Thursday, May 08, 2008
Sports alone may not be enough exercise

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

When I was growing up in Brooklyn, we spent most of the day outside playing games during the summer. The games included things like marbles, tops, skelly, kick the can, stick ball, buck-buck, tag, hopscotch, red light/green light, chase the white horse, jump rope, kings, etc. We used to play hide and go seek in the Brooklyn Museum. There were plenty of neat places to hide. The person who was seeking could search for a long time before finding people. There were plenty of things to do. We always kept busy. Even more importantly, the games did not cost much. It only took 3 or 4 individuals to get a game together. Things have changed. Many of the games I mentioned would be foreign to most children today. One important difference is that many games are now formally organized. They occur by season. Soccer is replaced by baseball. Baseball is replaced by football. It takes adults to do the organizing. It takes adults to do the coaching. It takes adults to make up the schedules. A second difference is that the scheduling of games and practices results in relatively little physical activity in between those games and practices. A third difference is the cost entailed. I recently visited my granddaughter. She "auditioned" for a cheerleading squad. If accepted, the uniform cost would be over $500. The monthly fees would be $250. I spoke to a mother last year whose daughter played travel softball. The family picked up the expenses of the travel. The equipment costs were significant. Organized sports certainly have a place in a child's life. They teach teamwork. They teach sportsmanship. They teach the basics of the sport itself. However, we need to be careful about thinking this is the way for children to get enough exercise. We should expect our children to get at least one hour a day of exercise. On the days when organized sports are played, that happens. We need to ask ourselves what happens on the other days. Perhaps we can dust off some of the more physical games that we played in our youth. We can teach them to our children. They certainly have a lot more to offer than video games. They have a lot more to offer than watching DVD's. They have a lot more to offer than surfing the Internet and looking at My Space features. I am sure each parent has some of these games that they can teach their children. Perhaps the parents can get some exercise of their own in the process.

Wellness Community plans fourth annual golf tournament The fourth annual Wellness Community Golf Tournament will be held on Monday, June 9 at Kings Creek Country Club in Rehoboth Beach. Enjoy prizes, a continental breakfast and barbecue luncheon celebration. Golfers may register to play for $125 per person, including green fees and cart. The event begins at 7:30 a.m. with registration followed by a shot gun start at 9 a.m. There will be guaranteed prizes awarded for the longest drive, closest to pin and low score. The tournament closes with the first 100 paid registrants. The golf tournament helps raise public awareness about cancer. To be a sponsor or donate items for the raffle, contact Marcia Esposito at 302-645-9150 or For more information, visit

National Nursing Home Week National Nursing Home Week¨ begins on Mother's Day, May 11, and continues until May 18. Many nursing home residents are the people who planted the seeds that have made our community grow stronger. They have been the teachers, the business people, the parents and other central figures, whom produced all of the good things that we now enjoy. This week gives us a chance to honor these special residents, as well as the families, staff, volunteers, and community. This year's National Nursing Home Week¨ theme is "Love is Ageless." The Seaford Center Genesis Health Care will be holding a week of fun filled events. Each day will be a different theme such as Zoo day, Western day, Back to the 50s day, featuring our third annual Car Show, Beach day, and Sports day. This quality of life and fun-filled days are the motivating force behind the Seaford Center's quality long-term care.

Skin cancer screenings offered As the summer season approaches, Beebe Medical Center's Community Health Program, in conjunction with the Tunnell Cancer Center, reminds the community about the importance of preventing the most common cancer, that which affects the largest organ of the body - the skin. Beebe will offer free skin cancer screenings from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday, May 19, and Tuesday, May 20, at the Tunnell Cancer Center at the Beebe Health Campus, John J. Williams Highway, Rehoboth Beach. Beebe physicians volunteer to do the screenings by appointment only. To make an appointment, call Linda Roberts at 302-645-3100, ext. 2724.

