Hospital program teaches teens to make lower-risk decisions

Using a new state grant, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center will offer a hands-on, interactive program for greater Hartford area high school students to encourage them to make smart decisions in risky situations.

As part of the program, teens will see a LifeStar/helipad demonstration, watch a trauma surgeon conduct a mock trauma response and hear from a speaker whose life has been changed by a car crash.

The Let’s Not Meet by Accident program will focus on buckling up, teen driving, drinking and driving, distracted driving, traumatic brain injury, teen dating violence and Internet safety and bullying. The aim is to teach teens how to use conflict resolution skills, humor, personal responsibility and positive peer pressure to make healthy choices.

The $21,600 grant from the state Department of Transportation will pay for 15 half-day sessions. Last year, the hospital served 15 high schools through the program.