Thursday, February 12, 2009
By Anthony Policastro, M.D

I spent two years in England when I was in the Air Force. I was exposed to the British school system with my work in learning problems. I was there from 1984-1986. The British had an interesting and supportive educational system. By the time children reach the fifth grade, they learn two things. The first is that every adult job is important. They need train engineers. They need butchers. They need policemen. Therefore, when children grow up, they all play an important role regardless of what job they have. The second thing is that early on, some children will be going to university and others will not. There is really not a difference whether you go to university or take another job. The positive impact on self esteem of such a system is obvious. We have a little different attitude. We sometimes make children feel that everyone has to attend college. If everyone went to college and became an engineer, we would have a society full of engineers. That would result in no support services. That would result in no medical services. That would result in no law enforcement services. I recently had dinner at a Cracker Barrel. We were talking to our server. She told us: "I love my job". That is an attitude that we all should have. We need to remember that each of us has a variety of strengths and weaknesses. We will be very successful if we play to our strengths. The challenge for parents is to find what their child's strengths are. That is not always easy to do. I had a patient with a memory problem. She had trouble remembering reading vocabulary words. She had trouble remembering answers on exams. She was teased for this by her 6th grade classmates. I suggested that her parents find her a hobby that she could gain self esteem from. She wanted to do gymnastics. She happened to have a natural talent for gymnastics. In a short period of time, she became one of the top gymnasts in the state. The school would announce her successes over the weekend Monday morning on the school PA system. She became one of the popular children in the school because of that. One of the things I do in my office is explain the differences that we all possess. Each of us has multiple traits with average abilities. Each of us has a few traits that are very strong. Each of us has a few traits that are very weak. If the weak traits are not important in school, there are usually no learning issues. For example a child might be a poor singer. The same child might be a poor runner. In a normal classroom situation, that would be of little consequence. However, if I put that child in a school where the only subjects are chorus and track, they would do very poorly. A child with a memory problem will do poorly in school. However, he/she would succeed in areas in which they are strong. A child with a perception problem like dyslexia would do poorly in school. However, he/she would succeed in areas in which they are strong. We sometimes forget that prior to the 20th century most children did not complete school. There is a song from Fiddler on the Roof. The lyrics go something like: "At 4 I went to Hebrew school and at 10 I learned a trade." That was pretty typical in the past. It reflects that fact that a diverse society needs to have a variety of things that people can do. We cannot expect every child to be like every other. They are all born different. They all have different skills. They all have different talents. Our challenge as parents is to find those skills and talents. We then need to nurture them so that every child can realize his/her potential. This is one of the hardest jobs that parents face. Success and self-esteem go together. We need to make sure our children have both.

Peninsula Regional Oncology & Hematology opens at Nanticoke
Through its partnership with Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Md. to provide management and professional services at its Nanticoke Cancer Care Center, officials at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital announce the opening of the Peninsula Regional Oncology & Hematology office. James E. Martin, MD is now seeing patients in Seaford on Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays from 1 to 4 p.m. and on Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Dr. Martin will see patients and serve as medical director of the Nanticoke Cancer Care Center on an interim basis until a permanent medical oncologist is recruited in the community. Dr. Martin, a specialist in Hematology and Oncology, has been practicing Hematology and Medical Oncology at Peninsula Regional Medical Center since 1984. Dr. Martin received his medical degree from the University of Miami in Florida. He completed his internship at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Md., and he completed both a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Medical Oncology and Hematology there as well. Before joining Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Dr. Martin served as a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve and practiced in the Department of Internal Medicine at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla. The partnership with Peninsula Regional will enable the Nanticoke Cancer Care Center to become a full service cancer center. Services offered at the center include medical oncology and hematology, infusion, radiation therapy and support programs. Nanticoke Cancer Care Center patients will also have access to oncology research and clinical trials available at Peninsula Regional's Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute through its affiliations with the National Cancer Institute trials, pharmaceutical sponsored clinical research and collaboration with academic centers such as Johns Hopkins University. In addition, patients will benefit from specialty and sub-specialty care through the Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute's Centers of Excellence. Both organizations have also agreed to cooperate in the ongoing development and operation of a community-based cancer center in the Seaford area and expect additional cancer care services to be added in the future. For more information, call 302-629-6611 or visit The Nanticoke office of Peninsula Regional Oncology and Hematology may be reached at 302-628-6289.

Kindt earns certification Carolyn Kindt, a nurse at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, recently earned her Emergency Nursing Certification through the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN). BCEN is a benchmark for accurate testing and assessment of knowledge and critical thinking skills for emergency nursing, associated specialties and its subspecialties. She is also Advanced Cardiac Life Support Certified (ACLS) and has become a Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) instructor for the hospital.

