Penny Lorenz Anderson and Chad Burton
Penny Lorenz Anderson and Chad Burton

ThinkFirst Achievements

Congratulations to Chad Burton for receiving the Tempe Humphrey Award at the 2022 Missouri Highway Safety Conference in Columbia.

Congratulations to Penny Lorenz Anderson for receiving an appreciation plaque for her 37 years of service to ThinkFirst MO.


ThinkFirst Missouri Receives 2022 Outstanding Community Involvement Award

ThinkFirst Missouri was recently recognized at the 2022 Outstanding Community Involvement Award winner at the 2022 National ThinkFIrst Conference held May 12-13, 2022.

This award recognizes a chapter for conducting an especially creative ThinkFirst initiative at the community level within the past five years (2017-2022).


Russ Burris Named 2019 Speaker of the Year

Russ Burris

On June 3rd, 1990, Russ Burris fell asleep at the wheel only 90 seconds from home. Not wearing his seatbelt, he was ejected and paralyzed instantly. Russ began working for ThinkFirst Missouri and ThinkFirst of the Ozarks in 1992, traveling to hundreds of schools and businesses statewide. The National Sleep Foundation learned about Russ’s work with ThinkFirst and recruited him to become a national spokesperson on the issue of drowsy driving. In addition, the National Road Safety Foundation featured Russ in the award-winning drowsy driving prevention video titled, “Almost Home.” Russ has traveled to Washington DC to speak on behalf of the issue of drowsy driving and was featured on a panel discussion aired on C-SPAN. Russ’s prevention work has been featured in the Washington Post, Ladies Home Journal, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Parade Magazine, the T.V. show, “Extra-NBC New York,” and numerous additional outlets. Russ contributes his expertise beyond the classroom by testifying at traffic safety legislative hearings at the Missouri State Capitol.


ThinkFirst MO Receives 2019 Chapter of the Year Award

ThinkFirst MO MG Award 2019

ThinkFirst Missouri, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO ThinkFirst Medical Director and neurosurgeon, Dr. Clark Watts, established ThinkFirst Missouri in 1979 as part of a federal research and demonstration grant awarded to the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Since then, Think- First Missouri has become a well-known, trusted provider of injury prevention education in Missouri. It has a demonstrated track record of providing excellent programs and outstanding service to schools, worksites, parents and community organizations, reaching approximately 25,000 people each year. In addition to its robust program delivery effort, this chapter conducts program research, is involved with statewide public policy efforts, and active on the national level. ThinkFirst Missouri is one of the two founding chapters of the ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation. In 2019, ThinkFirst Missouri will celebrate its 40th anniversary as a ThinkFirst chapter (1979-2019).