ThinkFirst Missouri Team 2022

Program Highlights

  • Assemblies conducted in at least 50 schools, reaching approximately 17,000 students each year
  • Conducted first assembly for teens in 1980
  • Serves as one of two original national program models
  • Founding neurosurgeon - Clark Watts, MD, JD
    Sponsoring physician – Dr. Joseph Burris, MD
  • Harm’s Way, original ThinkFirst film, produced at this site in 1986
  • 20 VIP speakers deliver over 100 presentations annually
  • Has distributed 235 ThinkFirst For Kids curricula
  • Sponsors: Missouri Department of Transportation - Highway Safety Division, MU School of Medicine and Rusk Rehabilitation Center
  • Staff involvement: Missouri Injury & Violence Prevention Advisory Committee, Columbia Safe Kids Coalition, ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation Board of Directors and Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety
  • Recipient of numerous local, state & national awards

Melissa VanDyne, MED

Melissa VanDyne, MED


Penny Lorenz, Assistant Director

Penny Lorenz

Assistant Director