Preventing risky behavior for a safer Wyoming Valley
Treating trauma starts with prevention
Whether it’s a kid hitting the trail on an all-terrain vehicle (ATVs) or a senior driving to the grocery store, everyone loves their freedom and staying active.
But freedom and responsibility go hand-in-hand. Responsibility to yourself and the people around you. And making the right behavior choices to prevent catastrophic injuries.
Our trauma program is respected and well-known throughout Pennsylvania. But it’s not just about our state-of-the-art, life-saving facilities or highly-skilled surgeons. We’re also focused on working with our communities to prevent traumatic injuries from happening in the first place.
“By identifying the most common injury risks in our community, we can go out and educate at-risk populations and prevent traumatic events from happening.”
--Brent Parry, N.R.E.M.T.-P, Prevention Outreach Coordinator, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Trauma Program
Geisinger is there
Hosting free trauma prevention classes and events
There’s a link between trauma and behavior. We start by examining trauma data to discover the people most at risk for traumatic injuries. Then we spread the word about preventing those injuries to the community.
Working closely with The American Trauma Society (ATSPA) Pennsylvania Division, our outreach coordinators regularly attend local health fairs and host free programs to educate our region on safety topics such as drinking and driving, fire prevention and much more.
Ongoing and previous outreach programs/events:
For older adults/seniors
- Minimizing slips and falls: Seniors represent more than one-third of all hospital injury admissions. And more than 80% of these injuries are caused by unintentional falls. Fear of falling can actually contribute to falling. Our Watch Your Step: Being Sensible at Home program helps reduce needless injuries and deaths by addressing home environment concerns, lessening fear of falling and providing lessons for assistive devices such as canes and walkers.
- Driving road safety: Most of us want to drive for as long as we can, so the loss of mobility can be devastating to older Pennsylvanians. We work with the Mature Drivers Task Force in cooperation with PennDOT to help seniors balance roadway safety with driving independence.
- Helping grandparents raise grandchildren : Workshops, materials and support for the unique problems older adults face when raising grandchildren.
For kids/teens/young adults
- Increasing child passenger safety: Along with SafeKids of Luzerene County, we provided child passenger safety seats, bicycle helmets and other sports-related safety equipment.
- Keeping college students healthier and safer: Appearances at local colleges and universities like Penn State-Wilkes Barre to speak about the dangers of drug & alcohol abuse, fire safety, dating violence and more.
- Educating high-school students about injury prevention: To help our region’s young adults lead safer lives as they leave school, we’ve made appearances at local high schools to discuss mental and physical disabilities, injury prevention, health awareness and fire safety.
- Slowing down distracted driving: According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, 21 percent of fatal crashes involving drivers 15-19 years old were the result of cell phone use while driving. Texting, inattention, drugs and alcohol and even eating at the wheel affects response time. Our Decide to Drive Alive program was designed for 15 to 24 year olds to show them why the road is the only thing they should be focused on behind the wheel.
For the general public
- Provided a two-part program focused on domestic violence and acute alcohol poisoning prevention.
- Partnered with WVIA-TV for Call the Doctor, a broadcast event for the community to ask trauma-related questions and learn about the importance of injury prevention.
- Participated in the American Heart Association’s Emergency Cardiac Care Committee for Eastern PA and Delaware. Our outreach coordinator serves as volunteer chairperson.
- For healthcare professionals
- Partnered with the ATSPA to host advanced burn life support education for medical personnel and EMS to promote burn safety and care.