Thursday, October 04, 2007
Kids learn from adults

By Anthony Policastro, M.D.

Children are great mimics. We get a kick out of them when they imitate adults. That is usually when they copy words or actions. We think it is funny when they are young. However, we tend to forget that they do the same thing when they are older. They copy our good habits. If the parents go to church regularly, the children will likely do so. If the parents are volunteers in the community, the children are likely to do voluntary things in the community. We often want our children to do these kinds of things when they grow up. However, we need to set the example. We cannot expect them to do good things if they do not see us do those same things. They also copy our bad habits. The best example of that is using obscene language. They repeat what they hear at home. Eighty-five percent of adolescents who smoke cigarettes have parents who smoke cigarettes. They tend to mimic their parents' drinking habits. They will follow safety habits like buckling seat belts or using bicycle helmets. It is a good idea for parents to take an inventory of their habits. They should list the good habits in one column. They should list the bad habits in another column. They should spend a week or so putting check marks on the list. If the number of check marks in the bad habits column outnumbers those in the good habits column, then some thought needs to go into that. However, we need to come up with a plan. Once we know what things we want to do more, we can make a habit of doing those things in front of our children. The same is true for those things that we do not want to do. If we fail to do so, we may find that by the time our children go into adolescence, the habits they have developed are not going to change. We need to remember that it takes years to develop these habits. It will take years to prevent them from developing the wrong way. The next time your young child does something you think is cute, stop and think about some of the other things that you do, that would not look cute. Make sure the child does not see too many of those.

Help for lymphedema sufferers
Millions of Americans suffer from lymphedema or edema of the arms, legs, trunk or reproductive organs and have not received treatment. The term "edema" refers to an excessive amount of fluid in tissues or organs of the body resulting in swelling. Lymphedema is the swelling of subcutaneous tissue and skin as a result of the malfunction of the lymphatic system. There are two types of lymphedema: ¥ Primary - develops when lymphatic vessels are missing or impaired (a rare inherited condition that can present itself at any point in the patient's life). ¥ Secondary - develops when lymphatic vessels are damaged or lymph nodes are removed (a result of physical damage or interruption of the lymph system). Being diagnosed with lymphedema is a life-altering event. Suddenly your body doesn't function like it did before. It doesn't look or feel the same. Your self-image and interactions with others may change. You can't do things like you used to. Activities you took for granted may now be difficult or even dangerous. If you or someone you know suffers from lymphedema, there are answers. Contact Nanticoke Health Services at Herring Run, 629-6614, for further information regarding treatment.

Heart Walk
Trinity Transport Inc. and Nemours Health & Prevention Services are proud to be partnering with the American Heart Association's Start! Campaign, a physical activity program to fight heart disease and stroke by getting people moving through workplace working programs. Participating in this program can significantly improve your health. We ask that you join us in the American Heart Association's Annual Sussex County Start! Heart Walk to show your commitment and support for this amazing cause. The 5K (3.1 miles) walk will raise money for research opportunities as well as education and awareness resources. The American Heart Association goal for this event is 1,000 walkers, so get a group together and register today. You can register online and find more information at or call 856-7386. Contact Nemours at 302-444-9173 with any questions and take charge of your health. The event will be Oct. 6, at Delaware Technical Community College, registration is at 9 a.m.

NMH to hold Auction
Every year the staff at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital participate in the American Heart Association's START! Heart Walk to raise money for the American Heart Association. The Nanticoke Heartwalk team will be holding a silent auction in the hospital's main lobby on Friday, Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition, a bake sale to benefit the AHA Heartwalk will be held during the auction. Donations from local businesses will be up for bid, including items such as a variety of gift certificates, tickets, and items from restaurants, florists, auto shops, jewelers, and even a pair of NASCAR Nextel Cup tickets for the June 1, 2008 race at Dover's Monster Mile. Community members are invited to attend the auction and support the AHA Heartwalk 2007. Winning bidders will be notified by phone, and all items must be paid for and picked up by 4 p.m. the day of the auction, or the next highest bidder will win the item. For a complete list of items up for auction, or if your business would like to donate an item or gift certificate, contact event organizer Nicole Truitt at 302.629.6611, ext. 2609. New contributions are arriving every day, but so far, we would like to thank the following businesses for their support: Rommel's Ace Hardware, Advance Auto Parts, Applebee's, Autozone, Bon Appetit, Broadcreek Medical Supply, The Dairy Bar, Dairy Queen, Delmarva Shorebirds, Designer's Edge, Dover International Speedway, Donn's Hair Alternative, Grotto's Pizza, Harley Davidson, Heritage Jewelers, The Look-in Glass Shoppe, Methodist Manor House Wellness Center, Mike's Clearance Center, Mountain Mudd Espresso, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, Peninsula Home Health, Posey Palace, Riverview Food Court, Ruby Tuesday, Sal's Pizza, Seaford Bowling Lanes, and Superkicks.

