Monday, May 12, 2014

TMA Honors Physician for Founding 20-Year Program to Keep Kids Safe

TMA Vice Speaker Susan Strate, MD, and Speaker Clifford Moy, MD,
present Larry Driver, MD (center), with a special plaque in recognition of
founding TMA's award-winning Hard Hats for Little Heads program.
A bicycle accident 20 years ago gave Houston physician Larry Driver, MD, an idea that has since saved countless children from serious head injuries across Texas.

Dr. Driver was practicing in San Angelo in 1994 when a neighbor girl fell off her bike. Because she wasn't wearing a helmet, she suffered a concussion and passed out. Although she recovered after spending a night in the hospital, the experience moved Dr. Driver. Knowing a bicycle helmet easily could have prevented her injury, he organized the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) Hard Hats for Little Heads program.

Since then the Hard Hats program has grown, won numerous awards, and protected nearly 175,000 little Texans from brain injury and possibly even death. TMA physicians, TMA Alliance members, and medical students took up the cause and hosted or volunteered for more than 1,100 Hard Hats events in cities and towns across Texas, often partnering with businesses and community groups to make these events possible.

In gratitude for his work to keep Texas children safe, TMA’s House of Delegates recognized Dr. Driver earlier this month at the association’s annual conference with a standing ovation and a special award.

"Hard Hats provides an opportunity for physicians to get out of the office and into the community to educate children and adults about injury prevention," said Dr. Driver. "The good folks in white coats are providing hard hats for kids, especially those who are disadvantaged and likely don't have helmets."

So far, the Hard Hats program has covered half of Texas’ 254 counties. The goal is to cover the entire state. This year, TMA hopes to give away its 200,000th helmet. During the annual conference, physicians from across Texas came together to support this goal, donating enough to the TMA Foundation (TMAF) to protect more than 1,600 little heads. Annually, TMAF raises upwards of $125,000 to support Hard Hats for Little Heads.

Read more about the Hard Hats for Little Heads program.

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