ThinkFirst Foundation

ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation

aka ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation   |   Naperville, IL   |  www.thinkfirst.org

Mission

ThinkFirst was founded in 1986 to decrease the leading cause of death and disability among children, teens and young adults: traumatic injury. Our mission is to prevent brain, spinal cord and other traumatic injury through education, research and advocacy. ThinkFirst provides educational programs for people of all ages. Programs are presented by health educators and VIP speakers (Voices for Injury Prevention) who share their personal experiences of a decision that led to a brain or spinal cord injury.  ThinkFirst's dynamic, evidence-based programs help students understand the importance of make safe choices: vehicle safety, sports safety, preventing falls, concussion and infant safety. Chapters are generally hospital based, and are located throughout the United States and internationally.

Ruling year info

1991

Executive Director

Ms. Kimberly L.. Spayer

Main address

1801 N. Mill Street Suite F

Naperville, IL 60563 USA

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EIN

36-3730822

NTEE code info

Safety Education (M40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

ThinkFirst For Kids

Educational program for children in grades 1-3 with modules on understanding the brain and spinal cord, vehicle safety, bicycle safety, playground safety, water safety and violence prevention. ThinkFirst chapters provide free presentations and incorporate curriculum with animated video, posters and worksheets.

Population(s) Served
Students

Programs include ThinkFirst For Youth and ThinkFirst For Teens. Programs at all levels explain the anatomy of the delicate brain and spinal cord, how injuries to these areas can cause permanent disabilities and the importance of protecting our bodies. Safety topics include vehicle safety, bicycle safety, playground and sports safety, water safety, and violence prevention. The message is ThinkFirst: use your mind to protect your body! Students learn that while anyone can become injured, most injuries are preventable; we are each responsible for to making safe choices to protect ourselves and others.

ThinkFirst For Youth is curriculum based, providing teachers in grades 4-8 with innovative safety lessons and activities to excite adolescents. Science lessons include anatomy of the brain and spinal cord, while games and exercises help students learn to confidently make safe choices on their own and with their peers.

 

ThinkFirst For Teens is a fast-paced, dynamic presentation for health classes, driver education classes or assemblies. Health educators start the presentation with the 10 minute film, "Think About Your Choices," featuring 10 VIP speakers talking about the decisions that led to a brain or spinal cord injury. This is followed by discussion using models of the brain and spinal column to explain their function, as well as the ramifications of injury to these areas. Power Point slides point out easy ways to prevent injuries through vehicle safety, sports safety, preventing falls and avoiding violence. And finally, the most engaging part of the program are the VIP speakers, Voices For Injury Prevention, who have sustained a brain or spinal cord injury. VIPs share their story with students and explain how an unsafe choice can change a person’s life forever. Through personal testimony, students learn the importance of making safe choices. This program is offered free of charge to high schools, middle schools and colleges.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Introductory educational falls prevention program for older adults and adults at risk for falls

Population(s) Served
Seniors

Concussion awareness, recognition and response for youth and teens

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Four-hour educational program for new and expectant parents, covering infant and family safety issues such as car seat use, safe sleep, SIDS, Shaken Baby Syndrome, home hazards and much more.

Population(s) Served
Parents
Infants and toddlers

Where we work

Awards

Distinguished Service Award 2009

Congress of Neurological Surgeons

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

ThinkFirst is trying to expose people to injury prevention educational programs, so that we may foster a culture of safety by helping people learn the importance of acting in ways that lower their risk for injury. The more people we reach, the more likely safe behaviors become the norm rather than the exception.

Training healthcare educators in hospitals and medical universities enables them to use ThinkFirst educational materials to give effective presentations to schools and community groups. The more chapters, the more communities there are with access to these programs. The more students and families are made aware of the risks and ways to lower their risk, the more likely they are to avoid injury.

There are currently 154 chapters in the United states that give more than 6,300 ThinkFirst presentations each year, reaching 550,000 people with injury prevention programs. Trauma centers are mandated to provide injury prevention education, so there is an increased interest in the last several years for using evidence-based programs such as ThinkFirst. The ThinkFirst Foundation is capable of training any number of chapters and providing them with the ability to provide programs in as large a market area as they are able. Training is offered online every month, and in person at annual ThinkFirst Conferences.

ThinkFirst has recently added a specific concussion program that is provided in addition to the three general injury prevention programs. ThinkFirst For Falls was released in 2016, which is a 2 1/2 hour program presented live to older adults or adults at risk for falls (military who have been injured, etc.). The program covers all the basics on the prevention of falls and provides local and website resources for further information or classes.

Financials

ThinkFirst Foundation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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ThinkFirst Foundation

Board of directors
as of 11/30/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Jamie Ullman

Martina Stippler, MD, FAANS

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston

Daniel Michael, MD, PhD

Michigan Head and Spine Institute, Southfield, MI

Lucy Ranus, RN, BSN

Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ

Dale Spencer

ThinkFirst Illinois

Tetsuo Tatsumi, MD, FACS

No Affiliation

Jill Braselton

Northwestern Medicine, Winfield, IL

Uzma Samadani, MD

Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneqpolis, MN

Shelly Timmons, MD, PhD

Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA

Jason King

Stryker

Mike McBreen

Codman Neuro

Gail Rosseau, MD

NorthShore University Health System

Hugh Garton, MD, M.HSc

University of Michigan Hospital

Nicholas Theodore, MD, FACS

John Hopkins, Baltimore, MD

Robert Reddy

Medtronic Navigation, Louisville, CO

Jean Signorelli, CPA

Kutchins, Robbins and Diamond Schaumburg, IL

Julie Philbrook

Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN

David Dornbos III, MD

OSU Medical Center Columbus, OH

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/30/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data