On Saturday, Apr. 9, Jill Braselton, RN, BSN, ThinkFirst chapter director from Central DuPage Hospital (CDH) in Winfield. accepted the Chapter of the Year Award at the 2011 ThinkFirst Conference on Injury Prevention in Denver, CO.
Debby Gerhardstein, RN, MA, ThinkFirst Foundation Executive Director, said, “The ThinkFirst chapter at CDH has long been recognized as a leader in injury prevention ... Jill Braselton and her team strive to offer injury prevention programs to every school in their surrounding communities so all children and teens have an advantage in reducing their risk for injury.
“CDH’s chapter is the State Chapter and Training Center for the eight Illinois chapters, as well as a national trainer. This is truly a model chapter for ThinkFirst chapters and injury prevention educators not only for Illinois, but throughout the U.S.”
The ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation is a leading injury prevention foundation focused on education, research and policy. There are 135 chapters in the U.S. and 41 international ThinkFirst chapters.
Last year, ThinkFirst Central DuPage Hospital celebrated its twentieth year of sharing the injury prevention message throughout DuPage County. It is the State Chapter for Illinois, is housed at CDH and is funded by an Illinois Department of Transportation grant and the CDH Foundation. The chapter is sponsored by neurosurgeon Douglas Johnson, M.D., Ph.D. of DuPage Neurosurgery.
The CDH Injury Prevention Team consists of three part-time hospital employees and five V.I.P. (Voices for Injury Prevention) speakers. In the last school year, team members presented injury prevention programs to more than 11,500 students in fourth through twelfth grades.
Unique to this chapter, when first graders complete the education program, they are measured and fit with a brand new free bike helmet. This past year, the CDH ThinkFirst For Kids facilitator individually measured and fit more than 2,000 first graders with new helmets thanks to corporate and community sponsors. Approximately 15,000 area students heard ThinkFirst’s important messages about using their mind to protect their bodies.
Through IDOT funding, the chapter started a child booster seat distribution program for families in need nearly three years ago. The objective of this program is to bring child transportation safety education to parents within the DuPage county. By partnering with schools, police departments, churches and mobile food pantries the chapter has been able to reach the right audience to teach the importance of using a booster seat. The IDOT funding allowed the chapter to provide new seats for a minimal cost to parents who complete the thirty minute class. In just two years, the chapter has distributed 445 boosters to families in great need.