The July Fourth holiday is one of the busiest times of the year for St. Luke’s McCall’s emergency department, when doctors treat high numbers of alcohol related injuries, overdoses and sexual assaults.
This year the St. Luke’s McCall team is extending its community support to make sure residents and visitors enjoy safe, healthy and sober fun throughout the holiday weekend.
To encourage a fun and safe holiday, the City of McCall, Valley County and Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation have banned alcohol in all city parks and at North Beach for the entire holiday weekend, July 1 through 4. The purpose is to reduce the amount of excessive drinking that is common during the holiday.
St. Luke’s McCall will support the city’s initiative by joining more than 20 community organizations for an alcohol-free celebration on Independence Day. The new Lakeside Liberty Fest will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, July 4 to provide fun family activities in Legacy and Brown Park.
St. Luke’s McCall will host a shade tent to give visitors a break from the heat and to offer a healthy snack (fresh fruit) and water (sponsored by Kinetico Water Systems).
The Community Health Needs Assessment conducted by St. Luke’s McCall in 2013 identified excessive drinking as a risk factor for other health issues. The percentage of people engaging in excessive drinking in Valley County is well above both Idaho and national averages.
The community’s above-average statistics regarding alcohol use inspired the St. Luke’s McCall Foundation to obtain a four-year, $381,000 grant from the Idaho Strategic Prevention Framework Advisory Council.
The grant, awarded in 2014, supports the Youth Advocacy Coalition (YAC). The organization’s mission is to promote healthy lifestyle choices, and one of the main objectives is the prevention of youth alcohol and substance use and abuse. The coalition was involved in planning this year’s Lakeside Liberty Fest, and representatives from the YAC will serve as community ambassadors during the event, playing a key role in public safety monitoring and providing directions and information about holiday activities.“Based on what we see in the emergency department, the physicians are strong supporters of the holiday alcohol ban. I’m happy St. Luke’s McCall is jumping in to support our community in a fun and healthy way,” said Dr. Julie Welty, family medicine and emergency room physician.
Laura Crawford works in the Communications and Marketing department at St. Luke's.