Mission Hospital Partners with Community to Educate Teens about the Dangers of Drinking and Driving

Mock DUI Crashes and South County Safe Rides Programs are Part of Local Effort to Create Healthier Communities

March 29, 2016, Mission Viejo, CA - Mission Hospital, part of the St. Joseph Hoag Health network of care, is collaborating with south Orange County high schools, emergency responders, and volunteers in a series of dramatic Mock DUI Crashes to help educate teenagers about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Auto accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers and about a quarter of those crashes involve underage drinking, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are nearly three times more likely than older drivers to be in a fatal crash.

Mission Hospital’s Trauma Center provides expert medical care and helps to prevent injuries through education and outreach. South County Safe Rides, part of Mission Hospital’s prevention efforts, offers teens free rides home. On Friday and Saturday nights, trained student volunteers based at the Trauma Center provide rides to teens who are under the influence or who don’t want to get in a car with an intoxicated driver. Volunteers have helped bring more than 8,500 teenagers safely home since the program’s inception in 1993. More than 60 percent of teens who have received rides needed help because of alcohol or drugs; teens who are in an uncomfortable situation or who are stranded also can obtain rides. Local teens can call 1-800-273-RIDE to access this confidential, peer-to-peer prevention program, designed to save lives and keep risky drivers off the road.

Supporting Quotes:

“Teen drinking and driving is a serious problem,” said Almaas Shaikh, MD, trauma director and a trauma and critical care surgeon at Mission Hospital. “We are committed to educating young people through our involvement in Mock DUI Crashes, the ‘Every 15 Minutes’ program, South County Safe Rides and more. By partnering with school officials, first responders and other dedicated community members, we’re creating healthier communities.”

“Mission Hospital has played an integral role in organizing the Mock DUI Crashes in the last 25 years and has been heavily involved in Friends Against Drinking and Driving (FADD),” said Steve Concialdi, a fire captain/paramedic with the Orange County Fire Authority, who founded FADD. “Through great team work, we have made the community more aware of the devastating consequences of drinking and driving and texting while driving through these powerful Mock DUI Crashes.”

“This program is so effective because it shows teenagers in an extremely realistic way what can happen if they drink or take drugs and get behind the wheel – or get into a car with an intoxicated driver,” said Kathryn Scheidler, El Toro High School Activities Director. “This literally changes lives.”

“We’re pleased to once again be partnering with Mission Hospital and our first responders to show our students the reality of drinking and driving,” said Bill Hinds, principal of Laguna Hills High School. “It can be upsetting and uncomfortable to watch but we’ve found that this makes an impact and really gets kid thinking.”

The Mock DUI Crashes will be held at San Juan Hills, Laguna Hills, El Toro and Capistrano Valley high schools. The car crash “victims” will be taken by ambulance to Mission Hospital’s Trauma Center, one of three trauma centers in Orange County.

  • Tuesday, March 29, 10:40 a.m. – San Juan Hills High School, 29211 Vista Montana, San Juan Capistrano
  • Monday, April 4, 10:30 a.m. – Laguna Hills High School, 25401 Paseo De Valencia, Laguna Hills
  • Monday, April 18, 11 a.m. – El Toro High School, 25255 Toledo Way, Lake Forest
  • Friday, May 13, 10:45 a.m. – Capistrano Valley High School, 26301 Via Escolar, Mission Viejo (no transport to Mission Hospital)

About Mission Hospital As a part of the St. Joseph Hoag Health network of care, Mission Hospital was founded in Mission Viejo in 1971 and has since grown to a two-campus facility with 552 beds and approximately 2,500 employees. Mission Hospital, a ministry of St. Joseph Health, has been serving the greater needs of the community for more than 40 years, improving the quality of life in the communities it serves in the tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo is an acute care, full-service facility providing advanced health care services and diagnostic care to south Orange County and is the only designated trauma center in South Orange County. Mission Hospital Laguna Beach (MHLB) provides South Orange County coastal communities with 24-hour emergency and intensive care as well as medical-surgical/telemetry services. Mission Hospital offers specialty care in cardiovascular, neuroscience and spine, orthopedics, women’s services, urology, mental health & wellness, head and neck and other key specialties. CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital is a 48-bed facility that is the area’s only dedicated pediatric hospital for more than two decades. Fully accredited by The Joint Commission and designated as a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for nursing excellence, Mission Hospital has received numerous awards and recognition for its high quality of care. For more information, visit www.mission4health.com.

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