Thursday, July 11, 2013
Selecting the best higher education

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
Most parents want the best for their children educationally. They want the best school district. They want the best school. They want the best teachers. That is a good plan. However, the costs are often different between schools. Up through 12th grade, the costs of a "good school" can be expensive. Once a child gets to college the costs are much higher. A recent report showed that today's college graduates owe over $1 trillion in college loans. That will take many students years to pay off. When I went to college, I was very conscious of the cost of doing so. I lived in New York City. I decided to commute daily to college instead of paying room and board. That cost me 60 cents a day on the subway. I also planned on going to City College of New York if I did not get scholarship money from a private college. City College was free to residents of the city at the time. As it turned out Manhattan College gave me a full academic scholarship so I went there. I graduated college with no student loans. When I went to medical school, I again chose to commute. I also chose a New York State medical school with very cheap tuition. I graduated with $3,750 in loans. It really did not matter where I went to college. I would probably have gotten into the same medical school. It really didn't matter where I went to medical school. I would probably have gotten the same pediatric residency. Recent studies have shown little differences in the long run as to what college an individual attends. A late 1990s study from Princeton showed that 20 years after college graduation, pay scales were no different for graduates. The only significant factor in earning potential was high school class rank. Thus the student who worked hard in high school tended to work hard after college as well. More recent studies have focused on bang for the buck. They looked at the cost of colleges. They then compared it to earning potential after college. Again the finding was that the most expensive college did not translate into a higher paycheck afterward. The lesson to be learned ia that higher college loans do not necessarily translate into later success. College loans sometimes create a lot more issues than they solve. When your children are ready for college, there are a number of questions to answer. The first is whether they can start at a community college for two years and live at home. This is currently the most economical way of attending college. The second is to make sure that colleges have the major that the child desires. It does not make sense to attend an affordable college if it does not have the right course work. The third then becomes which colleges provide that coursework at the most affordable level. There will be more than one. The child can choose from those. The result will be a good education without an overwhelming loan amount. When my children went to college, I told them that they could attend any public college that they wanted. That allowed me to pay for their education without saddling them with loans. If they went to private colleges, they might still be paying off loans. We are fortunate in the State of Delaware. The University of Delaware has been ranked favorably in almost every study of getting the most bang for your college dollar. It usually places between 10th and 20th of all the colleges in the nation. Delaware Technical Community College also has been rated very highly among community colleges. The "best" education is not always the most expensive one. Graduating from college does not need to be associated with a lifetime of loan payments. As parents plan for their children, these are all factors to take into account.

Frozen fruit products health warning The Delaware Division of Public Health is urging the public to take precautions following three recent product recalls associated with multi-state outbreaks of acute viral hepatitis A infections and recommends disposing of any of the recalled frozen fruit products from their freezer. These products should not be consumed. DPH encourages consumers to check their freezers for these recalled products and to dispose of any remaining product. The products included are: 1. Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend (3-lb. bag), sold at Costco warehouses (UPC 0 78414 404448). 2. Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend (10-ounce bag). This product was sold between April 19-May 7, UPC 0 72036 70463 4, with Lot Codes T041613E, T041613C and a "BEST BY" code of 101614. 3. Scenic Fruit Company's Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels, 8-ounce (227 gram) resealable plastic pouches with UPC Code 0 42563 01628. Specific coding information to identify the product can be found on the back portion of these pouches below the zip-lock seal. For more information regarding these outbreaks, visit To contact DPH's Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, call 1-888-295-51556 or 1-302-744-1033.

Good Samaritan Bill signed Surrounded by families who have lost loved ones to drug overdoses, Governor Jack Markell signed Senate Bill 116 to address the rising number of these fatalities by granting criminal immunity to individuals who report an alcohol or drug overdose. The law bears the name of Kristen L. Jackson, who died of a prescription drug overdose in January 2012, when friends were afraid to call 911, and John M. Perkins Jr., who was killed by a heroin overdose in May 2011. SB 116 provides that someone who seeks medical attention for an overdose or life threatening emergency, including for him or herself, will not be arrested or prosecuted for crimes detailed in the law. These offenses do not include the most serious felonies, Classes A, B and C.

Catts joins Nanticoke Health Nanticoke Health Services (NHS) welcomes Nurse Practitioner, Richard Catts, ANCC, NP, to the Nanticoke Physicians Network. Catts joins Immediate Care at 505 W. Market St., Georgetown. He brings 12 years of experience to Nanticoke and looks forward to treating patients in the Georgetown area.

Nanticoke offers CPR classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer community CPR classes on Tuesday, July 23, at the Nanticoke Training Center on Water Street in Seaford. Participants will learn how to perform the basic skills of CPR on adults, children, and infants and how to help an adult, child, or infant who is choking and use of the AED. This classroom-based, video, and instructor-led CPR course offers families, friends, and community members the opportunity to learn CPR and need a course completion card. Classes are open to participants ages 12 and up. Cost is $45. Payment and registration is required by no later than five business days prior to the class. Late registrations may be accepted if seating is available. To register and to obtain a listing of class dates/times, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Training Center office at 629-6611, ext. 8919. Pre-registration is required.

Outing to benefit Hospice Center The 3rd Annual Eleanor Soltner Memorial Golf Outing to benefit the Delaware Hospice Center will be held at The Rookery North at Shawnee in Milford on Wednesday, Aug. 14. Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m., and the shotgun start is at 9. Contests will include the team putting, longest drive ladies & men, and closest to the pin ladies & men, along with team prizes.

