strategies for the challenges the holidays offer and suggestions for self-care. To register or to learn about other support groups at Delaware Hospice, contact Bereavement Counselor, Midge DiNatale, BA, GC-C at 856-7717, ext. 4120 or email

Bariatric Support Group Nanticoke Physician Network General & Bariatric Surgery will host bariatric support groups on the first Tuesday and third Thursday of each month from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in the Medical Staff Conference Room. This free group is designed to provide education and support to patients before and after their bariatric weight loss surgery. Support group meetings will consist of guest speakers and presentations to provide useful information about nutrition, supplements, exercise and behavior modifications. Patients and their spouses, family members or friends are welcome to attend. Registration is not required. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 19. For more information, contact Shelly Geis at 629-6611, ext. 8810.

Operation Gobble Gobble The Delaware State Police Community Outreach Unit has established a program, Operation Gobble Gobble, to assist families for the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Troopers are asking for help with donations of non-perishable food items. All food items may be dropped off at any Troop at any time throughout the state now through Nov. 20. The goal is to collect and donate non-perishable food items to families in need across Delaware on Nov. 20, to be delivered in time for the holiday. For more information, contact Corporal/1 Juanita Huey-Smith at 302-232-3459.

Breastfeeding support group Breastfeeding is natural, but it doesn't always come naturally. During the early weeks after birth, moms and babies experience challenges as they both learn how to breastfeed. At times, even the most dedicated nursing moms want to give up. On Monday, Nov. 23 at 10 a.m., Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will hold The Mom's Circle, a free breastfeeding support group, in the Nursing Conference Room. The Mom's Circle is a safe place for moms to come for support, advice and friendship from both experienced nursing moms and new moms and a lactation consultant. Registration is not required. For more information, contact Jacalyn Bradley, lactation consultant, at 629-6611, ext. 2234.

Apply for policymaking program The Delaware Developmental Disability Council (DDC) is accepting applications from Delaware residents ages 18 and older to participate in the 2016 class of the Partners in Policymaking program which offers a focused training on advocating for and influencing policies that impact individuals living with disabilities. Applications must be received by Dec. 18. Partners in Policymaking (Partners) is an innovative, leadership training program for adults with disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities. Often described by participants as a life-changing experience, the program, free to accepted applicants, includes eight, two-day sessions, held monthly from February through September. Local and national subject matter experts cover a broad range of topics, including the history of the disability and self-advocacy movements, inclusive education, supported living, and current practices on policymaking through state and federal legislative processes. With application approval, child care, respite allowances, and overnight accommodations are provided. For more information and an application, contact Karen Bell, program coordinator, at or call 610-256-4190.