Alberta Health Services South Zone supports youth injury prevention programs, including the Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y.) program. Within the South Zone, P.A.R.T.Y.  operates in Taber, Fort Macleod, Pincher Creek and Medicine Hat. Our longest standing program, the Southeastern Alberta P.A.R.T.Y. program is excited to be celebrating 25 years of injury prevention education to youth within Medicine Hat and surrounding communities.

Injuries are the leading cause of death in children and youth, and adolescents ages 15 -19 experience more death due to injuries than for any other reasons. (Injury Prevention Centre, 2019) Some of the leading causes of injuries in Alberta include, falls, transportation incidents, unintentional poisonings and suicide (AHS, 2018). Most injuries are predictable and preventable, meaning that steps can be taken to reduce injuries and deaths. 

At the P.A.R.T.Y. program, grade 9 students throughout the South Zone can learn about risk management, using Smart Risk Messaging. Youth are often exposed to risk-taking decisions, and through Smart Risk Messaging, youth learn how to manage risks that help them choose behaviors that will reduce their chances of injury and death. 

Smart Risk Messaging comprises of six critical messages including:

Look First

Get Trained 

Wear the Gear

Buckle Up

Drive Sober 

Seek Help

Alberta Health Services South Zone P.A.R.T.Y. programs have educated thousands of students, providing information that will help youth to learn about injuries, how to identify dangerous situations, consequences of injuries, how to manage risks to reduce their chances for injuries and their role in injury prevention.

P.A.R.T.Y. is a one-day comprehensive injury awareness program with the overall goal of reducing the rate of injuries and death seen among youth. P.A.R.T.Y. is one of the many programs delivered by AHS Population Health Promotion as part of an injury prevention strategy, with programs reaching across the lifespan. 

The Southeastern program runs most Thursdays between September and June at the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital. P.A.R.T.Y. would not be possible without the support of all the community partners who dedicate their time and energy to providing youth with vital information and learning opportunities. Across the South Zone, P.A.R.T.Y. partners include Alberta Health Services paramedics, registered nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, addictions and mental health, Brain Injury Relearning Services, Police Services, R.C.M.P., hospitals, fire departments, community halls and funeral homes. Additionally, programs such as P.A.R.T.Y could not operate without donors, and the Medicine Hat Health Foundations has provided the Southeastern program with funders such as R.B.C. who have donated thousands of dollars over the past several years. 

Like many programs, P.A.R.T.Y. relies on support from volunteers, and we are very fortunate to have a group of extremely dedicated individuals who work to help make sure the programs run smoothly and efficiently. The program also includes a session where students get to hear from individuals who have survived traumatic injuries, or individuals who have lost loved ones due to preventable injuries. We are fortunate to have dedicated people who take time out of their lives to share their stories with the students.  

Thank you to everyone who has supported the South Zone P.A.R.T.Y. programs and a special thanks to all who contributed to the last 25 years of the Southeastern Alberta P.A.R.T.Y program. We would not be here without your support, and appreciate your dedication towards youth injury prevention.

Interested in learning more about the South Zone P.A.R.T.Y programs? Please contact lisa.doyle@ahs.ca to hear about the Taber, Medicine Hat, Pincher creek and Fort Macleod programs. For more information, please visit the official P.A.R.T.Y. website: http://partyprogram.com

Lisa Doyle is a Health Promotions Facilitator with Alberta Health Services. She can be reached via e-mail, lisa.doyle@ahs.ca

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