Marian Regional Medical Center Emergency Department Participates in ‘Every 15 Minutes’ Program

MRMC Every 15 Minutes 01: As part of a dramatization for the "Every 15 Minutes" program, a Righetti High School student is transported to Marian Regional Medical Center via California Highway Patrol helicopter Wednesday in Santa Maria. (Photo: Courtesy)

Emergency room staff volunteer to help educate local students on dangers of drinking and driving

Staff from the emergency department at Dignity Health Marian Regional Medical Center (MRMC) participated in the “Every 15 Minutes” program by simulating a trauma activation Wednesday.

A team inside the MRMC emergency department simulated life-saving techniques as cameras were rolling to produce scenes for an educational film to be shown at Righetti High School’s “Every 15 Minutes” presentation detailing the grim realities of drinking and driving.

Over a number of years, MRMC’s emergency department has partnered with area “Every 15 Minutes” organizers, including Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley and the California Highway Patrol, to help educate local high school students on the dangers of drinking and driving by producing educational videos filmed in the halls of the emergency department.

“I love this program because I feel it really gets to the youth and gives them an example of the consequences of their actions that they don’t really think about at their age,” said Christine Sewell, RN, Director of Emergency Services at Marian. “Over the years, we’ve seen a decrease in teen drinking accidents and I really think it has to do with this program.”

The “Every 15 Minutes” program was created in the early 1990s and was based around the statistic that a person died from an alcohol-related crash every 15 minutes.

On Wednesday, two students were transported from Righetti High School to Marian Regional Medical Center – one via CHP helicopter and another via ground ambulance – after suffering mock injuries in a simulated vehicle collision during a presentation in Santa Maria.

Emergency department staff then staged a “trauma activation” delivering the level of care to be expected after a vehicle collision involving multiple patients.

The footage captured during the dramatization will be part of a film shown to Righetti High School students that witnessed the scene during the “Every 15 Minutes” presentation Wednesday.

“When we’re not working in the hospital, we’re volunteering our time in hopes of preventing injuries within the community,” said Mardi Nercissian, RN,  an assistant nurse manager with Marian’s emergency department. “With this program, our goal is to drive home the idea that there are consequences to your actions. If you’ve been drinking, you should never be behind the wheel and I think the program has left a lasting impression on our local teenage population.”

Marian Regional Medical Center has been verified as a Level II Trauma Center by the Verification Review Committee (VRC), an ad hoc committee of the Committee on Trauma (COT) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). This distinction recognizes the trauma center’s dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients.

MRMC Every 15 Minutes 02: Staff in Marian Regional Medical Center’s emergency department simulate a trauma activation as a high school student with mock injuries acts as a patient during the “Every 15 Minutes” program Wednesday. (Photo: Courtesy)
MRMC Every 15 Minutes 03: During a dramatization as part of the “Every 15 Minutes” program, parents of a Righetti High School student receive news that their child did not survive a simulated collision Wednesday. (Photo: Courtesy)
MRMC Every 15 Minutes 04: Staff in the Marian Regional Medical Center emergency department pose for a photo after simulating life-saving measures as part of a dramatized trauma activation for the “Every 15 Minutes” program Wednesday. (Photo: Courtesy)

About Marian Regional Medical Center

Dignity Health Marian Regional Medical Center is a state-of-the-art, 191-bed medical center located in Santa Maria, California. The modern facility is home to a broad array of services including a level II trauma center, a level II neonatal intensive care unit, a nationally recognized cardiac care center, and boasts the Central Coast’s only Comprehensive Community Cancer Program as recognized by the Commission on Cancer. Marian has also been recognized with an “A” grade in  quality and patient safety by the Leapfrog Group. Marian Regional Medical Center together with Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, and  Pacific Central Coast Health Centers comprise Dignity Health Central Coast, a network of hospitals, physicians, outpatient services including physician offices, ambulatory surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories and imaging centers, and a full service home health agency. Learn more at



Written by DignityHealth

Dignity Health is a California-based not-for-profit public-benefit corporation that operated hospitals and ancillary care facilities in three states.


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