March 17 Be Safe Saturday goes green; last chance to catch Choo-Choo Soul gives final appearance

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the 14th Be Safe Saturday goes shamrock green, March 17, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., on the TMC campus, parking lot #11.

This free safety fair, which draws more than 13,000 people, helps parents and guardians create the safest environment for their children. Families get free bike helmets and booster seats, and can visit roughly 100 interactive booths that provide education and resources to help improve safety. Safe Kids Pima County and the Tucson Police Department will offer car seat checks from 9 a.m. to noon to make sure they are properly installed.

With the event falling on St. Patrick’s Day, everywhere you look you’ll see shamrocks and lots of happy, smiling faces. If you haven’t seen Disney’s Choo Choo Soul now’s the time as 2018 marks Genevieve’s final TMC appearance. And don’t forget to stop by the Exit Booth and enter in the drawings for a bike or scooter.

“TMC continues to keep children and families safe throughout Southern Arizona. We began our promise to keep kids safe more than 30 years ago,” said Hope Thomas, director of community programs at TMC. “Whether you need a bike helmet, a booster seat, toddler car seat or swim lessons, TMC has always been here to provide education and life-saving products. As Tucson’s community hospital we fulfill our mission daily by providing exceptional health care with compassion.”

TMC recognized as a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador of Excellence

BDP33616Tucson Medical Center is honored to be recognized by the National Weather Service (NWS) in Tucson as the 2017 Southeast Arizona Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador of Excellence, for going above and beyond the call of duty to help the NWS build a Weather Ready Nation.

This year,  NWS Tucson nominated TMC for its work in hosting its annual Be Safe Saturday event. For 13 years, TMC has conducted car seat checks, distributed bike helmets and booster seats and invited community partners to staff more than 100 interactive booths committed to the safety and wellness of children throughout Southern Arizona.

The National Weather Service is one of those Be Safe Saturday participants, speaking about weather safety to hundreds of families, said Ken Drozd, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the NWS Tucson office. “Dozens of other organizations also help educate the public about how to stay safe and we appreciate TMC’s  dedication to community safety,” he added.

BDP33551The ambassador initiative recognizes leaders in the community that help build community resilience in the face of extreme weather events – from promoting safety messages in outreach activities, to being a “weather-ready” role model.

Safety Manager Steven Barnes said TMC monitors weather conditions to ensure the safety of its HazMat team when wearing gear in the heat of the summer. The TMC Safety Department presents heat stress prevention classes to facilities personnel each June, followed by lightning safety in July and West Nile disease prevention training every August.

TMC is prepared for electrical outages during the monsoon storms with very extensive backup generator equipment for patient safety, Barnes noted, adding the hospital also has a fully equipped disaster command center and participates in local and statewide exercises every year.

“As you can imagine we are very dependent on accurate weather forecasts and prepare on a regular basis for all weather threats and situations,” Barnes said, adding he was pleased with the recognition.

Any organization can  become a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador. Schools, government agencies, private businesses, civic organizations, home owner associations and others can apply online at https://www.weather.gov/wrn/amb-tou

 

Tucson Medical Center hosts 11th annual Be Safe Saturday March 21

Tomas_BSS2015 Shelly_BSS2015Tucson Medical Center’s Be Safe Saturday is back and better than ever! More than 100 booths will be set up featuring community partners who are committed to the safety and wellness of children in Southern Arizona. Each booth is interactive and has a unique and powerful safety and wellness message.

Safe Kids Pima County and the Tucson Police Department will be conducting car seat checks from 9 a.m. to noon. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injuries and death for children under the age of 14, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, yet an estimated 85 percent of car seats are installed incorrectly. Properly installed car seats reduce fatal injury by more than 70 percent for infants and by 54 percent for children through age 4.

The family-friendly event is sponsored by Children’s Miracle Network, which helps TMC provide the more than 3,000 bike helmets and 1,200 booster seats that will be handed out. “The commitment we have to the community is strong and unique to TMC. Every booth is engaging. Events like Be Safe Saturday are one of many ways TMC shows it’s dedication to truly being Southern Arizona’s community hospital,” said Hope Thomas, TMC Director, Community Programs.