Commission releases report The Child Death, Near Death & Stillbirth Commission ("CDNDSC") announces the release of the 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 Consolidated Annual report. The Commission's mission is to safeguard the health and safety of all children. The statistics and recommendations presented in this report are compiled from the cases reviewed by the child death panels, the abuse/neglect panel and the fetal infant mortality review ("FIMR") case review teams.Ê CDNDSC has drawn the following conclusions from five years of child death and near death reviews:
  • Delaware's infant mortality rate remains the sixth worst infant mortality rate in the nation.Ê
  • Forty-seven percent of all natural deaths reviewed were attributed to prematurity. Fifty-nine percent of all infant deaths were due to prematurity.
  • African Americans make up nineteen percent of Delaware's population. However, African American children disproportionately represent forty percent of all deaths CDNDSC reviewed.
  • Sixty-seven percent of all non-natural deaths reviewed can be attributed to motor vehicle crashes. This is an increase of nineteen percent from the period covered by the 2000-2002 annual report.
  • The adolescent drivers accounted for fifty-nine percent of deaths due to motor vehicle crashes.
  • Forty-one percent of all homicides involved teenagers. Ninety-one percent of these deaths involved use of a firearm.
  • Firearms were used in sixty-two percent of the adolescent suicides.
  • The risk factors that were most prevalent in SIDS/SUIDS cases were infants not sleeping in a crib, sleeping with other people and not sleeping on their backs.
  • The report may be accessed at

    Delaware Hospice expands staff With the Delaware Hospice Center now open and serving the community, additional staff members have been hired to provide care and comfort. Delaware Hospice proudly announces that the following individuals have been appointed to positions in the organization: Linda Barry, R.N., of Milton, as a registered nurse. Linda holds a nursing degree from Beebe School of Nursing and has experience in medical-surgical, intermediate care, home care, maternity and inpatient rehab. Monique R. Breton, R.N., of Milton, as a registered nurse. Monique has a nursing degree from Wilmington University and experience in critical care, inter-facility transport, trauma and correctional care, as a registered nurse. Herb Burbage, of Milford, as a cook at the Delaware Hospice Center. Herb has culinary experience from Westminster Village of Dover. Sharon Chranowski, R.N., of Lewes, as a registered nurse. Sharon's nursing degree was earned at Lankenau Hospital School of Nursing. She has diversified experience in hospital nursing, case management and as a hospital liaison. Kathleen M. Cummings, R.N., of Bethany Beach, as a registered nurse. Kathleen has a nursing degree from Del Tech Georgetown and experience at St. Francis in home care and hospice care. Michael Davis, of Millsboro, was hired as a cook for the Delaware Hospice Center. Michael has culinary experience in the U.S. Navy and training at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Teresa E. DeShields, C.N.A., of Millsboro, as a certified nursing assistant. Teresa earned her professional certification from Del Tech and has 25 years experience working in various nursing homes and private organizations and agencies. Sharon V. Donlin, of Seaford, as a medical secretary. Sharon has 17 years experience in secretarial and human resources for the New Jersey Transit in Newark, N.J., Woods Service in Langhorne, Pa. and several other organizations in the Seaford area. Becky Fleming, R.N., of Milford, as a registered nurse. Becky graduated with a nursing degree summa cum laude from Del Tech Terry Campus and has experience as a cardiac nurse at Christiana Hospital and Beebe Medical Center. Micaila Galon, C.N.A. of Ellendale, as a certified nursing assistant. Micaila has experience providing care for the elderly. Bill Gamuciello Jr., of Rehoboth, as a network analyst. Bill holds professional certifications as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Cisco Certified Network Associate, and has experience in systems network engineering and information technology security. Edey H. Gomez, R.N., of Greenwood, as a registered nurse. Edey has nursing experience in medical-surgical, cardiac orthopedics, surgical, and emergency room. Kelly L. Halliday, C.N.A. of Seaford, as a certified nursing assistant. Kelly has worked as a C.N.A. at Harbor Healthcare, Seaford Genesis, LifeCare and Lofland Park. Barbara Hartigan, R.N. of Millsboro, as a registered nurse. Barbara earned a nursing degree from Del Tech of Stanton, and has 30 years experience in the nursing profession. Brittany Elise Johnson, C.N.A. of Lincoln, as a certified nursing assistant. Brittany earned her C.N.A. certification from Polytech Adult Education. Susan Lewis, R.N., of Felton, as a registered nurse. Susan holds a nursing degree from Del Tech in Georgetown and has 40 years experience in nursing. Terry Mills of Milton as a dietary aide for the Delaware Hospice Center. Dr. Judith E. Pierson, of Rehoboth Beach, as bereavement counselor. Dr. Pierson is a licensed psychologist with a doctorate in counseling psychology from Boston University, and has experience with the Boston University Counseling Center and a private psychotherapy practice. Linda S. Potter of Frederica will serve as medical secretary for the Delaware Hospice Center. Carolyn D. Pruitt, D.Min., of Bridgeville as chaplain. Dr. Pruitt earned her doctorate of ministry from Claremont School of Theology; and was ordained as a clinical pastor with United Church of Christ. She has served as pastor in California, Arizona and Colorado. Patti Quinn, R.N. of Lewes, as a registered nurse. Patti graduated from Rhode Island College and has worked as a staff R.N. on various medical-surgical units in an acute care setting. Wanda S. Strickler, of Milford, will serve as an office assistant.

