Hennepin County Medical Center, along with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the Minnesota Safety Council and the THINK FIRST Foundation, recently received the 1998 Community Health Award for their program, "H.O.P.E. for a Safe Community." The Minnesota Hospital and Healthcare Partnership bestowed the award at its annual meeting. The honor goes out anually to a hospital or health system that works toward improving its community's health through community collaboration.
The goal of "H.O.P.E. for a Safe Community" is to decrease injuries through proactive, innovative injury-prevention programs. The program conducts bike-safety rodeos, offers reduced-cost helmets, provides safety camps for children, brings educational programs to high-school students to show the consequences of drinking and driving, coordinates mock car crashes, provides injury prevention for seniors, and trains law-enforcement and emergency-medical-services workers on the correct use of child safety seats. Since its inception in 1995, this program has trained more than 200 emergency-medical-service workers from throughout Minnesota to replicate these injury-prevention activities in their own communities.