Reality check

P.A.R.T.Y. Program in Hinton AB

 

Hinton physician Dr. Michael J. Caffaro helps teens understand the realities of risky behaviors through the P.A.R.T.Y. (Preventing Alcohol Related Trauma in Youth) program.

The best investment we can make is in our young, and that’s especially true when it comes to preventing injuries and trauma. And being part of this program gives me a chance to reach kids at an age when we can really make a difference.

P.A.R.T.Y.As any parent will tell you, teens often take risks and ignore consequences that would stop most adults in their tracks.

Introduce alcohol or risky behaviours into the mix, and that youthful fearlessness can turn deadly. That’s exactly what the P.A.R.T.Y. (Preventing Alcohol Related Trauma in Youth) program aims to address.

“We’re now in the 16th year here in Hinton,” explains Dr. Michael J. Caffaro, a family physician and long-time volunteer with the program. “It started at Sunnybrook in Ontario, but has rolled out all over the world.”

Although each community can customize the approach, “the bottom line is that we’re reaching kids at an age when a lot are getting their learners’ permits and teaching them how to identify risks and prevent injuries before they happen.”

P.A.R.T.Y.Dr. Caffaro notes that Hinton has taken a slightly different approach, choosing to do a highly realistic re-creation of an accident – from the collision and emergency response, through to emergency room trauma, and finally to the morgue for a post-mortem examination. “It’s pretty realistic and you can see they’re paying attention.”

Dr. Caffaro has seen firsthand the impact the program has had on kids and the community. “The kids from our first classes are adults now, and when I see them, they’ll often say ‘I hope you’re still doing the P.A.R.T.Y program.’” And, more importantly, he sees fewer of the kids who participated in the program showing up in his emergency room.

“The best investment we can make is in our young, and that’s especially true when it comes to preventing injuries and trauma. And being part of this program gives me a chance to reach kids at an age when we can really make a difference.”

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