Our Mission

The mission of ThinkFirst is to prevent brain, spinal cord and other traumatic injuries  through education, research and policy.

ThinkFirst at SIU School of Medicine celebrates 25 Years

Mary Kay Reed, retired SIU SOM faculty member, honored for founding the SIU School of Medicine ThinkFirst chapter and for her 25 years of service to the program.

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The SIU School of Medicine ThinkFirst team, past and present, received 25 year chapter recognition from Debby Gerhardstein, Executive Director, ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation.

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ThinkFirst - 12th Annual Poinsettia Sale

Help ThinkFirst at SIU School of Medicine/Orthopaedic Surgery prevent brain and spinal cord injuries with our 12th Annual Poinsettia Sale! Order these beautiful poinsettias as great gifts at great prices for you family, friends, offices, hospital units and homes!

Proceeds used for bicycle helmets, safety seats and safety educational materials for children in central Illinois.

Download order form here

Our Focus

ThinkFirst programs are award-winning, focusing on those most at risk for brain and spinal cord injuries—especially our youth.  Presentations emphasize risk-taking behaviors and consequences, personal vulnerability, and developing good safety habits.   Click on image to see a larger view

Injury prevention is the key!


We focus on increasing understanding of

Our educational programs presented by

Community Service

Service to the community is an integral part of the mission of SIU School of Medicine.  For more than 20 years, SIU School of Medicine Division of Orthopedic Surgery has provided free community education on injury prevention through its ThinkFirst program, reaching over 300,000 people across central and southern Illinois in more than 4,000 presentations. ThinkFirst, SIU School of Medicine is funded entirely through an Injury Prevention grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.

For information about other community services available at SIU School of Medicine, click here.

Aspire to Inspire

The Division of Orthopaedics participates in the overall educational mission of the SIU School of Medicine by contributing orthopaedic and rehabilitation medicine expertise to undergraduate, graduate and medical students, as well as offering continuing medical education programs. We inspire and train the experts of tomorrow, through a residency program that draws the highest quality medical students. We provide opportunities and encouragement for faculty, staff, residents and students to advance their careers in this field, while providing an environment supportive of teamwork, communication and collaboration with other individuals and organizations. An evolving research program further enhances our dedication to education and patient care.

Download the article about ThinkFirst