Diabetes education offered Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will hold a four-session diabetes educational program beginning March 4 and continuing March 11, 18 and 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the hospital. Registration is required and the cost of the program may be reimbursable by insurance. The program includes weekly education sessions and individualized meal planning for diabetes self-management. Sessions include the following: week one - what is diabetes; week two - meal planning, eating out and reading labels; week three - glucose monitoring, sick day rules, traveling; and week four - medication, stress management and lifestyle changes. Family members and significant others are welcome to attend. To register and obtain more information, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Diabetes Education department at 302-629-6611, ext. 2446.

Bell earns certification Nanticoke Memorial Hospital employee, Ms. Melanie Bell, recently earned her Provider Credentialing Specialist Certification (CPCS) through the National Association of Medical Staff Services (NAMSS). The NAMSS certification program promotes industry standards and provides a means to verify professional knowledge in the field of medical services management and provider credentialing. At Nanticoke, Bell is responsible for maintaining compliance with regulatory and accrediting bodies and participating in the development and implementation of credentialing processes and procedures. She also collects and analyzes verification information for the hospital's medical staff.

Cancer Networking Support Group The Wellness Community of Delaware offers a "General Cancer Networking" support group the third Monday of each month from 4:30- 6:30 p.m. held at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Cancer Care Center second-floor library, Seaford. Professionally led cancer support programs offer hope, education, and emotional support for adults with cancer and their loved ones who want to fight for recovery and the quality of their lives. Learn how to feel less isolated and more in control. All programs offered through The Wellness Community of Delaware are free of charge to people affected by cancer. For further information, or to register, call 645-9150.

Cholesterol screenings Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will be offering cholesterol screenings on February 11 & 14 from 7:00 - 10:00 am at the Seaford Golf & Country Club, located at 1001 W. Locust Street, Seaford. The Lipid Profile test requires a 12-hour fasting and reads the HDL, LDL, and triglyceride blood levels. Cost for the Lipid Profile is $15. There is no need to pre-register. Results will be mailed within 3 weeks along with information to evaluate the results and follow-up if needed. In addition to cholesterol screenings, free blood pressure checks will be offered. There will be health information and interactive displays. For additional information, call 629-6611 extension 4536.

Hospice staff earn certification The National Board for Certification of Hospice & Palliative Nurses validates expertise and commitment to quality in hospice and palliative care by testing individuals within each specialty area. Certification, which is awarded in three categories, indicates a mastery of that body of knowledge and the responsibilities associated with that position. Delaware Hospice recognizes the following staff members who earned certification from the National Board in 2008: Certified Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistant (CHPNA): Kristan Brokenbrough, Ashanti Crisp, Erika Cruz, Michelle Davis, April Handy, Lisa Hartley, Brenda Heinrichs, Teresa Jones, Tiffany Mumford, Sandra Nelson, Samara Price, Kimberly Rayne, Sharon Souza, Natasha Taylor, Tina Tingle Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (CHPN): Betsy Bruemmer, RN, OCN, clinical preceptor; Sharon Chranowski, RN; Theresa Gibeck, LPN; Christina Knauer, RN; Donna Pritchett, RN; Rolonda Sutton, LPN; Marlene Tice, RN; Judi Tulak, RN, CHPN, associate director of Home Care. Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator (CHPCA): Mary Theresa McEntee, RN, CHPN, associate director of Referrals

CHEER plans healthy living expo On Tuesday, April 21 the CHEER Community Center in Georgetown will host a free Healthy Living Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Healthy Living Expo, which is open to the public, has room for more vendors to set up a table at the expo. The fee is $75 or $50 if you offer a health screening. For registration or more information, call 302-854-9500.

PRMC first to use Powerlink XL Peninsula Regional Medical Center is the first hospital on the Eastern Shore of Maryland to implant the Endologix Powerlink XL, a newly FDA-approved, minimally invasive device for the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). It allows vascular surgeons to treat more patients with an endovascular approach versus an open surgery, and also prevents transfer elsewhere for the implantation of a non-FDA approved device. The procedure was recently performed in the Medical Center's Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute by vascular surgeon James Scanlon, MD, who repaired a 89-year-old patient's abdominal aortic aneurysm. The Powerlink XL is a stent graft used for AAA repair that is particularly beneficial for those patients with larger sized aortas who may not qualify using other available devices. An AAA is a weakening in the wall of the abdominal aorta, which results in a balloon-like enlargement. About 1.7 million Americans have AAA, and the incidence of this condition increases with age. An enlarged AAA leaves the aorta vulnerable to rupture, which can lead to internal bleeding and death in most cases. Ruptured AAAs are the 13th leading cause of death in the United States.