Thursday, December 17, 2015
Doctor's Perspective
Technology and selfies

By Dr. Anthony Policastro Ownership of cell phones among youth continues to grow. Many middle school students now own one. Unfortunately, they learn how to use them from their friends. Their parents often do not know how they are using their phones. A new report last month suggested that there is an entire new industry aimed at keeping parents in the dark. Taking selfies is a common practice. Taking sexy selfies and sending them to friends is known as sexting. Some parents are wise enough to check the pictures on their child's phone. If there are inappropriate photos, they will find them. However, technology tends to stay one step ahead. There are now phone apps that will help hide inappropriate pictures from parents. Once these pictures are sent to others, they can wind up anywhere. There are websites that specialize in photos of young girls. People can download photos to these sites. In doing research for this column, I found an article titled "7 Secret Apps to Hide Your Sexy Photos." One of them is called Private Photo Vault. It is available for iPhones and requires a pin number to access the site. Parents who want to view the site will need to know the password. They cannot view the site privately. If they try to do so, the phone will take their photo so the owner knows who was looking. There is also a feature that will show a different set of benign pictures if the wrong password is used. Gallery Lock Lite is available for android phones. It has an icon that is not visible on the phone without using a password. It also will take a photo of anyone trying to hack it and using the wrong password. Best Secret Folder is available for iPhones. It uses an icon titled "My Utilities." The icon looks harmless. Even if parents know about the icon, there is still a password needed to get into the app. Once again it takes a photo of intruders. Keep Safe is available for both Android and iPhone. It too uses password protection. It goes one step further by allowing different passwords for different albums in the folder. KYMS is available for iPhones. It has an icon that looks like a calculator. It has the ability to also download files from the Internet so more than just photos can be stored in it. Vaulty is available for Android phones. It adds the ability to include videos to the collection. It also allows for different passwords depending on the folder. PhotoVault is available for Android devices. It looks just like other photo sites. It contains regular photos which can be easily viewed, but then it has a hidden folder that is password protected to hide inappropriate photos. Technology tends to stay a step ahead of parents who are trying to do the right thing. I suspect that other apps to do the same things are already on their way. Parents need to trust their children. These apps violate that trust. That is the key point to be made. It is not an issue of hiding photos. It is an issue of trust. It should be an issue worth taking away the cell phone if one of these apps are on the phone.

Urgent need for blood donors Blood Bank of Delmarva is issuing an urgent call for blood donors. "The holiday season is challenging as many scheduled donors cancel their appointments and we find ourselves in critical need of blood to serve our hospitals and their patients. The need for O Negative blood, the universal blood type, is most urgent," said Michael Waite, director of marketing and community relations for Blood Bank of Delmarva. "We are also asking O Positive and A Positive donors to give us a call as soon as they're able. Additionally, we're urging platelet donors to come in soon and those who have appointments to please honor them. Platelets only have a shelf life of five days, so it is essential that we maintain an adequate supply as we move closer to the holidays," said Waite. Appointments are encouraged, but due to the current need, walk-in donors are welcome. To schedule an appointment, visit or call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8.

Diabetes education at Nanticoke Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will hold a four-session diabetes educational program, The Diabetes Connection, on Jan. 6, 13, 20, and 27 from 5-7 p.m. The cost of the program may be reimbursable by insurance. The four-session program includes weekly education sessions in a group setting. One family member or significant other is welcome to attend. Pre-registration is required prior to attending classes. To register and to obtain more information about the course, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Diabetes Education Department at 629-6611, ext. 2446.

Operation Christmas CHEER 2015 The CHEER Nutrition Program presents its annual Operation Christmas CHEER program. For almost 25 years CHEER kitchen staff has prepared a traditional roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings and volunteers have delivered the meal to area seniors on Christmas morning. Last year, over 80 volunteers delivered almost 300 meals. Baskets of non-perishable food items like meats, soup and dry goods are also prepared and delivered. Last year, 54 food baskets were delivered. Gift items are collected so that a wrapped gift is included with each meal. Pet food and toys are also collected because many seniors have pets. With each year, donations have grown to include items such as lap quilts and poinsettias.

