Thursday, August 11, 2011
Overcoming challenges positively

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

Everybody has good days and bad days. Everybody makes good decisions and bad decisions. The difference between someone who is successful and someone who is not is how we approach these kinds of things. There are some people who view obstacles as a challenge to overcome. They face that challenge willingly and do what they can to overcome it. There are others who view all obstacles as overwhelming. They take an alternate path rather than face the challenge. The first group of individuals is usually more successful. When I was a commanding officer in the military, I had a philosophy I used that I called my C-9 philosophy. It consisted of 9 characteristics we needed to have to be successful as an organization. They were Commitment, Confidence, Competence, Congeniality, Compassion, Communication, Cooperation, Compromise and Camaraderie. My approach to Confidence was that you had to take every challenge as an opportunity. If you faced a challenge and did not try, you were guaranteed to not over come it. If, however, you gave it your best shot, there was no telling what you could accomplish. In 1989, I became the Commanding Officer of the Langley Air Force Base Hospital. Part of our mission was to have a 50 bed Air Transportable Hospital (ATH). That hospital was complete with operating room, X-ray unit and lab. Every year we had to do an inventory. The inventory was usually done by 24 individuals over a six week period. Some of those individuals were assigned to go with the hospital if we ever had to deploy it. I had 147 individuals assigned to the ATH. I had 750 people who worked for me so about 20% of the people in the hospital were assigned to the ATH. I felt it was illogical that the majority of the people assigned to the ATH never even saw what was in it. In order to fix that, I made the decision that the April 1990 inventory would be done by all 147 individuals. It would allow us to do it in two weeks instead of six. The decision was not a popular one. Everyone pointed out to me that we could not run the hospital with 147 people gone. I responded that we would not know if we did not try. I had noted that at any point in time 10-15% of the hospital personnel were on vacation. So if we did not have any vacations for that two week period, there would only be a relatively few more people gone. We proceeded with the inventory. The hospital ran fine and the inventory went well. Everyone assigned to the ATH knew what equipment we had. Four months later, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. The ATH was sent to the Middle East and we instantly lost 147 people. However, we knew we could run the hospital without them because we had already done it four months earlier. The ATH was the first one set up in the Middle East because the people assigned knew what they were doing. All of that would not have happened if we did not try in the first place. I recently saw two movies. Both were about women who faced a challenge and in both cases the challenges looked overwhelming. They both felt that they were not going to be stopped by that. One of the movies was called "Magic and Beyond" (currently available in the free movies section of Comcast on Demand). It was the story of J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series. The other was the movie Secretariat, the story of Secretariat's owner Penny Tweedy. Both movies offer an opportunity for mothers to watch and discuss them with their teenage daughters. They offer a great chance for a parenting moment. They offer a look at facing challenges no matter how overwhelming they seem and what happens when you believe that you can overcome any challenge.

Free prostate cancer screenings Bayhealth Medical Center will offer prostate cancer screenings free to those who qualify during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September. These screenings are part of Bayhealth's continuing efforts to educate the community and help people identify cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage. Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer deaths for men according to the American Cancer Society. Annual screenings are recommended if you're a man over the age of 50, or over the age of 40 with a family history of prostate cancer in a close relative diagnosed before age 65. African-American men are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer and should begin screenings at the age of 40. The Bayhealth Cancer Institute is providing prostate cancer screenings which consist of a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test, and a digital rectal exam (DRE). The screenings are free to those who qualify but pre-registration is required no later than one week before the screening. For any questions, and to register, call 430-5064 or 744-6752. In Milford, screenings will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, at Bayhealth Cancer Center located at 21 W. Clarke Ave.

