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Injury Prevention Program Sponsored ‘Ghost Out’

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 15, 2006) – UK HealthCare’s Trauma Service Injury Prevention Program sponsored a “Ghost Out” last week at East Jessamine High School, Nicholasville.

“Ghost Out” is supported by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Drive Smart Program which targets the high school student population. The program addressed issues such as drug and alcohol use, making risky decisions, and the consequences associated with these behaviors.

“Ghost Out” is a community effort involving Jessamine Emergency Medical Services, Jessamine Police Department, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, and University of Kentucky Emergency Department nurses.

“Ghost Out” is a drug and alcohol program designed to target the teenage population by visiting high schools. Program highlights included someone disguised as the “Grim Reaper” who roamed the classroom to select 15 “victims.” These victims represented the average number of people killed in alcohol or drug-related crashes during a school day. The victims were separated from the other students and declared deceased. Following guest speakers who address the dangers of driving while impaired, a memorial service was conducted for the 15 “victims”.

“As a Level 1 Trauma Center for central and eastern Kentucky, UK Healthcare’s Trauma Injury Prevention Program has an obligation to the community,” said Jennifer Forman, UK HealthCare’s Trauma Outreach Coordinator. “Our commitment is to provide injury prevention education for all stages of life, from pre-school to the older adult population, including our highest risk group – the teenage population.”

Since the Think First for Teens program began in 1990, UK HealthCare has addressed approximately 80,000 students at more than 70 schools and organizations. Many schools and organizations request UK’s program on a continual basis.

Think First for Teens is a national brain and spinal cord injury prevention program that teaches students the anatomy of the brain and spinal cord as well as the physical results of injury. A video features testimonies from teens discussing the narrow margin that separates fun from tragedy. The highlight of the program is an injured speaker who talks with the students about the injury and how it has affected his or her life and loved ones.

For the preschool population, a “safety suitcase” can be checked out for the week by local preschools. The “safety suitcase” has a variety of fun, creative activities and includes topics, such as car and car seat safety, bicycle, helmet, playground, water and fire safety, to name a few.

The “Traumaroo” safety series is a childhood educational program with segments focusing on bicycle safety, playground safety, home safety and staying friends. The target population for this program includes children in kindergarten through fourth grade. This program is presented to Girl Scout troops, after school programs and summer camps.

Future plans for injury prevention include ATV safety and gun safety. “We are working on implementing the Think First for Kids program, a comprehensive brain and spinal cord prevention program integrated six-week curriculum for grades one through three,” said Forman. The focus includes vehicular safety, bicycle safety, playground safety, water safety and violence prevention.

Although in the beginning stages, a program for the aging population, which would include fall prevention and safe medication administration, will soon be implemented.

For more information about UK HealthCare’s Injury Prevention Programs, contact Jennifer Forman at (859) 323-7546

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