Thursday, March 31, 2011
Will you leave a positive legacy?

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

Steven Covey, the author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," talks about the goals we should have as individuals. He lists them as: to live, to love, to learn and to leave a legacy." When we talk about legacy, most of us interpret that as something that goes into a will. However, that is not what Steven Covey has in mind. He is more concerned with the positive impact we have on those around us. We come in contact with many people during our lifetime. Some we influence in a very significant way and those individuals are our family members. Some we influence a little less significantly. That includes individuals that we work with, our neighbors and our social contacts. Still others we have much less influence upon. Those tend to be individuals that we contact infrequently. They may be people we do not contact at all. However, they may be influenced by those that we have influenced in other areas. In the Christmas movie "It's a Wonderful Life," the idea of legacy is laid out very well. Jimmy Stewart plays an individual that considers himself a failure. However, fate allows him to see all the things he accomplished in his lifetime. It allows him to see how much worse the world would be without that influence. That should lead each of us to ask ourselves what kind of a legacy we create during our lives. We should want that legacy to be a positive one. We should want that legacy to be carried on by our children. My father was the kind of individual that would give you the shirt off his back. Is it any wonder that I went out to become a doctor given that inspiration? My three daughters have all become teachers following that service to others model. They are a legacy to what he taught me. I was a commanding officer in the military for 9 years. I still get letters and e-mails from people who served with me. What I hope is that the positive things that they have had to say are things that they have passed on to others. Many of us tend to join community organizations which do a lot of good work for others in our community. In most cases, we do not know who we are specifically helping. However, there are people on the receiving end of our hard work. What these things all have in common is a positive attitude. We need to approach all of our dealings with others in this way. We should have a positive impact at every level of influence. That is one of the reasons that I write these articles. My hope is that the people who read them will use them in a positive way to help others. We all build on each other's legacy.

The Childhood obesity epidemic and what you can do about it

By Aguida Atkinson, MD

The percentage of overweight children in the United States is growing at an alarming rate. One out of three children is now considered overweight or obese. In our technology based society, children are spending less time being active and more time in front of the TV, computer or video game console. Today's demanding work and school schedules may also contribute to obesity. Families often turn to fast food because it's quick and available instead of preparing nutritious home cooked meals. A quick way to assess your child's weight in relation to peers of the same age and gender is by calculating their Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI uses height and weight measurements to estimate body fat. Your child's doctor is the best person to calculate and interpret BMI. But there are helpful BMI calculators online, including one on

Health problems Children who are overweight or obese may be at risk for a variety of health problems. These include: sleep apnea, asthma and other breathing problems, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, bone and joint problems, liver disease, high cholesterol, menstrual irregularities, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, bullying and discrimination. There is also evidence to suggest that obesity and early puberty, especially in girls, are linked. Overweight children tend to grow faster and enter puberty earlier. Results of a recent study show that obese teens are 16 times more likely to become severely obese in adulthood compared with teens who are normal weight or overweight. Children who maintain a healthy weight not only have less risk for obesity-related problems, but are more likely to avoid obesity later in life.

Living a healthy lifestyle Preventing children from becoming overweight requires living a healthy lifestyle rather than dieting. This means adapting the way your family eats and exercises, along with how you spend time together. Following 5-2-1-Almost None is a great way to start making healthier choices: 5: Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day - A great source of vitamins and minerals but more importantly fiber. Fiber fills you up and helps you digest food. At meal times, half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables. 2: Limit screen time to no more than 2 hours a day - That includes watching TV, using the computer (except for schoolwork), and playing with video devices. 1: Get at least 1 hour of physical activity every day - Regular physical activity burns calories, builds muscles, and gets the heart pumping. An hour a day is a good guideline to follow - not necessarily all at once, but at several intervals throughout the day. Almost None: Drink almost no sugary beverages - Make low-fat or nonfat milk and water the preferred drinks of choice. Other way to maintain a healthy weight: Portion control - A clenched fist is about a cup – and a cup is the amount experts recommend for a portion of pasta, rice, cereal, vegetables, and fruit. A meat portion should be about as big as your palm. And limit the amount of added fats (like butter, mayo, or salad dressing) to the size of the top of your thumb. Don't skip breakfast - Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism to help burn calories all day long! If you're worried that your child may be overweight, see your doctor to discuss eating and activity habits. And ask about ways to make positive changes that benefit the whole family. You can help by setting a good example. Let your children see you eating healthy foods in the appropriate serving sizes, enjoying treats in moderation and exercising regularly. Helping children adopt healthy lifestyles begins with parents who lead by example. For more information on healthy eating habits and risks related to obesity, visit

About the author Dr. Atkinson is a pediatrician with Nemours Pediatrics at St. Francis in Wilmington and Nemours Health and Prevention Services.

