Program Teaches Teenagers Consequences of Drinking and Driving
03/01/2007

ARLINGTON, Texas – Martin High School students will mourn the loss of at least one classmate Thursday, March 8, 2007. It's part of Fatal Choices/shattered dreams, a program that teaches Arlington Independent School District (AISD) high school students about the dangers of drinking and driving. The goal is to promote responsible decision-making by staging a deadly car accident and involving students in the aftermath of what happens – being cut out of a vehicle while suffering from life threatening injuries, being rushed to Arlington Memorial Hospital (AMH) and potentially being pronounced dead.

“Arlington Memorial Hospital is participating in this program because all too often we see the devastation and heartache caused by drinking and driving,” says Meg Rathbun, an emergency department nurse who's helped coordinate Fatal Choices/shattered dreams for the past five years. “If we can keep even one young person from ending up in our emergency room, that will have made it worthwhile.”

Approximately 70 Martin High School students will participate in the mock exercise along with their parents. A car accident will be staged at Martin High School at 9:40 a.m. Injured students will begin arriving at AMH at 10:15 a.m. Parents will be notified of the “accident” and asked to go to the hospital. In years past, the exercise has proven to be emotional for all involved. The exercise concludes with a reunion between parent and child that encourages sharing their feelings about the event. Participating students will attend a retreat that evening. A second day of activities includes an assembly to watch a videotape of the previous day's events and presentations from faculty, parents and students about lessons learned.

Fatal Choices/shattered dreams is a joint effort involving AISD, Arlington Memorial Hospital, Arlington Police Department, Arlington Fire Department, Arlington Medical Response, Moore Funeral Home, CareFlite, Sachse Fire Department, Tarrant County 9-1-1 and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

About Arlington Memorial Hospital
Arlington Memorial Hospital is an acute-care, full-service medical center serving Arlington and the surrounding communities since 1958. Services include: comprehensive cardiac care, women's and children's services, ortho, GI, an advanced imaging center, extensive rehabilitation services, emergency services, health maintenance and disease prevention classes, support groups and community service programs. Visit www.ArlingtonMemorial.org to learn more about Arlington Memorial Hospital.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources (THR) is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR controls 13 affiliated hospitals and a medical research organization, and is a corporate member or partner in seven additional hospitals and surgery centers. THR's family of hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.TexasHealth.org.