The mission of ThinkFirst is to prevent brain, spinal cord and other traumatic injuries through education, research and policy.
The leading cause of death for young people in the United States, ages 1-44, is injury.
Injury prevention is the key! ThinkFirst focuses on increasing understanding of potential for injury and the permanent impact of Traumatic Brain Injury / Spinal Cord Injury. Prevention is much easier and more cost-efficient than treatment for a life changing injury.
ThinkFirst programs are award-winning, with a concentrated effort on reaching those most at risk for brain and spinal cord injuries— our youth. Our services include programs such as ThinkFirst for Teens and ThinkFirst for Kids, Victim Impact Panels for DUI offenders, child passenger safety seat education and trainings, bike helmet fittings and coordinating crash reenactments. Because motor vehicle crashes are the biggest cause of injury, ThinkFirst presentations emphasize traffic safety such as seat belt use and driving free of distractions and impairments.
- Health/education professionals, trained in injury prevention
- VIP (Voices for Injury Prevention) speakers, who relate first-person experience with a brain and/or spinal cord injury
- All ThinkFirst staff are nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians/Instructors
Our Community Activities
Some of our community involvement includes:
- Schwinn Helmets on Head event
- 4-H Health Jam
- ThinkFirst Crash Reenactments
- Safety Seat Check
- Enos School Bike Helmets
- Enos School Health Jam
- Triopia Crash Re-enactment
FY15 Highlights for SIU School of Medicine ThinkFirst
- Reached 14,091 individuals through 316 programs/events in 36 Illinois counties
- In crash reenactments, special events and 180 ThinkFirst for Teen presentations, more than 11,000 teens heard our injury prevention message
- Received grants from Orthopedic Center of Illinois and Community Foundation of Land of Lincoln
- Started new social media outreach – now on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Other programs included:
- 30 ThinkFirst for Youth (5th – 8th grade) presentations
- 62 children received bicycle helmets
- 19 Victim Impact Panels for DUI offenders
- 16 Child Passenger Safety events, including
- 9 Community Seat Check events
- 33 child safety seats distributed
- 1 child passenger safety technician training course taught
- 13 Health Fairs, Exhibits, or Community Events
- 9 ThinkFirst for Kids (K-3rd grade) programs