TMCs Be Safe Saturday
Saturday, March 21
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Car seat checks from 9 a.m. – noon)
TMC parking lot #11
Parking will be available nearby in surface lots and in the 600-space garage just to the
west of TMC’s 
Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower

The focus of this year’s event is water safety, with an emphasis also on child passenger safety and sports safety. Some of the new community partners this year include the Arizona Air National Guard, the Central Arizona Center for Therapy and Imaging Services (CACTIS) Foundation, the Desert Museum, the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona, LifeNet, NextCare Urgent Care, Southern AZ Rescue Association, TMC Ben’s Bells – Kind Colleagues, the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program and the Tucson Jewish Community Center. There will be lots of giveaways and free services including:

▪ Free booster seats for those who qualify
▪ Free bike helmets
▪ Free child identification fingerprinting
▪ Free concussion screenings

In Pima County last year, there were 18 water-related incidents reported. Tragically, seven of these incidents resulted in fatalities; two were adults, and five were children under age 5. Information about water safety will be offered in a fun setting that’s a real treat for Arizona kids – a beach!

 Visitors are also welcome to drop-off gently used children’s clothes
and toys to be donated to 
The Teal Saguaro, the TMC Auxiliary’s resale
boutique, which directly supports TMC.

Hospital Week spotlight: Meet Greg Harris

Greg Harris underneath one of his signs at the 2014 Rock ‘N Rodeo event with his wife, Kathy (right), and director of TMC Volunteer Services Hope Thomas.

Greg Harris is TMC’s cabinet maker and special events carpenter. He was hired 28 years ago after running his own carpentry business for 10 years, including doing jobs for the hospital. Originally he built charting tables, off-the-wall units and other cabinetry pieces throughout the hospital.

Slowly, though, he started working on special events, coordinating logistics as well as the carpentry and stage work, including building sets and other props. His and his team’s handiwork is seen at the likes of Be Safe Saturday, the annual Baby Fair and Rock ‘N Rodeo. Now add to the list themed sets for the TMC Foundation’s annual Gala and Community Benefits’ various community runs.

When the Gala had a Hollywood theme, he had fun building a replica of the iconic Hollywood sign as well as a façade for Ric’s Café from Casa Blanca.

Some of his projects have special meaning. This past year, he built a mesquite fish tank stand for the lobby of the Pediatric Emergency Department. The wood came from trees cut when TMC for Children was expanded. The trees were then milled and dried for two years, he said. “The fish tank is the first piece and the remaining wood is to be used only on furniture for pediatric areas.”

He’s touching the greater community, giving a positive, professional image of the hospital.

“He takes my vision and kicks it up a notch, always exceeding my wildest dreams,” said Hope Thomas, director of Volunteer Services & Community Programs.

“It all started with the TMC arch for Baby Fair in 2000. In my mind’s eye I was picturing a simple arch that bore the TMC logo,” she said. “What I got was a creative and artful masterpiece, right down to the stucco finish and southwest colors and accents. The commitment to every last detail defines his work.”

And it really is all about his interpretation of the vision, she said. “He always wants TMC to outshine every other exhibitor at an event.”

While he enjoys building the sets, he still has responsibilities for the hospital, and that presents some of the challenges of his job – juggling responsibilities with a host of departments, including the Foundation, Community Outreach, Community Benefit and Plant Services.

But that’s nothing compared with the fact that he enjoys what he does.

“There are a lot of fun people around here,” he said, and one in particular. “I met my wife 22 years ago, and we’ve been married 20!”

How to score a FREE car seat, along with life-saving information

Motor vehicle crashes remain a leading cause of death for children.

According to Arizona’s 2012 annual child fatality report, 88 children died as the result of motor vehicle crashes in Arizona alone.  26 of these children were under age 10.  In many cases, these children died because they were improperly restrained in a vehicle, or not restrained at all.  Sadly, most of these deaths were determined to have been preventable.

car seatParents and caregivers can ensure their children are as safe as they can possibly be by buckling up themselves, and having the proper car seat for each child, based on their size and age.  But just having the seat isn’t enough.  Those seats need to be installed correctly.  And the child needs to be buckled up properly every single time, regardless of the length of the trip.

But not every car seat is compatible with every vehicle.  Bottom line: There’s a lot to know, and it’s easy for parents and caregivers to unintentionally install a seat incorrectly.  In fact, an estimated 85 percent of car seats are installed wrong.  Properly installed car seats reduce fatal injury by more than 70 percent for infants and by 54 percent for children through age 4.

Part of Tucson Medical Center’s mission is to provide education to families, along with the car seat. 

On Saturday, March 29, TMC and Tucson Police are hosting a car seat class at TPD’s Westside substation, 1310 W. Miracle Mile.  Parents and caregivers will attend a 90 minute class, and leave with a FREE car seat appropriate for their child’s age and weight.  One seat per family please.

