Thursday, December 21, 2017
Doctors Perspective
Try to make the world a better place

By Dr. Anthony Policastro Last week I wrote about reflecting on what we had done in the past to help those around us. Reflection on the movie Its a Wonderful Life can be useful. Reflection is a good thing, however, action is better. As we get close to Christmas, there are many opportunities to make the world a better place. The most obvious is giving gifts to those we love. A key to this kind of giving is how much thought we put into getting the right present. It is far too easy to go out and get a gift card for some one. However, that does not mean that we have put in the effort that we need to for those individuals. Think how pleased you were when your young child made you a Christmas card in school. That is the kind of feeling that our gifts should give. They need to come from our heart. We need to use the creative side of our brain. The practical side doesnt provide as much warm emotion. A second area to think about is the many charities that abound at this time of year. Many churches have food drives. Some have giving trees. Salvation Army collection sites are everywhere. We might spend hundreds of dollars on Christmas gifts for our family. We need to think about sharing a small part of that money. There are those who do not have that kind of money for their family. A third area has to do with random acts of kindness. This is a great time of year for random acts of kindness which can take many forms. That might be doing something for a stranger or something unexpected for a friend. You might wheel in the trash can for your neighbor. You might put a surprise anonymous gift in a mailbox. You might leave an overly generous tip for a restaurant server. You can help with a household chore you do not usually do. There are electronic acts of kindness too. You can send an encouraging e-mail to someone. You can text someone good morning for no reason. You can go online and write a nice review of a local business. There are also some unusual things that you may not think about. You could leave your collection of quarters at a local laundromat with a note saying laundry on me today. You can stop someone in a store to compliment them on their well behaved toddler. The list is only limited by your imagination. The real goal here is to enhance your reflection on the good that you do. Instead of making a New Years resolution that you are not going to keep, you can look back at all the positive things you have done in the last few weeks. It will be better for those around you. It will be better for you.

Download Vital ICE app Hardesty Chapel Bridgeville encourages the community to download the Vital ICE (In Case of Emergency) app from the Apple App Store or Google Play for your smart phone and enter their code: #8594. In the event of an emergency, first responders can use the Vital ICE app to retrieve the users vital information.

This information can then be easily taken on the ambulance to the hospital, or sent directly to the hospital from the Vital ICE app, where ER staff can further access this critical information. Hardesty Chapel is offering this download for free to express their gratitude for allowing them to serve the community. For more information about the Vital ICE app, visit

Toney joins Nanticoke The Nanticoke Physician Network is proud to welcome Rene Toney, APRN to its active medical staff. Toney joins William Doran, DO at Nanticoke Orthopedic Surgery in Seaford. She is certified in adult health and is accepting new patients ages 18 and up. Toney received her bachelor and master of science in nursing from The Sage College in Troy, N.Y. She has over 30 years of professional nursing experience in military, private and public sectors. Her professional affiliations include the Nurse Practitioner Association, the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Four people were found dead Wednesday, Dec. 13, in New Castle County from suspected overdoses in separate incidents, increasing the concern for additional spikes in deaths during the holidays and prompting health officials to urge people struggling with addiction and their families to seek out a connection to treatment. Through Dec. 13, the total number of deaths from suspected overdoses this year in Delaware is 227. People suffering from addiction are already vulnerable and too often their vulnerabilities can be heightened during a stressful holiday season, said DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a board-certified family physician. The stress of facing their families during holiday events while suffering from addiction or being excluded from family events because of their addiction can be a trigger point for people in active use. The most important thing that families can do is to help their loved ones find a connection to treatment and to get them to that initial intake. DHSS Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) Director Elizabeth Romero encouraged individuals in active substance use to see a medical provider immediately or call DHSS 24/7 Crisis Services Hotline to be connected to trained crisis professionals who can discuss treatment options. In Kent and Sussex counties, the number is 1-800-345-6785. Individuals and families also can visit DHSS website,, for addiction treatment and recovery services in Delaware or nearby states. In 2016, 308 people died in Delaware from overdoses, up 35 percent from the 228 people who died in 2015. The official total of overdose deaths often lags six to eight weeks behind as the Division of Forensic Science awaits the results of toxicology screens.