When my 10-year-old son Ben tumbled down the slide and landed on his ankle, I knew we were in trouble. The X-rays revealed no broken bones, but Ben had a serious sprain and swelling that made his leg look like a Pollock painting.
I’m not sure who was more miserable: Ben or me. After paying for two doctor visits, an ankle brace, ointments and enough bandages to cover the Red Cross in the next disaster, my head hurt as Ben’s ankle throbbed.
We went to three giant pharmacies and learned that pediatric crutches were rare commodities. When we stumbled upon First State Pharmacy in North Wilmington, a miracle occurred. Chas, the pharmacist, not only stocked the crutches; he taught my son how to use them. Can you imagine that ever happening in a big-box store? I’m old enough to remember when the words “customer service” were literal. My friends know how I feel about respectful customer service. Trust me: You don’t want to be around when I witness a proprietor treating a customer (or me) badly. It’s ugly. But with folks like Chas running small businesses, benevolence is making a comeback. In fact, Chas inspired a story in this premier issue of 302 Health, called “Making It Personal,” on page 16. These pharmacists face economic challenges, but they care about their customers. And I’m willing to pay extra to someone who appreciates my business.
Our goal for 302 Health is to provide an entertaining resource packed with local, relevant information on exercise, medicine and nutrition. But we also plan to introduce you to people like Chas, as well as Delawareans who have overcome significant health obstacles. Many health care professionals in Delaware are passionate about making our lives happier and healthier, and we want to tell you about them, too.
We’re also thrilled to present Get Healthy, Delaware!, an online health newsletter by Shari Short. Besides being a consultant in health care and consumer psychology, as well as a developmental psychologist—Shari is pretty darn funny. She has all the credentials—a researcher who’s held positions with the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and others—but she’s also a former stand-up comedian who’s opened for performers like Shawn Colvin and Sandra Bernhard. Shari will deliver a substantive, fun and addicting newsletter. You’ll look forward to reading it twice a month at delawaretoday.com.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and story ideas. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.