As dozens of healthcare heroes from trauma centers, emergency departments and emergency medical services from around the state looked on, Hartford Hospital this week announced the launch of the Not One More campaign, designed to prevent the incidence of impaired driving due to alcohol and drugs.
The hospital, recently awarded a $550,000 highway safety grant from the Connecticut Department of Transportation produced a campaign with statewide trauma centers that will be shared on local television, streaming audio, billboards, social media and the web.
The message of Not One More highlights the fateful decision to have “just one more” and the potential domino effect of impaired driving. In a powerful video, the viewer is transported from a restaurant to a busy emergency room and then a tense operating room, where teams fight to save the life of a person who chose to get behind the wheel while impaired.
“The fight against impaired driving is more essential than ever before,” said Bimal Patel, Hartford HealthCare Senior Vice President and President of Hartford Hospital. “Connecticut performs poorly when it comes to impaired driving fatalities. Now is the time to declare ‘Not One More.’”
Impaired driving due to alcohol and drugs continues to be a problem in Connecticut that peaks during the July 4th holiday. In 2017, almost half (48 percent) of all driving fatalities were alcohol-related in Connecticut, compared to the national average of 34 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“The coordination and collaboration of all 12 trauma centers working together for the purpose of community is one of the greatest examples of us being better than normal,” said Hartford HealthCare President and CEO Jeffrey Flaks. “When we align our resources and our collective will, I am confident we are going to make an enormous difference.”
Dr. Jonathan Gates, Chief of Trauma at Hartford Hospital, knows all too well the impact of impaired driving – not only to the patient, but their families and the care teams that treat them.
“My colleagues and I see the devastating effects of impaired driving every day,” said Dr. Gates, shown above at the podium. “Not only does driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs cause tremendous physical harm to those involved in impaired driving accidents, the emotional impact of these tragedies ripples throughout our communities.
“In order for us to see ‘Not One More’ injury or death related to impaired driving, we are asking for Connecticut drivers to pledge that they won’t have that one additional drink or smoke that will put them and others at risk.”
Said DOT Commissioner Joseph J. Giulietti, “Our hope is that this message — delivered by the healthcare heroes who see the life-shattering impact of impaired driving each day — will resonate with the state’s drivers and lead to a reduction in accidents.”
As part of the “Not One More” campaign, Connecticut drivers are encouraged to sign an online pledge that they will not drive impaired. The campaign website also includes personal stories of healthcare heroes and their experiences treating victims of impaired driving, resources such as a blood alcohol content (BAC) calculator, information on substance abuse support and related community programs and events.
Will you sign the pledge? Visit NotOneMore.org.