Thursday, September 20, 2007
Hearing makes good sense

By Anthony Policastro, M.D

People with deafness have many problems. One of those is being aware of potentially dangerous situations around them. They can see danger. They cannot always hear danger. It is interesting that some individuals intentionally take away their ability to sense danger. For example, we use all of our sense when driving. Driving is probably one of the most dangerous things we do. It causes more deaths in young adults than anything else. However, it is not unusual to see people driving with loud music. The music is so loud that they cannot possibly hear what is going on around them. The rule is simple. You should be able to hear what someone is saying to you when they are four feet away or closer without them having to raise their voice. If you cannot do that, then the music is too loud. A similar situation is seen with people who are walking or jogging along the road. In order to help pass the time, they listen to music. With the advent of MP3's and iPods, this is very easy to do. However, awareness of sounds is important in this situation as well. Traffic can be heard much earlier without these devices. If someone is jogging around a track, this is not really a problem. If they are on a treadmill, the same thing is true. However, if they are running along country roads, there needs to be full attention paid to what is going on around them. The roads are not very wide. There are not usually shoulders on the road. There are many blind curves in the road. It is the same as any other activity. You have to assess the dangers before you get involved. You should wear your seat belt in a car. You should wear a helmet on bicycles or motorcycles. You should have full hearing when on the road. That is true whether you are in a car or whether you are on foot on the side of the road. Accidents that can be foreseen are the ones that can be prevented. You now have the opportunity to take steps to prevent at least those accidents that are due to limitations in hearing sounds.

Mental Health Association announces two Depression Support Groups
The Mental Health Association in Delaware announces the start of two new depression support groups in Southern Delaware. The first will take place on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Lewes. Another group is starting in Laurel and will be held on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. While support groups are not intended to take the place of professional mental health services, they can serve as a beneficial complement to the services. They enable the individuals attending to discuss the impact depression or bipolar disorder may have on their lives with other individuals who have similar experiences. The groups are confidential and safe. Individuals interested in participating in these or any of the other support groups offered are encouraged to call the Mental Health Association in Delaware for more information and registration. From Kent or Sussex Counties the number is 1-800-287-6423. From other areas the Mental Health Association in Delaware can be reached at (302) 654-6833.

Cancer Workshop
The Wellness Community-Delaware will host a free workshop for people affected by cancer entitled, Frankly Speaking About New Discoveries in Cancer. The program will explore new discoveries in cancer treatment, side-effect management and psychosocial aspects of the illness. The workshop will take place on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 1 - 3:30 p.m. in the Tunnell Cancer Center Conference Room located on the ground floor of the Medical Arts Building on the Beebe Health Campus, Rt. 24. Michael Pishvaian, MD, from the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University will present the most current information on advanced and innovative treatments available for people living with cancer. Danielle Brown, MSW, from Christiana Care Helen F. Graham Cancer Center will share new discoveries about emotional support and stress management. Advance registration is preferred, but walk-in attendees are welcome. All participants will receive a copy of the comprehensive Frankly Speaking About New Discoveries in Cancer kit. A light snack will be provided. To register, call 302-645-9150.

Heart Walk
Trinity Transport Inc. and Nemours Health & Prevention Services are proud to be partnering with the American Heart Association's Start! Campaign, a physical activity program to fight heart disease and stroke by getting people moving through workplace working programs. Participating in this program can significantly improve your health. We ask that you join us in the American Heart Association's Annual Sussex County Start! Heart Walk to show your commitment and support for this amazing cause. The 5K (3.1 miles) walk will raise money for research opportunities as well as education and awareness resources. The American Heart Association goal for this event is 1,000 walkers, so get a group together and register today. You can register online and find more information at or call 856-7386. Contact Nemours at 302-444-9173 with any questions and take charge of your health. The event will be Oct. 6, at Delaware Technical Community College, registration is at 9 a.m.

Prostate cancer test at NMH
Nanticoke Health Services will provide PSA screenings on Friday, September 21. The blood tests will be offered at the Nanticoke's Cancer Care Center, 1st Floor, adjacent to the Hospital from 8:00 a.m. till 5 p.m. The fee for the test will be $5. Results will be mailed approximately two weeks after the event. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital encourages men over the age of 50 to take advantage of this service. If you are 40 years old and at high risk of developing this cancer you are also encouraged to participate. African-American men are at high risk for developing prostate cancer, as are men who have a family history of the disease. For additional information on the PSA screening contact the Cancer Care Center at 629-6611, extension 3765.

