Our Programs

If you are interested in any of these programs, please contact our office at (217) 545-9112 or thinkfirst@siumed.edu.

This is a community education class that is focused to keep babies safe. The program content includes: infant safety, car seat use, family safety and home safety. Our ThinkFirst chapter focuses on the car seat use section.


SIU Medicine’s ThinkFirst staff members are all nationally certified Child Passenger Safety instructors or technicians. As partners with the Illinois Department of Transportation, we provide assistance at local car-seat/booster seat checkpoints and educational events.


Focusing on bike helmets, seat belt usage, and basic safety regarding preventing brain and spinal cord injuries, our interactive brain and spinal cord injury presentations are available for elementary through middle school students. ThinkFirst for Kids is presented to children in grades K-3, while ThinkFirst for Youth is presented to children grades 4-8.


Perfect for teens in high school assemblies and classrooms, ThinkFirst health professionals and an injured speaker present the basic brain and spine anatomy, how injuries occur and how they can be prevented, followed by the first-person story of how brain or spinal cord injury changed a life.

This program is geared toward parents that have new teen drivers. Parents make the first impact on their teen drivers and are the number one influence for Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) law adherence. Our ThinkFirst staff presents this with a local law enforcement partner. The law enforcement partner explains the GDL laws to ensure parents understand their risks and responsibilities on how to best support their teen drivers.

In an effort to reach teens on a deeper level, ThinkFirst helps organize crash re-enactments at local high schools. Community partners, including local law enforcement and emergency rescue personnel, are involved in planning and together, a mock crash scene is created to demonstrate the leading cause of injury and death for teens. SIU Medicine facilitates the planning and assists with the moulage make-up.


SIU Medicine’s ThinkFirst program provides an injured speaker to present information to court-ordered DUI offenders in several central Illinois counties.


Each summer our ThinkFirst staff works with a group of teenagers to get feedback on programming, talk about teen driving behavior, assist with social media ideas and assist in new programs.