Thursday, October 23, 2014
Doctor's Perspective
NRA does not support surgeon general nominee

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
For years the NRA has waged a single agenda political war. The NRA is about freedom to bear arms and most of the time their focus only has an indirect impact on others. Sometimes the impact is more direct. Right now, however, their impact might be affecting Americans in a negative way. Our last United States surgeon general left office in July and the post has been vacant since then. Dr. Vivek Murthy is the current nominee for surgeon general. Dr. Murthy has a medical degree and a business degree from Yale. He is an attending physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He is also an instructor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Murthy clearly has the background necessary for a United States surgeon general. However, like many physicians, Dr. Murthy has taken a stance on certain aspects of gun control. He favors a ban on assault weapons and mandatory training for gun owners. He also favors limits on ammunition. Of course, the majority of Americans also agree with these restraints. As a result of Dr. Murthy's stance on gun control, the NRA has decided that Dr. Murthy should not be surgeon general based upon the only issue that they believe in. I suspect that when they go to church on Sunday and pray to their altar with the giant gun on it, they pray that Dr. Murthy not be confirmed. Of course, that is only conjecture on my part. In reality, the NRA has taken Senator Rand Paul as their ally. They have also filled the political coffers of legislators asking that they block the nomination. What they might not realize is that the surgeon general does not have any authority to make gun control policy. The surgeon general is nothing more than an advisor. However, as surgeon general this person is leading the war on disease. Part of that war has come to our shores in the form of the Ebola virus. Therefore, we need a general to help set policy and fight that war. Failure to have someone in this important post will hinder that fight. Of course, it does not appear that the NRA really cares about that. It does not appear that the NRA wants to address Ebola as a concerted effort. They are a one subject group. While we continue to watch the political maneuvering, we also continue to not have a leader in an important battle. The NRA certainly has the right to push their desires. The question is whether or not that is fair to the rest of the American people at a time when it may be harmful. If you have comments about this column or suggestions for other topics, send an email to Dr. Anthony Policastro at

Hospice plans Grief Workshop Delaware Hospice, the Milton Wellness Center and the Delaware Grief Awareness Consortium will present "A Grief Workshop and Labyrinth Walk," on Saturday, Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Milford Public Library. The Grief Workshop and Labyrinth Walk have been organized to commemorate Grief Awareness Week. Anyone coping with a loss or supporting a grieving family member or friend is welcome to attend this free event. Found in numerous cultures around the world for thousands of years, the labyrinth is a symbol for life's journey.

This workshop will use the labyrinth as a gentle but powerful method to move us along in our journey of grief. For registration or more information, contact Midge DiNatale, Delaware Hospice bereavement counselor, at 302-300-2179 or Hospice holds Grief Retreat Delaware Hospice's Family Support Center will hold a Grief Retreat for adults who have experienced a loss on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Delaware Hospice Center, Milford. Dr. Judy Pierson, licensed clinical psychologist, will lead discussions on topics such as what to expect when grieving, accessing and expressing our feelings of loss, soothing and caring for self, educating your support network and honoring our loved ones. There is no charge, however, lunch is available for $5. Registration is required as space is limited. Register by contacting Michelle August at 800-838-9800 or

Sweet Serenity fundraiser In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to help the local community, Sweet Serenity Chocolates in Seaford has pledged to donate 10% of the store's proceeds for the month of October to Nanticoke Cancer Care Services. Money raised will be used to support Nanticoke Cancer Care Services patients undergoing radiation or medical oncology services. The cancer program at Nanticoke also helps patients through support groups, providing assistance with transportation when needed and helping patients navigate the health care system through its care coordinator. Sweet Serenity Chocolates is located at 1001 Norman Eskridge Highway, Seaford and can be reached by calling 628-8883 or visiting

New Hope Program fundraiser Children and teens who have lost a loved one need special care. Delaware Hospice recognized that need and established its New Hope Program in 1990 for that purpose. On Saturday, Nov. 8, Xi Sigma Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi will hold a Chinese Auction fundraiser to benefit Delaware Hospice's New Hope Program. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the auction begins at 7, at Lewes Presbyterian Church, 133 Kings Hwy., Lewes. Admission is $15 per person, and additional envelopes can be purchased for $5. This event is restricted to adults over the age of 18. For more information, call Dee at 302-231-8015 or Carol at 302-226-2908.

Memory Café Memory Café for people with memory loss and their caregivers will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Monday, Oct. 27, at Ocean View CHEER Center. Get in the spirit of Halloween by wearing a costume or bringing a treat to share. We will decorate pumpkins and try our hand at Quoits (a medieval game) and a few other games. Memory Café is open to the public and free of charge; however, an RSVP is kindly requested. For questions or directions, contact Yolanda Gallego at or 302-539-2671.