Basket Bingo
Nanticoke Health Services will hold a Longaberger Basket Bingo on Thursday, Sept. 27, starting at 7 p.m. at the Seaford Moose, located on Rt. 13A in Seaford. Proceeds from the event will benefit the American Heart Association Heart Walk 2007. The evening will consist of 20 games and will feature several baskets including the Horizon of Hope sets, Medium Market, American Craft Woodland basket and several regular line baskets as prizes. Advance tickets are $20 per person, $25 at the door. Advance ticket includes a chance to win the Large Hamper and the 10" American Work basket, or one of the several door prizes. Nearly 30 chances to win. Refreshments will be available. For ticket information contact the EAC at 629-6611, ext. 2404, or

Health-related courses/workshop
Health care professionals can enhance their skills through courses and workshops offered this fall at Delaware Technical & Community College in Georgetown. "Advanced Stethoscope Skills: Heart, Breath & Abdominal Sounds" is an intensive one-day workshop that provides participants with a review of pertinent anatomy and physiology. Participants will also use audio visual aids to identify normal and abnormal ausculatory findings and be provided with free periods for practice of skills. The workshop, planned for Sept. 21, develops confidence to do a thorough assessment of heart sounds, breath sounds, and abdominal sounds in the patient. "Enhancing Motivation for Change in Substance Abuse Treatment" will link research to practice by providing clear applications of motivational approaches in clinical practice and treatment programs. These approaches may be particularly beneficial to populations who are often seen as having a low motivation for change. Classes begin on Thursday, Sept. 27, and will run in the evenings through Dec. 6. For more information on these offerings, call the Corporate and Community Programs division at 302-854-6966.

Recovery program
Celebrate Recovery will meet on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. starting Sept. 18 at St. John's United Methodist Church located at Poplar and Pine Sts. in Seaford. Celebrate Recovery is a purpose driven twelve-step program for help in healing destructive habits, hurts, and hang-ups. This program is available to adults at no cost, although donations are welcome. The purpose of the program is to celebrate God's healing power in our lives through eight Bible-based recovery principles in twelve Christ-centered steps. By working the Christ-centered steps and applying the biblical principles, spiritual growth begins. We can become free from our addictive, compulsive and dysfunctional behaviors. This freedom creates peace, serenity, joy and, most importantly, a stronger personal relationship with God and others. For more information, visit or contact Robert Spadaccini at 302-841-1720 or Rev Constance Hastings at St John's U.M.C. at 302-629-9466, ext. 121.

Nanticoke announces winners
Nanticoke Health Services has announced the recipients of the 3rd annual Nanticoke Tributes for Healthcare Leadership, which honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the provision and improvement of healthcare in the communities of western Sussex County. The awards will be presented at a dinner and reception on Nov. 1 from 6-9 p.m. at Heritage Shores in Bridgeville. The Founders Award will be presented to J. Leland Fox, MD. who is being honored for the instrumental role he played in the founding of the hospital. As a practicing physician, he identified the need for a hospital to serve the people of western Sussex County. This award will be presented posthumously to his family. The Charles C. Allen, Jr. Philanthropy Award is being awarded to Charles C. Allen, III. Charles "Chick" Allen has been an important part of Nanticoke in a variety of roles. He has led capital campaigns, served on the Board of Trustees, and been a strong advocate for Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in the community. He has been generous with both his time, talent and resources for decades. The Nanticoke Tributes will also recognize the two new inductees into the Nanticoke Physicians Hall of Fame. This award recognizes and honors physicians who have served their communities with dedication and distinction. This year, Daniel A. Alvarez, MD and William B. Cooper, MD will be presented with the Hall of Fame Award. These awards will be presented posthumously to their families. Tickets for the dinner are $100 and may be purchased by calling 302-629-6611, ext. 2404.

Stroke support group at NMH
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer free monthly Stroke Support Group meetings designed for individuals who have survived a stroke and their families and caregivers. Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at Nanticoke Cancer Care Center, from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. The meetings will consist of guest speakers and breakaway sessions, in which caregivers and survivors will meet in two groups to discuss concerns, provide support and networking. Refreshments will be provided. Sheila Brant and Joan Burditt, cccupational therapists at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, will facilitate the support group meetings. Pre-registration is not required. For more information, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital at 302-629-6611, ext. 5121.

Learn pediatric first aid at Del Tech
Parents, teachers, coaches, and day care providers can increase their caregiving and safety skills with a course in pediatric first aid at Delaware Technical & Community College, Owens Campus. Pediatric First Aid covers managing pediatric emergencies including convulsions, burns, insect bites, poisoning, drowning, fractures, and sprains. The two-session course is approved by the Office of Child Care Licensing. Participants must attend both sessions to receive a three-year course completion certificate. For information on course dates, times, and fees, and/or to register, call Corporate and Community Programs at 855-5988.