NEENAH, Wis. – The Trauma Center at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah is announcing the FOCUS program will transition to a virtual presentation for the spring 2022 session dates.
“For nearly two years, ThedaCare has monitored and proactively adjusted our plans, following COVID-19 safety guidance from health organizations,” said Ray Georgen, MD, ThedaCare System Trauma Medical Director and one of the leaders who started the program more than 20 years ago. “With any large gathering, we want to ensure the safest environment possible for those attending. Due to the latest surge in cases due to the Omicron variant over recent weeks, we feel it is best to offer the program virtually this spring.”
The ThedaCare Trauma Center, with funding from the ThedaCare Foundation-Neenah and community support, has hosted the program for more than two decades, aiming 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. It was renamed FOCUS in 2020. FOCUS has evolved as new substances, distractions and technologies have emerged over the years.
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. More than 79,000 students have gone through the program since 1998.
Through the virtual option in spring 2022, students in districts that are participating, will have the opportunity to view the 30-minute program which has been edited to deliver the core of the in-person program. Immediately following viewing of the program, the school staff will engage students and support a classroom discussion that further extends learning around safe driving practices. ThedaCare will also provide an opportunity for the participating schools to offer ongoing curriculum experiences that meet and support Wisconsin State Education Standards and Requirements.
“Although we cannot gather in-person this March for the FOCUS Program, we want to find ways to continue engaging with our teens, families and communities,” said Dr. Georgen. “The core of the program will always remain the same – we are here to educate, engage and save lives.”
The FOCUS program stands for:
- Focus on driving
- Others are affected
- Clear distractions
- Understand that substances impair judgement
- Safely reach your destination
“FOCUS will continue to offer education opportunities, reaching as many young adults in our region as possible,” said Dr. Georgen. “We hope everyone understands that when they get behind the wheel, they have a responsibility to protect themselves and others.”
More information will be announced for fall 2022 in-person program plans.
ThedaCare is grateful to be part of a generous community that makes it possible to present this program every year and help teens understand the risks associated with distracted driving. Without the personal and philanthropic commitment of our community members, parents and organizations, the impact this program provides wouldn’t be possible.
If you or your company would like to sponsor the ThedaCare FOCUS Program, please contact the ThedaCare Family of Foundations at [email protected].
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 seven 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.