Thursday, October 16, 2014
Doctor's Perspective
Make a positive impact on those around you

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
Every year at Christmas the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" is shown on television. The basic plot is that we impact many lives as we live our own. The TV series "Bones" had a similar message recently. One of the main characters died. They made the point that the character had impacted all the others' lives in such a positive way that his influence remained alive through them. We sometimes need to ask ourselves whether we have a positive or negative impact on those around us. A few months ago, someone wrote to The Star about the impact I had on her 25 years ago when I became her commanding officer. Most of us never get any feedback like that. The people we impact the most are our family members. We need to recognize that fact. We know that not all of that interaction can be positive. However, there are multiple opportunities to make sure that we have a positive impact. It can be as simple as telling those around us that we love them. It can also be letting them know how much they are appreciated. Some relatives do not even talk to each other. They have had an argument over something minor and hold a grudge for years. Life is too short to lose much of it over minor issues. Now is the time to go back and mend those fences. If you have a relative that you are not speaking to, someone needs to take the first step. It might as well be you. We impact other people in many other ways. When you have a bad day, you may lash out at someone for no good reason. They are certainly not the reason for you to be having a bad day so you should not take it out on them. There are multiple opportunities for random acts of kindness. Recently, I was in Food Lion and only had one item. I was in line and the individual let me go ahead of him. He did not have to do that. We all need to look for opportunities like that. There are many ways to volunteer in the community. The individuals on the receiving end of those volunteer efforts will have better times because of your involvement. One of the questions we need to ask on a regular basis is "how did my last interaction impact the other individual?" If the answer is a positive one, then we need to continue with that kind of behavior. If the answer is a negative one, then we need to change in the future. Presentations like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Bones" can point these things out to us. However, it is up to us to take the actions which will have the kind of positive impact that affects those around us. If you have comments about this column or suggestions for other topics, send an email to Dr. Anthony Policastro at

Hospice plans Grief Workshop Delaware Hospice, the Milton Wellness Center and the Delaware Grief Awareness Consortium will present "A Grief Workshop and Labyrinth Walk," on Saturday, Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Milford Public Library. The Grief Workshop and Labyrinth Walk have been organized to commemorate Grief Awareness Week. Anyone coping with a loss or supporting a grieving family member or friend is welcome to attend this free event. Found in numerous cultures around the world for thousands of years, the labyrinth is a symbol for life's journey. This workshop will use the labyrinth as a gentle but powerful method to move us along in our journey of grief. For registration or more information, contact Midge DiNatale, Delaware Hospice bereavement counselor, at 302-300-2179 or, or Mary Van House, MS, Milton Wellness Center, at 302-542-8878 or

Sleep apnea support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford is hosting the A.W.A.K.E. - Alert, Well, and Keeping Energetic, sleep apnea support group. A.W.A.K.E. is a free support group for people with sleep problems including sleep apnea, insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, restless legs and narcolepsy. The support group also focuses on the impact medications may be having on your sleep. Family and friends are welcome to attend. Meetings will be held from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22 and Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the ground floor Nurse's Conference Room. There is no meeting in December. For more information, call the Sleep Disorders Center at 629-6611, ext. 3815.

Stroke support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's next Stroke Support Group meeting is at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at the Seaford Library. The two-hour meetings consist of guest speakers and breakaway sessions, in which caregivers and stroke survivors 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.

Sweet Serenity fundraiser In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to help the local community, Sweet Serenity Chocolates in Seaford has pledged to donate 10% of the store's proceeds for the month of October to Nanticoke Cancer Care Services. Money raised will be used to support Nanticoke Cancer Care Services patients undergoing radiation or medical oncology services. The cancer program at Nanticoke also helps patients through support groups, providing assistance with transportation when needed and helping patients navigate the health care system through its care coordinator. Sweet Serenity Chocolates is located at 1001 Norman Eskridge Highway, Seaford and can be reached by calling 628-8883 or visiting

Drive-thru flu clinic Peninsula Regional Medical Center's "Drive-Thru" Flu Clinic returns on Thursday, Oct. 16 and Friday, Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Arthur W. Perdue (Shorebirds) Stadium in Salisbury, Md. Vaccinations will be administered to individuals 13 or older. A donation of $10 per vaccination is requested.

New Hope Program fundraiser Children and teens who have lost a loved one need special care. Delaware Hospice recognized that need and established its New Hope Program in 1990 for that purpose. On Saturday, Nov. 8, Xi Sigma Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi will hold a Chinese Auction fundraiser to benefit Delaware Hospice's New Hope Program. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the auction begins at 7, at Lewes Presbyterian Church, 133 Kings Hwy., Lewes. Admission is $15 per person, and additional envelopes can be purchased for $5. This event is restricted to adults over the age of 18. For more information, call Dee at 302-231-8015 or Carol at 302-226-2908.