News Release Date : 03/30/2010
FNI's ThinkFirst Program Receives Award
Kelli Jankens accepted the award from Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.
The Governorís Traffic Safety Advisory Commission (GTSAC) is honoring St. Maryís of Michigan Field Neurosciences Instituteís ThinkFirst Saginaw Program with the Richard H. Austin Traffic Safety Award for long-term contributions and commitment to traffic safety.
Kelli Jankens, FNI Prevention Specialist, accepted the award at the 15th Annual Michigan Traffic Safety Summit in East Lansing for the programís efforts to prevent and reduce traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. Since 1998, FNI Injury Prevention Programs have educated over 50,000 students and distributed more than 35,000 helmets throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region.
More than 22,000 individuals under the age of 20 die each year from brain and spinal cord injuries. ThinkFirst is a national program that aims to prevent brain, spinal cord and other traumatic injuries through education of individuals, community leaders and the creators of public policy. FNIís ThinkFirst programs include ThinkFirst for Kids (grades 2-4), ThinkFirst for Teens (grades 6-12) and Buckle Your Brain, a comprehensive helmet safety program. Helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85% and the risk of brain injury by as much as 88%.
The Traffic Safety Award, named for Michiganís longest-serving Secretary of State, echoes Austinís own promotion of traffic safety. He promoted seat belt and child safety restraint laws, a mandatory motorcycle helmet statute, and measures to address driver education and traffic safety issues.
The GTSAC was created by a Governorís Executive Order in 2002 to address traffic safety in Michigan. The GTSAC includes representatives from various state departments and offices, local and state law enforcement, and county road commissions. Each year, the GTSAC honors a group for their special involvement and dedication to traffic safety.