Four classes will be offered that morning: 8, 8:30, 9:30 and 10.  Please arrange for child care while you attend class.  Each class can accept 50 people max.  Sign up today by calling TMC’s Desert Kids Safety Program at (520) 324-5604, or you can sign up at Be Safe Saturday, held on the TMC campus in parking lot #11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 22.  Look for Desert Kids Safety or Tucson Police Department in tent B!

Booster seats, bike helmets & bugs! TMC’s 10th annual Be Safe Saturday: March 22

Tomas Shelly Tandem Bike_4c_v2TMC’s 10th annual Be Safe Saturday is back and better than ever, coming up on Saturday, March 22.  The free event is not only fun, but educational.  A sunny day with temps in the low 70’s is expected – perfect for an afternoon at TMC’s parking lot #11, where visitors have more than 100 interactive booths to choose from, each with a unique and powerful safety message.

The event is sponsored by Children’s Miracle Network, which helps TMC provide the more than 3,000 bike helmets and 1,200 booster seats that will be handed out.  “The commitment we have to the community is strong and unique to TMC.  Every booth is engaging.  It’s about providing education and resources to keep kids and their families safe in their everyday lives,” said Hope Thomas, TMC Community Programs director.   

  TMC’s Be Safe Saturday
  Saturday, March 22
  9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  TMC parking lot #11
  Parking will be available nearby in surface lots and in the new 600-space garage just to the west of TMC’s Orthopaedic and Surgical tower

The family activities will educate the public about new dangers as well as ones that continue to send children to the emergency room every day.  “We use the data we get from the Arizona Department of Health Services to identify our main areas of focus,” said Thomas.  “They are consistently child passenger safety, water safety and bike/pedestrian safety.  That’s what started our initial Be Safe Saturday event a decade ago.  Each year, we try to add booths to educate parents and children alike about new dangers, as well as ones that are injuring kids, but perhaps don’t receive as much attention.  Be Safe Saturday allows us to make an impression on thousands of lives.”

Free booster seats are always a big draw.  Booster seats boost a school-age child up so that a lap and shoulder belt fits them correctly in a vehicle.  The shoulder belt should be snug across the child’s shoulder, not their neck or arm, and the lap belt should be snug on top of the child’s thighs, not against their belly.  Children must be 5 years old and at least 40 pounds in order to receive a free booster seat at Be Safe Saturday.  Remember – Arizona’s booster seat law requires children ages 7 or under who are less than 4’9” in height to be secured in a child-passenger restraint system.

Not 100 percent sure your child’s car seat is installed properly?  Safe Kids Pima County and Tucson Police Department will be conducting car seat checks from 9 a.m. to noon.  Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injuries and death for children under the age of 14, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, yet an estimated 85 percent of car seats are installed incorrectly. Properly installed car seats reduce fatal injury by more than 70 percent for infants and by 54 percent for children through age 4.

The day also corresponds with National Safe Kids Day, a special day to remind families that preventable injuries are the #1 killer of kids in the U.S. and each year a million families around the world lose a child to these injuries.

Water safety will be another big focus, as Arizona is consistently right behind Florida for having the highest number of water incidents every year. In Pima County last year, there were 24 water-related incidents reported.  Tragically, six of these incidents resulted in fatalities; three were adults, and three were children under age 5.  A heartbreaking statistic that events like Be Safe Saturday hope to eliminate.  Life saving information will be offered in a fun setting that’s a real treat for Arizona kids – a beach!

Kids love bugs, right?  There will be a bug booth hosted by TMC’s own Desert Kids Safety program.  Kids and families will identify Tucson bugs and which ones to watch out for. 

You’d be amazed how much a bottle of cleaning solution looks like a sports drink, or how similar vitamins and gummy candies look.  67,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms every year after ingesting something that should have been locked up.  TMC Pharmacists will have a “poison look alike” booth to educate children and caregivers.  Would your child pass the test?

You can also have your child fingerprinted and receive a free child identification kit, as well as information about the Marketplace Healthcare Exchange.

We hope to see you there!

Excitement is building for Be Safe Saturday: March 23

An estimated 13,000 people are expected to pour into TMC’s Parking Lot 11 for the 9th annual Be Safe Saturday  this Saturday, March 23.  Parking will be available nearby in surface lots and in the new 600-space garage next to the soon-to-open Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower.

The event is sponsored by Children’s Miracle Network, which helps TMC provide the 4,000 bike helmets and 1,200 booster seats that will be handed out.  Be Safe Saturday  will feature approximately 100 interactive booths – all with a different message.

