Youth Injury Prevention Expands into Northwestern Ontario

Youth injury prevention programming at Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre has grown. Over the past three years, the Hospital has delivered injury prevention education to more grade 11 student across Northwestern Ontario.

The reality education about dangers associated with high risk behaviours and alcohol/ drug misuse has been in place since 2009. Since September 2017, our Hospital provides the harm reduction programming to youth living in Nipigon, Long Lac, and Dryden.

The leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 14-25 is trauma and 90% of these deaths are predictable and preventable. Injury Prevention Leads Shonath Kajorinne and Justin Ross are determined to change that.

Through partnerships with community and regional stakeholders, our Hospital has developed videoconference education sessions based on topics from the International Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y) Program. Through a pilot project, the injury prevention education is now offered twice per month at the Dryden High School.

“The P.A.R.T.Y. Program introduces a dialogue that our students need to hear and feel part of,” said Richard Hodgkinson, Dryden High School Principal. “At times, many students go through challenges that require support not just from the school and staff but from other people they feel a connection to. At the session I attended, the role model’s story connected back to when they were a student and what they did to help set and reach their goals. We are working and learning together to help students succeed and develop a positive vision of their future.”

“Finding innovative ways to connect with youth in our surrounding areas is so important” said Shonath Kajorinne, Regional Injury Prevention Lead. “Delivering injury prevention messages despite the distance is our goal.”

Providing a portable P.A.R.T.Y. Program toolkit is another project underway in collaboration with ORNGE- air ambulance. The concept of having paramedics use injury prevention teaching aids within the toolkit that can be brought to any Northern Community is exciting to Kajorinne. “It’s an incredible opportunity to work collaboratively with key stakeholders to spread the word on injury prevention,” she said.

Providing injury prevention for youth in our city as well as in the NWO region supports our Hospital’s Strategic Plan, and will help make a healthier community and region in the future.

For more information about youth injury prevention at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, please visit our website at