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Bergen County High Schools Rewarded for Seatbelt Usage in 13th Annual High School Traffic Safety Challenge

The Trauma/Surgical Critical Care and Injury Prevention Section of the Department of Surgery at HackensackUMC, a member of Hackensack Meridian Health, recently hosted the 13th Annual Spring “High School Traffic Safety Challenge” seatbelt program awards ceremony. Student representatives and teachers from 20 Bergen County high schools attended. This program was developed by the Drive Smart Foundation and funded with a grant from State Farm.

“Texting and/or talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving is dangerous,” said Kelly Rippey, M.D., trauma surgeon, Trauma/Surgical Critical Care and Injury Prevention Section, Department of Surgery at HackensackUMC. “Programs such as the High School Traffic Safety Challenge are so important because they teach our younger drivers to wear a seatbelt and to refrain from distracted driving.  If the program prevents just one person from ending up in the trauma center, then it has served its purpose well.”

“I am extremely proud of all the schools that participate annually in the Traffic Safety Challenge,” said Meliam Gonzales, RN, trauma prevention coordinator and clinical educator at HackensackUMC.  “The focus of the program is to helpteens in our community become safer drivers and passengers by increasing seatbelt use and decreasing risky decision making while driving.”

The winners of the Spring High School Traffic Safety Challenge are as follows:

Most Improved Seatbelt Usage

Lodi High School with an increase of 17 percent

2nd Most Improved Seatbelt Usage

Cliffside Park High School with an increase of 12 percent

3rd Most Improved Seatbelt Usage

New MilfordHigh School with an increase of 7 percent

Most Improved Back Seatbelt Usage

LyndhurstHigh School with an increase of 25 percent

2nd Most Improved Back Seatbelt Usage

Saddle Brook High School with an increase of 18 percent

3rd Most Improved Back Seatbelt Usage

Bogota High School with an increase of 12 percent

High Schools maintaining an overall average of 90 percent or above seatbelt use

Immaculate Heart Academy, 99 percent

Indian Hills High School, 96 percent

Ramapo High School, 95 percent

Emerson High School,94 percent

Immaculate Conception High School, 91 percent

Continued commitment to trauma prevention and community education

River Dell High School with overall seatbelt use of 86 percent

Park Ridge High School with overall seatbelt use of 86 percent

Leonia High School with overall seatbelt use of 82 percent

Cresskill High School with overall seatbelt use of 80 percent

Fort Lee High School with overall seatbelt use of 68 percent

Elmwood High School with overall seatbelt use of 62 percent

Palisades Park High School with overall seatbelt use of 57 pecent

100 percent Driver’s Seatbelt Compliance

Dumont High School and Bergenfield High School

Poster Winners

Palisades Park High School (three winners)

Video Winners

Palisades Park High School, First Place

Immaculate Heart Academy, Second Place

Two honorable mentions from Cresskill High School

For more information about trauma prevention, please contact Meliam Gonzales at 551-996-2672 or meliam.gonzales@hackensackmeridian.org.

About Hackensack University Medical Center
HackensackUMC, a 775-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is a member of Hackensack Meridian Health, one of the largest networks in the state comprised of 28,000 team members and more than 6,000 physicians. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015-16 Best Hospital rankings – maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. It was also named one of the top four New York Metro Area hospitals. HackensackUMC is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 24 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. HackensackUMC has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to The Barclays PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit www.HackensackUMC.org.