    Centenary hosts health screening Life Line Screening will be at Centenary United Methodist Church in Laurel on Friday, May 16 conducting stroke, vascular disease and heart rhythm screenings. Appointments will begin at 10 a.m. Recommended baseline screenings include stroke/carotid artery, atrial fibrillation, abdominal aortic aneurysm and peripheral arterial disease. The carotid artery screening uses ultrasound to identify blockages in the arteries in your neck, a leading cause of stroke. The atrial fibrillation screening checks for an irregular heart beat and the abdominal aortic aneurysm screening looks for a ballooning of the largest artery in the body. Screening for peripheral arterial disease checks for blockages in the arteries of the arms and legs, a condition that leaves the individual at four to five times higher risk of heart disease. Additional screenings can be added for a more comprehensive risk assessment and include C-reactive protein, a blood marker for vascular disease and diabetes; complete lipid panel including HDL/LDL and total cholesterol; glucose, a measure of blood sugar level which can determine your risk for diabetes; and an ultrasound screening for osteoporosis. Pick any four screenings for $140 and all eight screenings are $199. For more information, visit To schedule your screenings at Centenary United Methodist Church, call 877-754-9631. Pre-registration is required.

    Gift shop offers Mother's Day sale Don't forget that special person in your life on Mother's Day, which is Sunday, May 11. Shop the Mother's Day Sale at the Look-In Glass Shoppe in the lobby of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital on Thursday, May 9. All proceeds from the Look-In Glass Shoppe benefit Nanticoke Health Services.

    Alzheimer's offers courses The Alzheimer's Association Delaware Valley Chapter is offering professional training programs at the Georgetown office. These programs include CEU credit for social workers, nurses and nursing home administrators. Certificates of completion are also available. Courses include "Making Connections" on Tuesday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to noon (two credits); and "Understanding Wandering" on Friday, May 23 from 10 a.m. to noon (two credits). The cost of each session including CEU credit is $49 or a certificate of completion is $29 per registrant. Pre-registration is required by e-mailing Jamie Magee at or by calling 302-854-9788.

    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, occupational therapists at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, will facilitate the support group meetings. Pre-registration not required. For more information, call 629-6611, ext. 5121.

    Depression support group The Mental health Association in Delaware will be sponsoring a Depression Support Group in Laurel on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. The meetings begin at 7 p.m. The MHA encourages anyone dealing with a depressive disorder to attend. Register in advance by calling 1-800-287-6423. Peer support groups sponsored by Mental Health Association of Delaware are not intended to replace professional mental health treatment. MHA does not publish support group locations; locations are provided with registration.