Turtle_Pic“The commitment we have to the community is strong and unique to TMC.  Every booth is engaging.  It’s about providing education and resources to keep kids and their families safe in their everyday lives,” said Hope Thomas, TMC Community Programs Director.

There will be information on martial arts for kids, a jumping castle, a climbing wall,  even a corral set up to reinforce safety practices around horses.  With warmer months ahead, the Kohl’s Cares Vest It Up! program can help parents track down free swim lessons for their kids.  Tucson’s new soccer team, FS Tucson, will be there, and as an added bonus, Tucson Food Truck Roundup will feature gourmet food for purchase from funky mobile kitchens.

Be Safe Saturday
Sat., March 23
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
TMC Parking Lot #11

Car seats, bike helmets, and Tide pods? What’s new at TMC’s 9th annual Be Safe Saturday: March 23

Becoming a parent makes you suddenly care about a thing you seldom thought about before:  child safety.  The world begins to look very different when you have a little one who depends on you to keep them safe in every environment.

Your vehicle is no longer just a way to get from point A to point B, but a 2,000-pound machine that your child can get severely injured in – or worse.  Your living room is no longer just a place to hang out– it’s a maze of electrical outlets, corners, and dangerously tempting attractions for little ones.  As they grow, it’s a different set of worries – like making sure they wear their helmet correctly every time they get on a bike. 

As parents, grandparents and caregivers who are constantly juggling a full plate, it’s impossible for us to look at everything through the “safety filter” in our minds.  As technology evolves and new products are developed, hazards exist that may surprise you. 

Take those convenient Tide laundry detergent pods, for example.  Toss them in the wash, and laundry is a snap, right?  “They’re bright, and colorful.  You’d be amazed at how many children end up in intensive care because they’ve swallowed one, thinking it’s candy,” said TMC Pediatric Emergency Department manager Jennie Westmoreland, RN. 

be safe 1TMC’s Be Safe Saturday aims to let people know about new dangers as well as ones that continue to send children to the emergency room every day.

“We use the data we get from the Arizona Department of Health Services to identify our main areas of focus.  They are consistently child passenger safety, water safety and bike/pedestrian safety.  That’s what started our initial Be Safe Saturday event nine years ago,” said Hope Thomas, TMC Community Programs Director.

The conclusion from that data absolutely transfers into real life. Those focus areas are exactly what Westmoreland and her team treat in the emergency room.  “We tend to see a lot of children who have been in car accidents – ages 5, 6, and 7 for example – who are injured because they were not in a booster seat.  This is the age group where we see less compliance.”

Westmoreland says parents are shocked to learn how little water it takes to be a threat to a very young child.  “Toilets, buckets, even a bowl of dog water.  It just takes a few inches for a baby to drown.  It doesn’t always happen in a swimming pool.  And it doesn’t always happen in the summer.  Water is still water,” she said.

A near-drowning has been reported in Pima County this year – a toddler in a bathtub.

The number one safety-related reason children are brought to the pediatric emergency department?  Westmoreland said the data is pretty consistent.  Head injuries typically top the list.  Children who fall down stairs, fall out of bed, or fall out of shopping carts.  For older kids, they’re usually sports related, because they’re not wearing a bike helmet or they’re not wearing it correctly. 

be safe 3“Education plays a huge role in many of our cases,” Westmoreland said.  “Oftentimes, if parents were more aware, an accident or tragedy could have been prevented.  Events like Be Safe Saturday are so important because they teach people things they were unaware of before.  I love it when I tell parents something and I can just see the light bulb go on.  Be Safe Saturday allows us to make an impression on thousands of lives.”

The event is sponsored by Children’s Miracle Network, which helps TMC provide the 4,000 bike helmets and 1,200 booster seats that will be handed out.  Be Safe Saturday will feature approximately 100 interactive booths, and is expected to draw 13,000 people this year.  “The commitment we have to the community is strong and unique to TMC.  Every booth is engaging.  It’s about providing education and resources to keep kids and their families safe in their everyday lives,” said Thomas. 

There will be information on martial arts for kids, a jumping castle, a climbing wall,  even a corral set up to reinforce safety practices around horses.  With warmer months ahead, the Kohl’s Cares Vest It Up! program can help parents track down free swim lessons for their kids.  Tucson’s new soccer team, FS Tucson will be there, and as an added bonus, Tucson Food Truck Roundup will feature gourmet food for purchase from funky mobile kitchens.

Turtle_PicBe Safe Saturday
Sat., March 23
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
TMC parking lot #11


Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461