NEW ORLEANS – Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner announced a new partnership with the Louisiana State Police and Interim LSU Public Hospital to deliver a unique, educational experience for teens. The Sudden Impact Program is designed to prevent fatalities and injuries from distracted, impaired and unrestrained driving by employing a multidisciplinary approach to educate and offer alternatives to risktaking behaviors that often result in death or injury.
Ochsner -Kenner will be paired with the sophomore class at Archbishop Chapelle High School, offering classes and sessions to demonstrate how bad decisions such as drinking and driving can negatively impact their lives.
“We are proud to team up with the Sudden Impact Program,” said Paolo Zambito, Chief Executive Officer, Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner. “We have been collaborating with the Louisiana Emergency Response Network (LERN) to expand this program to our community and are committed to its success. Our goal is to provide our youth with the proper tools and knowledge to be safer drivers.”
Over the last four years, over 700 young adults have lost their lives as a result of a motor vehicle crash – 45% of those fatal crashes involved alcohol. Almost 59,000 young adults have been injured in motor vehicle crashes. Although the numbers are declining in Louisiana, motor vehicle crashes remain the number one cause of death for adolescents.
The program provides testimony to the ramifications of driving while impaired from a medical, law enforcement and victim perspective. The seven-hour program, designed for high school sophomores, is located within Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner. This places the teens in a neutral environment while providing education on laws, decisions, communication and impairment. Troopers and trauma prevention specialists and nurses talk to teens about the importance of seat belt use, the dangers of texting and driving, and the dangers of impaired driving. They also include mock crashes conducted at all schools participating in Sudden Impact, mock trials to reinforce content and parent education.
“Motor vehicle crashes are violent situations in which medical personnel witnesses the emotional, social and physical pain to the patient. Many times, these tragic events have a lifetime of rehabilitation and suffering. It is our mission as a trauma center to prevent such horrific events by educating our adolescents on the dangers of high risk taking behaviors while driving a motor vehicle,” said Bridget Gardner, RN, Sudden Impact Program Director. “ With the Sudden Impact Program in our facility and Touro Infirmary, we were unable to expand to other high schools, until Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner agreed to host the program at their facility. The expansion to the Kenner campus will allow us to educate more teens, and more importantly decrease the number of injuries and fatalities related to motor vehicle crashes.”
Ochsner – Kenner was recognized with a plaque for their participation at the Traffic Safety Recognition Program and Press Conference held on Wednesday, August 22.
For more information on how to sign up for the Ochsner- Kenner Sudden Impact program, please visit www.mclno.org/trauma or call (504) 903-3181.
Ochsner Health System is southeast Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system with eight hospitals and 38 health centers in Louisiana. Ochsner has been named the Consumer Choice for Healthcare in New Orleans for 16 consecutive years and is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a “Best Hospital” across 11 specialty categories. Ochsner employs more than 13,000 employees, over 850 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts over 300 clinical research trials annually. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.