Thursday, June 25, 2015
Doctor's Perspective
How to determine your zone of control

By Dr. Anthony Policastro During my 20 years in the Air Force, I served in various positions. I started out as a full-time pediatrician. My decisions related primarily to my one-on-one encounters with my patients. I had some involvement in the rest of the hospital but not a lot. I moved to a larger hospital and had multiple positions during my eight years there. I continued to practice full-time pediatrics and I was the assistant chairperson of Pediatrics. I was the program director for an Air Force Internship for six years. I was also the director of Medical Education for the medical center. I was on the teaching staff of the military medical school. The amount of influence I had varied with each of those positions. For my last nine years, I served as the commanding officer of two Air Force hospitals. My decisions affected all the people who worked for me as well as all the patients we were caring for. The impact that I ultimately made had a lot to do with where the Air Force placed me. It was important to remember what things I could have a direct positive impact upon and what outside things I could help shape but not control. It was also important to know when I would just be spinning my wheels for things out of my control. It is no different for most of us. We all have certain things we can impact directly and other things in which we can just participate. What is more difficult is learning what those are. H. William Dettmer wrote a book called The Logical Thinking Process. In the book he talks about three different areas. The first area he titled Zone of Control, which is related to things that we have significant control over. For most of us, this includes our family and our jobs. Many of us are involved in other activities in which we have various amounts of control. We need to remember this. We need to exert our maximum efforts in these areas. This is where we can have the most positive impacts on those around us. The second area is what he calls the Sphere of Influence, which involves areas we come in contact with but do not really have control. We can certainly provide input and help push things in a positive direction but we do not get to make the final decision. Dettmer calls the third area the External Environment, which are things of which we have very limited contact. These are things that we cannot impact in any significant way and we just spin our wheels when we get all bent out of shape about them. We all have limits on our time. We have to use that time to our best advantage. My zone of control involves my family and being in my office taking care of patients. This is where I need to focus my time and energy. My sphere of influence involves primarily the local community. That is why I work with organizations like the Possum Point Players and the Knights of Columbus and contribute weekly to the Seaford Star. I feel this is time well spent. The external environment is much larger now than when I was a commanding officer. I acknowledge that and avoid wasting time on things that I cannot change. While it is important to support causes, the amount of time, effort and money doing so needs to be based upon reason. It might make us feel good to go off half cocked about something. However, we need to determine realistically if that is the best use of our energy to make a positive impact in today's world.

Healthy Homes Training Nemours, in partnership with the Laurel Library, the Town of Laurel, and the Seaford/Laurel Community Leadership Team invites the community to our Healthy Homes training event on Friday, June 26 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Laurel Library. This training event promotes the Healthy Home initiative by educating people on safe cleaning and integrated pest management techniques that help to reduce illnesses such as asthma and other breathing related conditions. The training also outlines products that are not only healthier, but also more affordable. Training is first come, first serve, as seating is limited. Free lunch will be provided, as well as a free healthy home cleaning kit. This is a starter kit with products like vinegar, Borax, Palmolive hand soap, Green Works all purpose cleaner, and others that clean just as well or even in most cases, better than the products that are bleach and ammonia based, and are less toxic for our health. This kit is valued at over $35 but it is given free to all who complete the training. Pre-registration is required to obtain the free cleaning supplies. Call 302-463-5031 to register.

Hospice 5K Run & Family Fun Walk The Delaware Hospice 5K Run & Family Fun Walk will be held on Wednesday, July 8. Registration is at 5:30 p.m. and the event starts at 6:30. The course is around the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford and through the neighboring area. Pre-registered participants will receive a t-shirt and attend a post event cookout. Medals for winners, door prizes and prizes for the most money raised will be given. Pre-register until July 6 for $20 per person. Day of registration is $25 per person. The family/team rate (group of four) is $70. For more information, visit or contact Peggy Dolby at 302-746-4666 for registration and sponsorship opportunities.

Nanticoke offers childbirth classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital is offering childbirth classes on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the hospital. The class will meet each Tuesday for a total of five weeks Ð four weeks related to childbirth education and the fifth week will be a breastfeeding class. Sessions include: July 7, 14, 21, 28, Aug. 4; Sept. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; Oct. 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10; Nov. 17, 24, Dec. 1, 8, 15. Maternity education classes are designed to offer information, counseling, support, and hands-on experience to help prepare for a new family member. They will cover pregnancy in general, information to prepare the expectant mother for labor and delivery, and will include a tour of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Mother Baby Care Unit. A refresher course is available for those who have previously taken childbirth classes. The refresher class covers breathing techniques, signs, symptoms, and stages of labor, birthing options, and a tour of the Mother Baby Care Unit. Cost of the childbirth course is $50, and cost for the refresher course is $25. Mothers are encouraged to bring their partner or support person for all courses. Advance registration is required. To register, or for more information, call 629-6611, ext. 2540. James receives excellence award Kathy James, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC & Palliative Care coordinator, received the 2015 Delaware End-of-Life Coalition (DEOLC) Excellence for Nursing Award. Kathy was nominated for her hard work with the palliative care program at Nanticoke Health Services. This award recognizes her for her tireless dedication to working with patients and their families struggling with serious, chronic illnesses and improving care for patients at the end-of-life. Kathy is an excellent APRN, notes Don Tricarico, vice-president of Clinical Operations. She meets with families and patients whom she is consulted for and spends as much time as necessary with them. She helps guide them through a very difficult time and is thorough and considerate of their wants, goals and desires. We could not have asked for a better person to lead our program.

Mammography Van in Greenwood On Wednesday, Aug. 12, the Delaware Division of Public Health's (DPH) Women's Mobile Health Screening (WMHS) van will be stationed outside the CHEER Activity Center in Greenwood to provide mammography screenings. DPH provides funding to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition (DBCC) to operate and staff the year-round efforts of the mammography van in partnership with Beebe Medical Center. Appointments for mammography screenings are available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Women need to obtain a prescription from their doctor and call the WMHS office to make an appointment, 1-888-672-9647. The WMHS van provides mobile mammography services to low income, uninsured, and underinsured women. Medicaid, Medicare, and most health insurance is accepted. WMHS staff can help women apply for Screening for Life, a program of DPH that pays for the cost of a mammogram for eligible women, or find another program that can help cover the cost of a mammogram. If you have a problem with your breasts, or have had breast cancer, you should not be screened on the van. The Delaware Cancer Consortium recommends screening annually beginning at age 40, depending on one's family history. For more information and to make an appointment, call 1-888-672-9647.

Safe Sitter Classes offered Nanticoke Health Services offers Safe Sitter classes for children ages 11-13, who are interested in learning child care essentials and safety. Classes are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 27, Saturday, July 11 and Monday, Oct. 12. The Safe Sitter course is designed to train teenagers how to be safe baby/child sitters. Components include infant/child development and care, safety, injury prevention, first aid, accident management, rescue breathing and choking management. Cost is $35 per student, which includes the class and all materials needed. Advance registration is required. To register or for more information, call 629-6611, ext. 2540.

New online service for Medicare cards The Social Security Administration has introduced the expansion of online services available through its my Social Security portal. Medicare beneficiaries can now obtain a replacement card if they have lost, damaged, or simply need to replace it online using a my Social Security account. Simply access your online my Social Security account at and select the Replacement Documents tab. Then select Mail my replacement Medicare card. After you request a card, it will arrive in the mail in approximately 30 days. For more information about my Social Security or to establish an account, visit