Alzheimer's Support Group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's next Alzheimer's Support Group meeting is Tuesday, April 12, at 1:30 p.m., at Life Care at Lofland Park's first floor Resident Lounge, 715 E. King St., Seaford. This group provides support and information about Alzheimer's and dementia to families, caregivers and anyone who is affected by this disease.Refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration is not required for this free support group. For more information, contact Life Care at Lofland Park at 628-3000, ext. 8302.

First Aid classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer community First Aid classes to anyone interested in learning first aid on Tuesday, April 12, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the Nanticoke Training Center located on Water Street in Seaford. Participants will learn basic first aid that will enable them to administer help during the first few moments until emergency responders arrive. Classes are open to participants 13-years-old and up. The course covers cognitive learning, role-playing and skill practice. Cost is $30. Payment and registration is required by no later than five business days prior to the class. Late registrations (if seating is available) will be an additional $5 fee. To register, or for more information, contact the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Training Center office at 629-6611, ext. 8919. Pre-registration is required.

Human Services directory The 16th Edition of the Directory of Human Services for Delaware is now available online, free of charge. The directory, published by the Division of State Service Centers, offers a comprehensive listing of the many human service programs available to you in Delaware. The 2011 edition expands on previous editions and includes more agencies, phone numbers and websites than ever before. Each entry provides a brief description of services, all relevant office addresses, contact information, as well as all of the areas an agency serves within the state. Service locations and areas identified pertain exclusively to Delaware, even though some agencies may also provide services outside the state. The directory can be found on the website for the Division of State Service Centers,

and on the main page for the Department of Health and Social Services,

Fifth flu death Delaware's Division of Public Health reports the fifth flu death statewide of the 2010-2011 flu season occurred March 13 of a 63-year-old woman from Kent County. The individual had underlying health conditions and had been hospitalized. Certain groups of people are at higher risk of complications from influenza, including people with chronic underlying health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and those who are immune suppressed. Stay informed about the latest developments on the flu by visiting

Healthy Brain workshop The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension along with its Sussex Mental Fitness partners invite the public to attend the "Brain Healthy Lifestyle: Feed Your Spirit" program on Thursday, April 28, from 1 to 5 p.m., at the Cordrey Center in Millsboro. The event is free, but pre-registration is required in order to plan for refreshments that will be provided. Register by calling 856-5618. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.for check in. Young, old, or in between, it is never too late to challenge our brain and allow it to work for us at peak capacity. Practicing a Healthy Brain Lifestyle not only enhances your overall health by promoting exercise and nutrition, it asks your brain to work in new ways which helps to prevent diseases that can manifest in our more mature years. Featured speakers include Brent Marsh, Attracting Song Birds & Other Wildlife using Native Plants; Dr. Kim Furtado, Effects of Stress on Memory; and Stan Raskin, LaughterÉRx for a Healthy Brain. The Cordrey Center is located on the grounds of East Coast Garden Center, 30366 Cordrey Rd., in Millsboro.

Bill works to protect seniors Attorney General Beau Biden and several lawmakers recently unveiled legislation to protect vulnerable Delawareans in treatment facilities and group homes from sexual assault. The bill, which the Department of Justice drafted, provides much-needed protection for the elderly and the disabled who depend upon others for their physical well being and care.This legislation makes clear that vulnerable adults - such as individuals with disabilities or the elderly - cannot consent to sexual crimes being committed against them. This legislation is similar to existing state law which provides that children younger than 12 years of age are presumed to be unable to provide consent.The legislation increases potential jail time from 8 to 15 years depending on the level of sexual contact involved or when the abuse, mistreatment or neglect results in serious physical injury to the patient. The legislation will be sponsored by Rep. Michael Barbieri, Rep. Melanie George and Rep. Rebecca Walker in the House and Sen. Bethany Hall-Long and Sen. Margaret Rose Henry in the Senate.