Registration is $100 per person, which includes greens fees, cart, light breakfast, refreshment cart, range balls, and an awards reception with lunch. Silent auction items will be available. Proceeds benefit the Delaware Hospice Center. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For $25 you can attend the luncheon, awards and silent auction. For more information, call Bob Burd at 302-422-3501.

Hendricks joins Nanticoke Health Nanticoke Health Services (NHS) welcomes Edward M. Hendricks, RN, ACNS-BC, FNP-BC to the Nanticoke Physicians Network. Hendricks joins Immediate Care at 505 W Market St., Georgetown. Hendricks earned his bachelor's degree in nursing, master's degree in nursing, and clinical nurse specialist degree from George Mason University, Fairfax, Va. He earned his family nurse practitioner degree from Mary Mount University, Arlington, Va. Hendricks previously worked at Nanticoke Health Services as quality manager. His experience also includes working as a family nurse practitioner at Correct Care Solutions and clinical nurse specialist at Bay Health Systems Kent General Hospital in Dover.

Clean water loan workshop DNREC's Financial Assistance Branch (FAB) and the Department of Health and Social Services' Division of Public Health (DPH) will host workshops in each county, in preparation for the development of Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Revised FY 2013 Project Priority Lists (PPLs). In Sussex County, a workshop will be held on Wednesday, July 31 from 9 a.m. to noon at Delaware Technical and Community College, Owens Campus, William Carter Partnership Center-Room 540 A & B, Georgetown. The purpose of the workshops is to inform and provide municipal government representatives, privately-owned wastewater and drinking water utilities, consultant engineers, and other interested parties with detailed overviews of the CWSRF and DWSRF programs. RSVP by contacting Jessica Velazquez at 302-739-9941 or

Diabetes education program Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will hold a four-session diabetes educational program on July 17, 24, 31 and Aug. 7 from 5 to 7 p.m., at the hospital. Registration is required. The cost of the four-session program may be reimbursable by insurance. This program includes weekly education sessions and individualized meal planning for diabetes self-management. The goal is to give you the self-management skills to control your diabetes. Family members/significant others are welcome to attend. To register and to obtain more information, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Diabetes Education department at 629-6611, ext. 2446.

First aid classes offered Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer community First Aid classes to anyone interested in learning first aid from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16, at the Nanticoke Training Center located on Water Street in Seaford. Participants will learn basic first aid that will enable them to administer help during the first few moments until emergency responders arrive. Classes are open to participants ages 13 up. The course covers cognitive learning, role-playing, and skill practice. Cost is $35. Payment and registration is required no later than five business days prior to the class. To register, or for more information, contact the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Training Center office at 629-6611, ext. 8919.

End-of-life planning Q&A sessions In collaboration with Procino Wells LLC, Attorneys at Law, Delaware Hospice is offering "Off the Clock" complimentary Elder Law Q&A Sessions from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 12, at the Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford. Patients and family members face many challenges at the end-of-life, including legal questions. What is a power of attorney? What is a guardianship? What responsibility does a durable medical power of attorney have? What steps can one take to safely protect assets? "Off the Clock" presenters will be Michele Procino-Wells, Esq., and Amber B. Woodland, Esq., from Procino Wells LLC. Participants will hear a brief presentation and are then encouraged to ask questions about the legalities of end-of-life planning. Learn more by contacting Katie Berna, MHA, BSN, CHPN, associate director of education for Delaware Hospice, at or 302-530-2388.

Bayhealth plans Runway of Hope Bayhealth invites the community to the 3rd Annual Runway of Hope in August at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club. A festive summer afternoon filled with a luncheon, fashion show, and silent auction, the event raises money to support the Bayhealth Cancer Institute's Survivorship Program, which helps cancer survivors live full and productive lives. Local Rehoboth favorites Cleo's Boutique, Sole Boutique, Jane & Georgie, and Rock Creek, along with Aquamarine of Lewes and Dover's own Bel Boutique, are partners in the event. Come feast your eyes on fine apparel and accessories exclusively found at these stores. Stuart Kingston will be on hand with a display of fine jewelry for sale. Last year, the sold-out Runway of Hope event raised more than $37,000 to help bridge the gap between active cancer treatment and follow-up care. To learn more about Runway of Hope or to purchase tickets, visit or call 302-744-7015.

Stroke support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's next Stroke Support Group meeting is at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16, at the Seaford Library. The support group is designed for individuals who have survived a stroke as well as their families and caregivers. The two-hour support group meetings will consist of guest speakers and breakaway sessions in which caregivers and stroke survivors will meet in two groups to discuss concerns, provide support, and allow for networking. Refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration is not required for this free support group. For more information, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital at 629-6611, ext. 8626.

Hospice offers Camp New Hope Delaware Hospice has spaces available at its Camp New Hope, which will be held from Aug. 6-9, at Killens Pond State Park, for children and teens who have suffered the recent loss of a loved one. Since 1990, Delaware Hospice's New Hope program has offered individual and family grief counseling to more than 1,500 children and adolescents aged 6-17. The New Hope program, including Camp New Hope, is a free, community outreach program. New Hope supports children referred from the community as well as members of Delaware Hospice families. Camp New Hope is the annual highlight of the New Hope Program. This inspirational day camp takes place over four days, connecting children in similar age groups in order to help them process their feelings of loss and grief. Many of the children in New Hope have lost a parent, sibling, or grandparent due to illness or sudden death. Learn more about Camp New Hope by contacting New Hope Coordinator for Kent and Sussex Counties, Robin Murphy at 302-678-4444 or