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'Play it Safe' essay winners honored

May 31, 2007

Washington County Hospital Trauma Services, in partnership with Washington County Public Schools, held an essay contest for county middle school students in recognition of Trauma Awareness Month. Themed "Play it Safe," the contest encouraged students to write about ways to stay safe while at play.

The winners of this year's contest were recognized at a special reception held May 23 at Washington County Hospital.

First-prize winner Alexandra Pantos is a seventh-grader at Boonsboro Middle School. In her essay, "How to Stay Safe While Having Fun," she wrote tips for staying safe while trick-or-treating, using fireworks, using the Internet, riding a bicycle, playing sports and swimming. For bicycle safety she wrote that you should not only wear a helmet, but make sure you can be seen and that your brakes are working properly.

Alexandra was featured in a radio commercial to remind children to be safe this summer by following safety tips selected from her essay.

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Other contest winners included second-place winner Colby Robinson from E. Russell Hicks, third-place winner Alexandra Scheller from Northern Middle School, and four honorable mention recipients: Summer Cline, Darla Mullinix, Katie Schoen and Taylor Wiles.

The men and women who work in the trauma center also were honored at the reception. Each year, the trauma department provides care to nearly 1,000 patients after serious, life-threatening accidents. In 2006, 97 percent of those patients lived because of the efforts of the trauma team members.

"These successful outcomes are the result of the expertise of an entire team of health care professionals from nurses and physicians to lab and X-ray personnel and many others. These professionals receive additional training in treating trauma patients and constantly go above and beyond to care for the seriously injured patients that are transported to our trauma center. It takes the hard work of each team member to achieve the successes we are celebrating today," said Joan Fortney, manager of trauma and emergency medical services at Washington County Hospital.

Washington County Hospital Trauma Services was designated as an area-wide trauma center in the state emergency medical system in 1981 and is a level III trauma center. The center is part of a statewide system designed to treat trauma patients transported to the hospital by helicopter or ambulance after a serious, life-threatening accident.

Chartered in 1904 and opened in 1905, Washington County Hospital is accredited as an acute care facility by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. It includes the John R. Marsh Cancer Center, Total Rehab Care at Robinwood Medical Center and the Urgent Care Centers at Robinwood and at the Sylvania Building on Pennsylvania Avenue.

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