Published on April 26, 2018

Owensboro Health Regional Hospital hosts students for annual impaired-driving deterrence event

Owensboro Health Regional Hospital will host students from Owensboro High School at the Ghost Out, an annual event to deter impaired driving.

The Ghost Out program was originally developed by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety to bring an understanding of the consequences resulting from impaired driving. The all-day event simulates an impaired-driving crash involving students on prom night. Participants include Owensboro Police Department, Owensboro Fire Department, Yellow Ambulance, Air Evac flight ambulance, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital Trauma Services, Daviess County District Court and the Daviess County Detention Center.

The accident scene depiction will take place in the back parking lot of Owensboro High School, where students will watch how extrication and rescue efforts are carried out by first responders. The event is kept secret until the day of so that students are surprised much like they would be in the event of a genuine tragedy.

“This event is important for a number of reasons,” said Owensboro Public Schools Public Information Officer Jared Revlett. “One decision can change not only your life, but possibly the lives of many others, and this really puts it in perspective for the students.”

Owensboro Health will host students in its Emergency Department, where a simulated trauma case will be reenacted with student participation as victims. They will experience first-hand what occurs in the trauma bay when people in impaired-driving crashes are injured or lose their lives. Owensboro Health staff also participate by playing various roles. Some, such as doctors, nurses, and techs, act out their jobs. Others play the role of distraught family members.

Dr. Tony Decker, medical director of Owensboro Health Regional Hospital Trauma Services, has been one of the actors in the Ghost Out in recent years. Dr. Decker said the goal is to stop students from driving impaired by showing them just a glimpse of what happens.

“I'm glad we have so many people willing to help with this, and I'm always proud to be involved with it,” Dr. Decker said. “If we impact even one or two and prevent themselves from getting hurt, that's a win. That's what keeps me going, knowing that we're helping.”

The Ghost Out will take place on Thursday, April 26. The event will begin at Owensboro High School in the back parking lot at 9:15 a.m., with events moving to Owensboro Health Regional Hospital at 10:15 a.m. Media interested in covering the event should call the press contacts below prior to arrival.

Contact: Somer Wilhite, Marketing Specialist, Owensboro Health Marketing & Public Relations, (O) 270-685-7103, (C) 270-779-6970,

Contact: Jared Revlett, Public Information Officer, Owensboro Public Schools, (O) 270-686-1000, (C) 270-314-1778.

About Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a nonprofit health system with a mission to heal the sick and to improve the health of the communities it serves in Kentucky and Indiana. The system includes Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, nationally recognized for design, architecture and engineering and the only hospital in the world to be designated a Signature Sanctuary by Audubon International, Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital, the Owensboro Health Medical Group comprising over 180 providers in 25 locations, a certified medical fitness facility, and the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center. Owensboro Health has been recognized for outstanding care, safety and clinical excellence by The Joint Commission, U.S. News & World Report and Becker’s Hospital Review. As the largest employer west of Louisville, Owensboro Health has 4,088 employees, and in FY 2015 saw 18,380 inpatient admissions and 823,072 outpatient encounters. A committed community partner, Owensboro Health provided grants of $702,924 in the last year to health, social service, education and arts agencies across the region. For more information, visit