Stroke Support Group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's next Stroke Support Group meeting is Tuesday, April 19, at 1:30 p.m., at the Seaford Library. The support group is designed for individuals who have survived a stroke as well as their families and caregivers. The two-hour support group meetings will consist of guest speakers and breakaway sessions, in which caregivers and stroke survivors will meet in two groups to discuss concerns, provide support and allow for networking. Refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration is not required for this free support group. For more information, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital at 629-6611, ext. 8626.

Professional training offered The Alzheimer's Association Delaware Valley Chapter is offering regional professional training throughout Delaware. LifeCare at Lofland Park in Seaford will host two sessions, "ABC's of Dementia," in their education room on May 3. These sessions are certificate/non CEU programs and are open to any professional caregiver at a cost of $45 per person. The first will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon and includes a continental breakfast provided by Lifecare. The second is from 1 to 4:30 p.m., and includes an afternoon snack. For more information or to register, contact Jamie Magee at 854-9788 or email

EMT basic certification class Anyone wanting to enter the field of health care as an Emergency Medical Technician can start this spring with the Basic Certification course offered at Delaware Technical & Community College in Georgetown. The course consists of 120 classroom hours and 60 hours of practical sessions and hands-on learning. It will be held Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from May 2 to Aug. 22. The EMT-Basic Certificate Course represents the first response of the emergency medical system. Students will learn basic emergency skills to assess a patient's condition and manage respiratory, cardiac and trauma emergencies. Students are asked to be prepared to care for patients at the scene of an accident and transport patients by ambulance to the hospital under the direction of more highly trained medical personnel. Scheduling ambulance ride-along hours outside of regular class hours is required as are additional Saturday training sessions for course completion. A certification of completion is awarded to those who successfully complete the program and they will be eligible to sit for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam. The course is being taught by William Matthews, owner of Pre-Hospital Interventions (PHI). PHI is recognized as an Emergency Medical Educational entity by the State of Delaware Office of EMS and the Delaware State Fire Commission. For more information, contact Delaware Tech's Corporate & Community Programs at 854-6966.

'Lessons from the Light' workshop Delaware Hospice's Family Support Center will hold a professional workshop, "Lessons from the Light:the Transformative Impact of Near-Death & After-Death Experiences," on Friday, April 15, from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., at the Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford. Dr. Melvin Morse, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington, has studied near-death experiences in children for over 15 years and has authored several books on the subject. He is primarily interested in learning how to use the visions that surround death to heal grief. Admission is $75 for students, $99 for non-students, and is open to the public. For information or reservations, contact Vicki Costa, or 478-5707, ext. 1129. Seats are limited, so early registration is recommended.

Breast cancer support group Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) has expanded its Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey, a program for women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, by partnering with Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Seaford. The free, monthly program is offered at the Cancer Center located at 801 Middleford Road, Seaford, the third Thursday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. Of particular value to newly-diagnosed women is DBCC's Peer Mentor Program through which they are paired with a long-term survivor for one-on-one support. To learn more about Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.

Bereavement luncheons Delaware Hospice's "New Beginnings" bereavement luncheons are an informal way to meet and talk with others, who have had similar loss experiences. Lunch begins at noon and is followed by a brief program. The location rotates each week of the month according to this schedule:
  • 1st Thursday: Grottos Pizza, Rt. 26, Bethany Beach;
  • 2nd Thursday: Georgia House, 300 Delaware Ave., Laurel;
  • 3rd Thursday: Millsboro Pizza Palace, Rt. 113-southbound lane, Millsboro;
  • 4th Thursday: Blue Ocean Grill (formerly Milton House), 200 Broadkill Rd., Milton;
  • 5th Thursday (when applicable): Texas Grill (formerly Ocean Point Grill), 26089 Long Neck Rd., Millsboro. "New Beginnings" luncheons are open to the public. Registration is not required.There is no fee except the cost of your lunch.
For more information, call Carol Dobson or Paul Ganster at 856-7717.