P.A.R.T.Y. Program at Health Sciences North/Horizon Sante-Nord

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Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y.) is a one-day, in-hospital injury awareness and prevention program for youth aged 15 and older. This program was developed in 1986 at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Mission Statement

  1. To promote injury prevention through reality education, enabling youth to recognize risk and make informed choices about activities and behaviours.
  2. This program explores the dynamic relationship between choice, independence and injury and the impact/outcomes of these dynamics.

Our Volunteers

The P.A.R.T.Y. Program at Health Sciences North | Horizon Santé-Nord (HSN)  relies on our many volunteers to continue delivering a quality program at no cost to schools. Our volunteers include physicians, paramedics, physiotherapists, nurses and injury survivors.

Program Frequency

The Program is held approximately every three to four weeks on Wednesdays, September through May. It is a full-day program and runs from approximately 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

The Student Experience

Students spend the day following a simulated path through an injury event from occurrence through to treatment and recovery.

They begin the day with a introduction designed to engage them in the upcoming day’s events. Housekeeping issues are discussed and the Coordinator(s) clearly communicate what the day's activities will entail.  Students are strongly encouraged to have breakfast prior to arrival. Upon arrival they are provided with a small snack to lessen the chance that they feel unwell during some of the presentations.

A Sudbury Regional Police Officer shares information about impaired driving and its consequences.  A City of Greater Sudbury Paramedic then provides information relating to injury scenes, local EMS services and prevention strategies.

The students are then moved into an Emergency Department (ED) trauma bay and with a volunteer student acting as the "mock" trauma victim. The Medical Director of Trauma Services discusses the interventions performed, their purpose and the urgency of these types of situations. Students are guided through what it would be like to be treated by a Trauma Team Leader and undergo a full resuscitation in the ED.  Time is allowed for question and answer and the session wraps up with a discussion surrounding prevention and the harsh reality of these types of presentations in the department.

The students tour the Intensive Care Unit(ICU)and then move back into the lecture space where a Clinical Educator from the ICU describes the interventions and care received and provided in this area. The information is graphic and demonstrates the loss of control and independence serious trauma can result in. The subject of death and organ donation is also brought forward as the end result for some major trauma victims despite the best efforts of all health care professionals.

Lunch is provided which allows students some time to collect themselves and absorb the information provided.

After a half hour, the students return to the lecture space for an interactive presentation relating to sexual assault and dating violence. Students are challenged on their perceptions of assault and interpersonal violence. The effects of alcohol and drug intoxication on an individual’s ability to make safe and appropriate decisions are also discussed.

A Neuropsychologist or Psychological Associate then provides a unique presentation describing the effects of physical and chemical assault on the anatomy of the brain. The message is delivered in a manner which speaks "to" the students not "at" them. Strong prevention messages are reinforced at the end of the lecture.

The group then moves to the Rehabilitation Program's gym where a Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist shares the realities of the intensive rehabilitation process for patients who have incurred brain, spinal cord or other traumatic injury.  The presentation includes a hands-on experience with the various assistive devices used to maximize a trauma patient's mobility and independence in the face of functional limitations.

Finally our injury survivors tell their personal stories. We are privileged to have regular volunteers who discuss how their decisions and the decisions of others have profoundly affected their lives. They are open about the effect their injuries have had on them physically and emotionally and how their injuries have not only affected them, but their family and friends as well. These presentations tend to have the most significant effect on students and leave a lasting impression. Many students take time after the final session to personally thank our survivors for sharing their stories.

Throughout the day students are given information about:

  • basic anatomy, physiology and the mechanics of injury
  • the effects of alcohol/drugs on judgment, concentration and co-ordination
  • the nature of injuries that can be repaired, and those that cannot
  • the effect of injury on families, finances and future plans

Group Size

The average number of students per group is 30.  Typically 2 teachers will be asked to accompany a group of this size.