For Increasing Seat Belt Use Among Teen Drivers
HUDSON, FL (June 21, 2023) – HCA Florida Bayonet Hospital has awarded a $500 scholarship to Zephyrhills High School in recognition of its students earning “Most-Improved Seat Belt Use” among nine (9) Pasco County high schools participating in the Safe Kids Suncoast “Battle of the Belts” program.
Established by Safe Kids Florida Suncoast led by John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in 2009, Safe Kids Florida Suncoast is a coalition of community organization and partners committed to preventing injuries in children and adolescents. “Battle of the Belts” uses friendly, peer-to-peer competitions to increase seat belt use and decrease driving distractions among teens who statistically have the lowest usage of seatbelts among all drivers. Fourteen (14) high schools in Pasco counties participate in the program.
“As a Verified Level 2 Trauma Center and the only designated trauma center in Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties, it’s our duty to recognize teen drivers who buckle up, limit their driving distractions, and keep their hands on the wheel,” says Melissa Pomeroy Rickheeram, trauma program director at HCA Florida Bayonet Hospital.
She adds motor vehicle crashes rank as the second highest cause of injuries among the hospital’s trauma patients.
“The program is a great way to get teenagers involved and encourages communication between peers to wear a seat belt,” notes Jim Cloversettle, a Pasco County sheriff’s officer and school resource officer at Zephyrhills High School. “We’re most appreciative of the hospital’s recognition of this program.”
HCA Florida Bayonet Hospital’s $500 donation to Zephyrhills High School will be used to fund supplies and incentives for seatbelt and safety awareness, to be celebrated during Red Ribbon Week. Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco, smoking and other drug & violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October in the US. It initially began as tribute to fallen DEA special agent Camarena in 1985. 2023 theme is Be Kind to your Mind. Live Drug Free.
“Battle of the Belts” awards were presented to participating Pasco and Pinellas county high schools for Highest Seat Belt Use, Most-Improved Seat Belt Use; Best School Campaign, Best Public Service Announcement, Best Poster (traditional & digital), and Best Essay.
HCA Florida Bayonet Hospital is located at 14000 Fivay Road in Hudson.
About HCA Florida Bayonet Point Hospital
HCA Florida Bayonet Point Hospital is a 392-bed, full service acute care hospital that proudly provides inpatient and outpatient services for Hudson and surrounding communities. Our more than 1600 employees and 316 physicians care like family for adults and children of all ages. Key services include 24/7 emergency care, Level 2 Trauma Center, Comprehensive Stroke Center, Heart Center, Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Center, Orthopedic and Spine Center, Inpatient Rehabilitation Center and Advanced Surgery Center including Minimally Invasive Surgery. Awards and accolades include 27 hospital quality awards in 2023 from Healthgrades, which reflect the hospital’s dedication to delivering better-than-expected clinical outcomes.
Affiliated with HCA Healthcare, one of the nation’s leading providers of healthcare, HCA Florida Healthcare is a collaborative healthcare network connecting approximately 11,000 physicians, 79,000 colleagues and more than 650 hospitals, physician practices, urgent care
centers and other care sites across the state.