Red Balloon Hoedown
The Wellness Community-Delaware is celebrating its growth in Sussex County with a hoedown. Kick up your heels to country music favorites with Brian K. Hall of the CAT Country morning DJ team. The Red Balloon Hoedown will be held Friday, Oct. 19, from 7-11 p.m. at the Baycenter in Dewey Beach. Event sponsors include Delmarva Broadcasting, Cape Gazette and the Tunnell Cancer Center. The event is an opportunity to pay tribute to people in Sussex County whose lives have been touched by cancer. This year, caregivers will also be honored. Tickets are $50 per person and include a tribute balloon that will be displayed at the event. "All of the programs at The Wellness Community are offered at no charge, so the Red Balloon Hoedown is an important fundraiser for us," said Suzanne Landon, Event chair. Landon, a breast cancer survivor, emphasized that there is a tremendous need in Sussex County for the cancer support services provided by The Wellness Community - Delaware. "Through on-site program participation and community outreach efforts, we have had an average of 600 contacts each month since relocating to our new facility on Rt. 24," said Landon. The Wellness Community-Delaware is seeking additional sponsors for the Red Balloon Hoedown. Sponsors play an intricate role in allowing The Wellness Community-Delaware to continue to provide vital support programs for people in Sussex County touched by cancer. For more information on sponsorships or to purchase tickets, contact Barbara Smith or Jo Wilkins by calling The Wellness Community at (302) 645-9150. Tickets may also be purchased online at All proceeds from the event will fund support programs for people with cancer and their families in Sussex County.

Stroke support group
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer free monthly Stroke Support Group meetings designed for individuals who have survived a stroke and their families and caregivers. Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at Nanticoke Cancer Care Center, from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. The meetings will consist of guest speakers and breakaway sessions, in which caregivers and survivors will meet in two groups to discuss concerns, provide support and networking. Refreshments will be provided. Sheila Brant and Joan Burditt, cccupational therapists at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, will facilitate the support group meetings. Pre-registration is not required. For more information, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital at 629-6611, ext. 5121.

Health pros talk to seventh graders
Delaware physicians will share their knowledge with seventh grade students across the state on Healthy Living Day 2007, Wednesday, Oct. 10. "Seventh grade is an important time in a young person's life. He or she gains independence and begins making more decisions for him or herself. We are very excited to be able to play a part in helping Delaware students form the attitudes and habits that will result in healthy lifestyles for years to come," said Nancy Fan, M.D., chair of MSD's School Health Committee. According to the superintendents, by seventh grade, students have matured enough to understand the material and still be impressionable. More than 30 MSD member physicians have volunteered to present the "Healthy Living Day 2007" program to every traditional public middle school throughout the entire state of Delaware. Students will view a presentation developed by MSD's School Health Committee and then have an opportunity to ask questions of the physician presenting the program. The 30-minute presentation covers areas relevant to middle school students including emotional health, bullying, Lt. Gov. John Carney's Challenge for all Delawareans to become more physically active, eating healthy, resisting tobacco and alcohol use, and more.

Wound Care celebrates anniversary
On Sept. 25, 2006, Nanticoke Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center opened its doors to provide healing solutions for individuals in our community suffering from non-healing wounds. The Center is a partnership of Nanticoke Health Services with National Healing Corporation (NHC) and is the only wound care provider in the state to provide hyperbaric oxygen as a treatment option. NHC is the second largest provider of wound care and hyperbaric services nationally, with over 133 Centers in 31 states. Nanticoke Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center is located on the southern aspect of the hospital's ground floor, with designated parking to provide easy patient access. The Center offers healing treatments to a wide variety of wound types. The combination of advanced techniques and access to resources from all over the country provides the best possible care, and positive healing outcomes for over 90% of those who complete the recommended care plan. Bioengineered skin grafts and silver-based dressings are available to prevent wound infections and allow the body tissues to regenerate. The two hyperbaric chambers allow patients to lie comfortably inside clear acrylic tubes and watch television while breathing pure pressurized oxygen; normal air is only about 21% oxygen. Program Director, Kathy Wright states, "We are proud to be the first in the state of Delaware to offer an Advanced Wound Care Center that provides hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This technology, combined with the specialized skills of our Wound Care Center team, have brought a new spectrum of treatment options to our patients." In celebration of the Center's one year anniversary, the community is invited to tour Nanticoke Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center during an open house on Monday, Oct. 8 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. For more information, call 629-6611, ext. 2340.