Thursday, December 16, 2010
Children learn by examples set

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

One of the office tests that I do for learning disorders is ask children to spell the word "dog" backward. It is a two part question. One part is to see if they can do it; the other is to see if they recognize the word "god." Many children will have problems with the second part. They may say "jode" or "gode" or "jod." Parent's reactions to this are interesting. They know what the correct answer is. They do not realize that recognizing the word "god" out of context for a 7-year-old is difficult. This is especially true for parents who send their children to Sunday school. One of the observations I make every year at Christmas is the large number of people that attend church with their children. Many of them do not attend the rest of the year. These parents have expectations for the kind of moral behavior that they will receive from those children as they get older. As is the case with most childhood behavior, morality cannot be taught once a year by going to church at Christmastime. Morality is something that has to be taught on an ongoing basis. The way it is taught is by example. Children will do what they observe their parents doing. They are more likely to do what they see than to do what they are told. A parent that wants his/her child to attend church regularly must set that example. The same thing is true for other morally good behavior. The parent who drinks to excess can expect a child who sees little harm in drinking too much. The parent that has no regard for traffic rules will have a child with similar tendencies. The parent who sees it as a right to cheat on income taxes can expect to have a child do the same. The important thing to remember is that our behavior is on display to our children every single day. They watch and learn on a constant basis. There is a song from the play "South Pacific" entitled, "You have to be carefully taught." The song is about racial prejudice against the islanders of the Pacific. The words explain that children are not born with prejudice; it is taught to them. The same thing is true with all other moral values. That is an important lesson to remember as you attend church services this holiday season. One of the best Christmas gifts we can give our children is the gift of teaching them good moral values.

Flu activity on the rise in state

As we prepare for the holiday season, Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) reminds residents to ensure they are vaccinated against the flu. Though influenza activity has been sporadic this season, the state's influenza surveillance report has confirmed five cases of influenza for Nov. 28-Dec. 4 reporting week. Four residents in New Castle County and one in Sussex County tested positive for type A influenza by the Delaware Public Health Laboratory. This is an increase in incidence of flu cases compared to previous weeks. Influenza is unpredictable and these cases indicate that the season is far from over. Flu is normally prevalent after the holidays and often peaks in late February or early March. It is not too late to get vaccinated. "Although we have not seen a lot of flu yet in Delaware, other states have and it is only a matter of time before we do as well," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. "Therefore it is not too late to be vaccinated. Getting your flu shot now may help protect you during the holidays when you come in contact with more people such as at parties or in close quarters on a plane or train." This year's flu vaccine protects individuals from both seasonal flu strains and the H1N1 virus. Delawareans are also encouraged to prevent infection by taking simple everyday measures such as washing hands, using hand sanitizers, covering coughs and sneezes and staying at home when sick. These efforts help stop the spread of respiratory illnesses including flu. Residents who are not yet vaccinated are encouraged to take advantage of the ample supply of vaccines. Contact your health care provider about getting vaccinated or visit for flu clinic schedules and other flu information.

NHS welcomes Dr. Dilts Nanticoke Health Services welcomes Jack Dilts, DO, to the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center at Nanticoke Health Services, and to Nanticoke's Occupational Health Services. He is splitting his time between the two and is serving as the Occupational Health director and a panel physician of the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center. Dr. Dilts is certified in general surgery by the American Board of Osteopathic Surgery and is also Board Certified in Occupational Medicine. He graduated from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Mo. and completed his residency in general surgery at Normandy Osteopathic Hospital, St. Louis, Mo.Dr. Dilts earned a master's degree in public health with a concentration in occupational medicine from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wis. He comes to Nanticoke with extensive experience in medicine, including past director of Medical Education/Intern Training at Carson City Hospital, past president of the Central Michigan Association of

Osteopathic Physicians, past chairman of Carson City Hospital's Department of Surgery, and medical director of Occupational Health at Milford Memorial Hospital.

Free cancer support group The Wellness Community-Delaware offers a general cancer support group for people affected by cancer and their loved ones at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford. The ongoing monthly support group meets in the first floor resource library of the Cancer Care Center on the third Monday of each month. The next meeting takes place on Dec. 20, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The Wellness Community, an affiliate of the Cancer Support Community, is dedicated to helping people affected by cancer enhance their health and well-being through participation in a professional program of emotional support and hope. All facilitators are trained mental health professionals with a master's degree or more. Call 645-9150 for information or to register for this program. All support groups offered at The Wellness Community are free of charge. This program is made possible by the support of the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford. For more information, visit

Hospice offers support group Delaware Hospice's Bereavement Counselor, Carol Dobson, MSW, will lead an eight-week support group for adults on "Grieving the Loss of a Loved One," Jan. 19 through March 9, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., at Grace United Methodist Church, 7 S. King St., Georgetown. Any adult who would like to give and receive support from others experiencing a loss are invited to attend. Many people find that sharing reduces the loneliness and heartaches of grief.Topics discussed are what to expect when grieving, mistaken ideas about grieving, managing and coping with grief, family interactions, spiritual issues, how to handle special days and holidays and ways to find a renewed sense of purpose. There is no fee for this service which is provided as a community outreach by Delaware Hospice. Registration is requested by calling Carol Dobson, MSW, at 379-6069, or by emailing,

Wellness Center open to community Although not a resident, Bud Luzier joined the Manor House Wellness Center back in November 1998 just four months after opening day. At age 63 and almost 12 years later, Luzier still participates in not only the water fitness programs but also the strength class on land and plays water volleyball on a regular basis. He drives almost 30 minutes one-way to get to Manor House and can be seen five to six days a week participating and motivating other exercisers. Manor House is open to the public. For more information on classes or groups who want to rent the indoor pool, etc., contact Fitness Director Jonathan Souder at 629-4593.

Breast cancer support group Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) has expanded its Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey, a program for women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, by partnering with Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Seaford. The free, monthly program is offered at the Cancer Center located at 801 Middleford Road, Seaford, the third Thursday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. The program is facilitated by Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center professional staff - Terri A. Clifton, MS, NCC, Cancer Care coordinator; Mary Brown, RN, DSN, manager Cancer Care Center; and Wendy Polk, nutritionist - with assistance from Lois Wilkinson, DBCC special projects manager, who helps facilitate the program at Bayhealth. Of particular value to newly-diagnosed women is DBCC's Peer Mentor Program through which they are paired with a long-term survivor for one-on-one support. To learn more about Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.

Competition to improve school meals Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge to improve school meals and the health of children across the nation through the creation of exciting new recipes for inclusion on school lunch menus. The competition will draw on the talents of chefs, students, food service professionals, and parents or other community members working together to develop tasty, nutritious, kid-approved foods. There will be a grand prize chosen by the judging panel as well as a Popular Choice winner based on public voting. The judges will also choose award winners for the top two recipes in each category. Winning teams will be invited to prepare their nutrition-packed meals alongside White House chefs. The top ten recipes in each category will be published in a Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbook to share with students and families. To learn more about the First Lady's Let's Move! campaign, visit The deadline for recipe submissions is Dec. 30. For more information, visit