For more than two decades, the ThedaCare Trauma Center, with funding from the ThedaCare Foundation-Neenah and community support, has hosted an education program to empower students to make safe choices by shedding light on the dangers of risky driving behaviors and their often life-changing outcomes. The program was previously known as the P.A.R.T.Y. at the PAC. In 2020, it was renamed, FOCUS.
The FOCUS program stands for:
- Focus on driving
- Others are affected
- Clear distractions
- Understand that substances impair judgement
- Safely reach your destination
“As we celebrate the 25th year of the program, we are incredibly happy to welcome back students for the in-person events,” said Ray Georgen, MD, ThedaCare System Trauma Medical Director and one of the leaders who started the program. “We are grateful to be part of such a generous community that makes it possible to present FOCUS every year and help our teens understand the risks associated with driving, whether it distracted, drugged or drunk.”
Each year, students from dozens of school districts join together to watch the program at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, showing students the process of a trauma situation, what it is like to be airlifted and to need emergency surgery. This year, programs will be held on October 5 and 6. Thirty-two schools will be represented, as well as more than 4,600 students.
This two-day event is a collaborative effort between local schools, fire and police departments, health care workers, physician groups, the Trauma Center at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah and survivors who volunteer to share their stories.
The program began in 1998 as a hospital tour, focused solely on drinking and driving. In 2004, demand exceeded capacity. In 2005, the program ran at Theda Clark and at the Fox Cities Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Over the years, the presentation has evolved as new substances, distractions and technologies emerge in the communities. Nearly 87,000 students have gone through the program since 1998.
“We hope everyone understands that when they get behind the wheel, they have a responsibility to protect themselves and others,” said Dr. Georgen. “If we can save even one life as the result of the FOCUS program, it is all worth it.”
The personal and philanthropic commitment of our community members, parents and organizations, makes the FOCUS program possible. If you or your company would like to sponsor the ThedaCare FOCUS Program, please contact the ThedaCare Family of Foundations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health and well-being of the communities it serves in Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to more than 600,000 residents in 17 counties and employs approximately 7,000 health care professionals. ThedaCare has 180 points of care, including eight hospitals. As an organization committed to being a leader in Population Health, team members are dedicated to empowering people to live their unique, best lives. ThedaCare also partners with communities to understand needs, finding solutions together, and encouraging health awareness and action. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit health system with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs, as well as primary care.
For more information, visit thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on social media. Members of the media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public and Media Relations Consultant at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.