By Dr. Anthony Policastro
When I was in the hospital, I had a lot of time on my hands. I decided to read Uncle Toms Cabin for the first time. Harriet Beecher Stowe chose to write her story using stereotypes of the types of individuals that were involved with slavery.
Most of the characters came off looking pretty poorly. The abolitionists were depicted as all talk and no action. The kindly slaveowners were taken to task for not standing up to those who were evil. About the only ones who came off looking good were the people who ran the Underground Railroad to help slaves get to freedom and Uncle Tom himself.
As I read the book, I realized that many of the types of individuals portrayed in the story still exist today. We had to desegregate schools 100 years after Uncle Toms Cabin was written.
Now 60 years after that, we have a white supremacist walk into a church and murder a group of individuals just because of their race.
Our nations culture has changed in that 160 year period. However, many individuals have not changed with it.
Subsequent discussions have focused on things like the Confederate flag. Some individuals consider it a racist symbol. For the true racists, that is probably the case. There are others who are racist at heart but try to come up with excuses for saying that they honor the flag for other reasons. Still others have non-racist feelings about the flag. However, none of that changes those who are racist.
There have been discussions about gun control. However, gun supporters will not be moved. Gun control advocates will not change their minds about guns. Discussions about gun control will not change those who are racist.
It has been almost 100 years since women were granted the right to vote. Our culture has changed significantly in that period of time. While there are still issues like unequal pay, as a society, we have come a long way in that 100 years. Society is in the process of changing the culture in other areas as well.
However, our culture has clearly not removed the underpinnings of racism. President Obama was criticized for making a point in a recent interview. He used a racial slur to indicate that language like that is only a symptom of racism. His point was that racism goes much deeper.
It is about the attitudes that people have. It is about their feelings. It is about their beliefs. It is about the way they treat others. We all have a role in changing our culture. Hopefully it will not take another 160 years to do so.
Mammography Van in Greenwood
On Wednesday, Aug. 12, the Delaware Division of Public Healths (DPH) Womens 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 ones family history. For more information and to make an appointment, call 1-888-672-9647.
Blood drive set for July 24
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will host a Blood Drive for the Blood Bank of Delmarva on Friday, July 24, in the Medical Staff Conference Room at the hospital from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To make an appointment, visit www.DelmarvaBlood.org or call 1-888-825-6638. Autism Delaware plans Blue Jean Ball
Tickets are available and sponsors are needed for Autism Delawares 2015 Blue Jean Ball. The annual fundraiser takes place on Saturday, Sept. 26, from 6-11 p.m. at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center.
With blue jeans and bling as the evenings dress code, as many as 300 participants will bid on sports memorabilia, jewelry, and art while enjoying live music by Love Seed Mama Jump and specialty cocktails, beer, wine, and hors doeuvres by prominent local restaurants.
Tickets are $85 per person if purchased by Sept. 11; from Sept. 12 until sold out, tickets are $100 per person.
Proceeds benefit Autism Delawares statewide programs and services, including Productive Opportunities for Work & Recreation (POW&R), the nationally recognized program that supports adult employment for Delawares autism community.
Presenting sponsor is the Hertrich Family of Automobile Dealerships.
For more information about the Blue Jean Ball, tickets, and sponsorships, visit autismdelaware.org.
Easter Seals plans kick-off event
Join Easter Seals at the kick-off event of the third annual Walk With Me Delmarva 2015 on Thursday, July 23 from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at Easter Seals Tunnell Center, 22317 DuPont Blvd., Georgetown. Enjoy food from Grotto Pizza, desserts and giveaways while learning more about how Walk With Me Delmarva raises critically needed funds to help people with disabilities in your local community. Everyone is welcome. RSVP to Linda Forte at 302-253-1100, ext. 1121 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Meet 2015 Walk With Me Ambassadors, Diane, Ed and Luz and learn how Easter Seals has impacted their lives. Registration is open for Walk With Me Delmarva 2015, which will be held on Sunday, Oct. 18 at Baywood Greens, Long Neck. Visit www.walkwithme.org/delmarva to register or donate to the event.
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 four weeks related to childbirth education and the fifth week will be a breastfeeding class.
Sessions include: July 21 and 28.
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 Hospitals 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.
Diabetes education program
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, Seaford, will hold a four-session diabetes education program on July 29, Aug. 5, 12, from 5-7 p.m., at the hospital. Registration is required. The cost of the four-session program may be reimbursable by insurance.
This four-session program includes weekly education sessions and individualized meal planning for diabetes self-management. Family members/significant others are welcome to attend.
Pre-registration is required. To register and for more information about the course, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospitals Diabetes Education department at 629-6611, ext. 2446