Hospice begins 'Coffee Break' series Delaware Hospice's Family Support Center will begin holding a monthly Coffee Break Series of inspirational life stories. The first session will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 24, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., at the Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford. Guest speaker, Darryl Duke will speak on the topic of addictions, "Do I Sound Like an Alcoholic to You?" Darryl Duke has counseled alcoholics, addicts and troubled teenagers for several years and has authored a self-improvement book, "Why I Pray in the Shower:A Journey from Fear to Belief in Myself." There is no fee; however, registration is required. The Coffee Break Series will be held on the 4th Wednesday of each month, where members of the community will tell their inspiring life stories of experience, strength or hope. Each month will be a different topic and Hospice will provide community resources surrounding that topic. Register or learn more about the Coffee Break Series or other Family Support Center activities by contacting Vicki Costa, associate director of the Family Support Center, at 856-7717, ext. 1129, or

Rose elected board president Steven A. Rose, president and CEO of Nanticoke Health Services, Seaford, has been elected president of the Board of the Southern Delaware Heart & Stroke Association for a two-year term which began in July. "The board's focus this year will be on several key priorities including reducing smoking, improving cardiovascular care, educating women about heart disease, childhood obesity, empowering African-Americans and Hispanics to reduce their increased incidence of stroke, and raising funds for research and education efforts," stated Rose. "As president of the board, I hope to have a positive impact on lowering heart disease and stroke related illness throughout Delaware."

Dr. Joshi joins Nanticoke Nanticoke Health Services welcomes Madan Joshi, MD to the Nanticoke Physician Network. Dr. Joshi specializes in pulmonary and critical care and is accepting new patients at his office located at 23094 Atlanta Road, Seaford. The practice will provide services for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)/emphysema, asthma, sarcoidosis, pulmonary vascular diseases, pulmonary hypertension, occupational and environmental lung diseases, interstitial lung diseases (ILD), alfa one anti trypsin deficiency and cystic fibrosis. Dr. Joshi completed his internal medicine residency at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y. and completed his fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. He is board certified in internal medicine and pulmonary disease. Dr. Joshi is also a member of the American Thoracic Society, the American College of Chest Physicians, and the American College of Physicians. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Joshi, call 629-5766.

Nanticoke creates new positions To further help with the vision and leadership of the Nanticoke Physician Network and the improvement of patient outcomes, the Board of Directors for Nanticoke Health Services has announced a new president for Nanticoke Physician Network and a new medical director for Nanticoke Physician Network, effective July 1. The role of president has been created to provide the leadership and vision for the development of the Nanticoke Physician Network to be better able to meet the needs of this community. The role of medical director has been created to provide the leadership and oversight of medical services provided by the Nanticoke Physician Network and to ensure the highest level of quality and service throughout the network. Thomas E. Brown has been appointed president of Nanticoke Physician Network. Brown will also continue to hold his current title of senior vice president of Nanticoke Health Services. Brown's experience includes having served as Nanticoke Health Services' vice president, corporate development for seven years and Nanticoke Health Services' senior vice president for the past three years. Serving as medical director for Nanticoke Physician Network is Harry Anthony Jr., MD.Dr. Anthony is board certified in family practice and has practiced at the Georgetown Medical Center in Georgetown, for the past 12 years. Dr. Anthony is a member of the American Association of Family Practitioners and served as president of Nanticoke Health Services' medical staff for 2 years. Dr. Anthony will also continue to practice at the Georgetown Medical Center. Nanticoke Physician Network is a group of physicians employed by Nanticoke Health Services. These physicians include primary care physicians like family practice and internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatric physicians. Physicians also include several specialties such as gastroenterology, general surgery, nephrology and pulmonology/critical care physicians. As of July 1, Nanticoke Physician Network also includes a Board of Directors and a Physician Advisory Council.

Bereavement luncheons Delaware Hospice's "New Beginnings" bereavement luncheons are an informal way to meet and talk with others, who have had similar loss experiences. Lunch begins at noon and is followed by a brief program. The location rotates each week of the month according to this schedule:
  • 1st Thursday: Grottos Pizza, Rt. 26, Bethany Beach;
  • 2nd Thursday: Georgia House, 300 Delaware Ave., Laurel;
  • 3rd Thursday: Millsboro Pizza Palace, Rt. 113-southbound lane, Millsboro;
  • 4th Thursday: Blue Ocean Grill (formerly Milton House), 200 Broadkill Rd., Milton;
  • 5th Thursday (when applicable): Texas Grill (formerly Ocean Point Grill), 26089 Long Neck Rd., Millsboro.
"New Beginnings" luncheons are open to the public. Registration is not required.There is no fee except the cost of your lunch. For more information, call Carol Dobson or Paul Ganster at 856-7717.

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. 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.