If you or your organization would like to deliver meals on Christmas Day or donate wrapped gifts, non-perishable food items, pet food and pet toys for Operation Christmas CHEER 2015, contact Florence Mason at 856-5187. After Christmas, consider adopting a senior for a meal to be served anytime during the year with a one-time gift of $5; a gift of $100 will sponsor a meal every day for a month to a homebound senior; a gift of $300 will sponsor a meal every day for three months. To make your tax exempt donation, visit CHEER's website at or send a check to CHEER, Inc., 546 S. Bedford St., Georgetown, DE 19947.

Lymphedema Support Group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will host a lymphedema support group on Thursday, Dec. 17 from 1:30-3 p.m., at the Seaford Library and Cultural Center. This free support group is open to anyone affected by lymphedema including patients, caregivers, and relatives. Meetings will consist of a lecture by health care professionals and medical equipment providers followed by refreshments and an open question and answer session or discussion among participants. This month's meeting will focus on the topic "Pharmacy." Registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Robert Donati at 629-6224 or

Parkinson's Support Group Nanticoke Health Services, in conjunction with CHEER and Care DE and The Methodist Manor House, will hold a Parkinson's education and support group on Thursday, Dec. 17 from 9:30-11 a.m. at the Methodist Manor House in Seaford. This support group is free and open to the public. This group is helpful for the individual diagnosed with PD, caregivers, friends and family. Guest speakers present a variety of subjects related to PD and members support each other through small group discussions. Tara Trout, LPN, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, co-facilitates the group with Kathy Landis, Care Giver Resource coordinator at CHEER in Sussex County. For more information, contact Tara Trout at 629-6611, ext. 3838.

Weight Loss Seminars Nanticoke Physician Network General and Bariatric Surgery will host a free weight loss seminars on Saturday, Dec. 19 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. These seminars are designed to provide education to individuals considering weight loss surgery to help them make informed decisions on whether surgery is an appropriate option. The weight loss seminars will consist of presentations by Dr. Tarek Waked to inform individuals about the many benefits of weight loss surgery. Patients and their spouses, family members or friends are welcome to attend. Registration is not required. For more information about this seminar or about weight loss surgery, contact Shelly Geis at 629-6611, ext. 8810.

Bariatric Support Group Nanticoke Physician Network General & Bariatric Surgery will host a bariatric support group from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17, at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in the Medical Staff Conference Room. This free group is designed to provide education and support to patients before and after their bariatric weight loss surgery. Meetings will consist of guest speakers and presentations to provide useful information about nutrition, supplements, exercise and behavior modifications. Patients and their spouses, family members and friends are welcome to attend. Registration is not required. For more information, contact Shelly Geis at 629-6611, ext. 8810.

Jester, Short recognized Denise Jester, chief financial officer of Nanticoke Health Services, and Penny Short, RN, Nanticoke Health Services chief operating officer and chief nursing officer, have been recognized in the Women in Business issue of Delaware Today. They were recognized at the Delaware Today Women in Business Downstate Luncheon on Dec. 2. As CFO, Jester is responsible for the financial operations management of Nanticoke Health Services which includes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and the Nanticoke Physician Network. Jester is currently the only female CFO for a hospital in the State of Delaware. A Seaford native, Jester was born at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and considers the organization a part of her family as well as her history. Numerous members of her family and friends have worked at or are current employees of Nanticoke Health Services. Jester has been with Nanticoke for over 33 years, serving a majority of those years in finance. She was named CFO two and a half years ago. A Delaware native, Penny Short is a registered nurse and holds a bachelor of science in nursing from Wilmington University. She has been a part of the Nanticoke team for over 32 years and has served as a member of senior leadership for eight years. Short oversees daily operations of all hospital departments and provides strategic goals for nurses throughout the organization. She works to create a welcoming culture throughout the organization that creates positive patient experiences and relationships with staff, and ensures patient safety and clinical quality.