Thursday, December 21, 2006
Take time for some random acts of kindness

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

There is a Christmas song that has some interesting lyrics. They go: "It's not the things you do at Christmas time. It's the Christmas things you do all year through." One of the Christmas messages that I send every few years is related to doing random acts of kindness during the Christmas season. Those include sending Christmas cards to people you don't like. They include paying tolls for the drivers behind you. However, Christmas does not have a corner on the kindness market. We sometimes forget to pay attention to the needs of those around us the rest of the year. Many families celebrate Christmas with a big dinner. It allows for conversation. It allows for fun with the family. There is no reason that the same kind of fellowship should not be present the rest of the year. People are very generous to charities at Christmas. They give to the Salvation Army outside of stores. They give to the food bank. They give canned foods to their Church canned food drives. However, the people in need at Christmas remain in need the entire year. They are just as hungry after Christmas as they are at Christmas time itself. Kindness to others is important. It might be something as simple as letting someone cut in front of you in a traffic jam. It might be more complex than that. Kindness is done best when least expected. It is done well when done for someone who would not normally expect you to be the one to do that for him or her. We all need to take the time to look for opportunities like this every day of the year. In the movie "It's a Wonderful Life", the good things that George Bailey does for the people of Bedford Falls are woven throughout his life. He always put others before him. When he was in need, they came pouring out to help him. It just happened to be Christmas when that happened. One of the things we might ask ourselves is whether we would see our positive impact on others if our guardian angel showed us our life the way George Bailey got to see the impact of his life.

Dr. Anthony Policastro is medical director at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital.

Putting holiday stress in perspective this season
It's "the most wonderful time of year" as the song says, but most of us aren't feeling jolly 24/7. And that's perfectly normal. "People run into trouble when they have unrealistic expectations about the holiday season and think that everything is going to be perfect," says Dr. Pat Tanner Nelson, University of Delaware Cooperative Extension family and child development specialist. "They feel like something must be wrong with them when they feel stressed or down at what is supposed to be the happiest time of the year." Being with family members you don't regularly see can be a big challenge, says Nelson. Routines are disrupted, especially for those who spend holidays at a relative's house. Unresolved emotions, long hidden, may surface during the pressure of holiday visiting. "Family members who are pleasant via email or phone contact may be confronted with anger and old jealousies when interacting face to face," says Nelson. "Grown children may unconsciously compete for their parents' attention and affection."

Dr. Prest relocates to Laurel Family Medicine
Adebowale Prest, MD will soon join Tammy S. Cahall, CRNP, at the Peninsula Regional Primary Care Family Medicine office in Laurel. She replaces Dennis Glover, MD, who has left the practice. Dr. Prest has been a physician at Peninsula Regional's Family Medicine office in Berlin, Md. since August 2005. Dr. Prest, a specialist in Family Medicine, received her medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She completed a residency in Family Practice at Ghent in Norfolk, Va. and a fellowship in OB/GYN at Harrisburg Hospital in Harrisburg, Pa. Dr. Prest has also served on the medical staff at Cortland Memorial Hospital in Cortland, N.Y. where she was vice chairman of the Department of Family Medicine. She is board-certified by the American Board of Family Practice. The practice is currently accepting new patients. For an appointment, call 875-6550.

Delaware Healthy Living Expo planned
The Delaware Healthy Living Expo, featuring an array of speakers and workshops on issues of family, physical, spiritual, financial, emotional, and intellectual wellness, will be held at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington on March 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Headlining the workshop programs will be Lisa Whaley, founder and president of Life Work Synergy, LLC. Whaley, who is also an accomplished author, will present "Finding the Off Switch in an Always On World" to give insight to attendees on finding a harmonious balance between work and life. Four additional speakers will follow addressing healing, self-sabotage, positive attitudes, and exercise. The day also features several exhibitors, providing attendees with products, services and knowledge which support health, harmony and spiritual awareness and enhance overall quality of life issues. Admission to the Expo is $7. A special luncheon package is also available for $17. You may preregister online at For more information, visit or call 215-968-4593.

Easter Seals introduces Buy a Brick Campaign
Help "pave the way to independence" for people with disabilities by participating in Easter Seals' Buy a Brick Campaign. All bricks will help construct a patio at the Easter Seals Tunnell Center, located at 22317 DuPont Blvd. in Georgetown. This wheelchair-accessible patio, featuring the Easter Seals' lily design, will help people with disabilities enjoy the outdoors. "Purchasing a personalized brick is an affordable way to leave a lasting, positive impact on the community and help people with disabilities become more independent," said Randy Clour, vice president of development at Easter Seals. Those wishing to participate in the campaign can design and order their personalized bricks online at Bricks can be personalized to honor a family member, Easter Seals staff member or participant, or local business, and are tax-deductible. Bricks are $125 for a 4x8 inch brick with one to three lines of inscription, or $250 for an 8x8 inch square brick with one to six lines of inscription. For more information, contact Clour at 800-677-3800 or

Delaware Psychiatric Center gets new director
Susan Watson-Robinson has been selected as the new director for the Delaware Psychiatric Center (DPC). Watson-Robinson has been with the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) since 1999. "We are very pleased that Mrs. Watson-Robinson will be leading DPC," said Renata Henry, director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. "Using her management skills, Watson-Robinson has established a track record of solving difficult problems. I am confident that she will continue to be a great asset to DPC." Watson-Robinson replaces Dr. Martha Boston, who has been DPC director for the past two years. Dr. Boston is leaving to pursue a psychological forensic practice.