Starting a ThinkFirst International Chapter

The ThinkFirst International Injury Prevention Foundation (ThinkFirst Foundation) has chapters throughout the United States and across the globe, providing ThinkFirst educational programs to schools and community groups. ThinkFirst chapters are based in medical centers, medical schools, physician practices, or other health organizations, such as Brain or Spinal Cord Injury Associations. Each chapter is required to have a chapter director and a sponsoring licensed physician. The sponsoring physician is responsible for advocating for injury prevention education and the support of a ThinkFirst Chapter. It is also the sponsoring physician's role to promote ThinkFirst and injury prevention in general to the community.

The chapter director performs the actual day-to-day operation of the chapter and administration of the programs. The director is usually a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, health educator, medical auxiliary member, or other employee designated as the chapter director. Depending on the program's ambitions, this can be a part-time coordinator position with a limited number of schools visited each year, or a full-time position responsible for conducting many school presentations throughout a community, county or region. The cost of operating a chapter also varies, depending on staffing needs. Major expenses include the salary of the staff coordinator (referred to as the chapter director), VIP speaker fees, and initial equipment investment (e.g., spine and skull models). It is helpful if the sponsoring medical center provides for some or all of the chapter director's time, as well as office space, computer, office expenses and auto travel. Otherwise, funding will need to be secured through other means, such as grants, donations or fundraising events.

The following steps are suggested to establish a chapter:

  1. Learn about chapters that may already be underway locally by going to the Chapter Directory on our website.
  2. If no local chapter is available, try to enlist local support for establishment of a chapter. The ThinkFirst Foundation can answer questions on necessary actions to initiate a chapter.
  3. Identify the people serving as the chapter director and sponsoring physician
  4. Submit a chapter application (available on our website), resume, and application fee to the ThinkFirst Foundation; see application for details. Fee includes initial membership, training and materials.
  5. Once your application is approved, training may be scheduled with the ThinkFirst Foundation, either by interactive online webinar, or at a training location in the US. The chapter's key personnel will receive instruction and assistance with chapter development and program implementation and evaluation. A qualified trainer will guide the chapter in meeting all requirements.
  6. The following program materials will be shipped to the chapter once we have received your signed training completion documentation.
  • One ThinkFirst For Kids curriculum binder Grades 1-3, "Street Smart" DVD video, handouts, and comics
  • Two ThinkFirst For Youth curriculum binders, one for grades 4-5 and one for 6-8, including handouts CD for each
  • One ThinkFirst Chapter Presenter’s Collection DVD for ThinkFirst For Teen and Youth presentations
  • One ThinkFirst Director Guide Book
  • One VIP Speaker Training Program DVD
Materials included may change at discretion of the National Office
Additional products are available for purchase through the ThinkFirst website. To start a chapter or obtain further information about ThinkFirst products, please contact the ThinkFirst Foundation.