When asked to become the new physician sponsor for ThinkFirst of Greater Kansas City, Dr. Jonathan Chilton felt it was important to not decline the offer because of the program's primary goal: prevention.
“There are 12,000 spinal cord injuries in this country each year and treatment hasn’t changed in 20 years. The only thing we can emphasize is prevention,” Dr. Chilton said. “I can’t do a lot for a spinal cord injury. I can stabilize a patient but I cannot completely repair the spinal cord.”
Dr. Chilton, a neurosurgeon at Research Medical Center, first heard of ThinkFirst through Dr. Robert Morantz, who brought the program to the greater Kansas City area in 1987 and served as the physician sponsor until 2015. He joined the cause because he believes education is the best way to prevent devastating brain and
spinal cord injuries.
“The more the organization can accomplish, the less I have to do. My role is to patch spines back together and prevent pain. If ThinkFirst is more effective, I have fewer patients and operations.”
Dr. Chilton is especially invested in the ThinkFirst format and its effectiveness on young adults.
“It has a great impact on the individuals that are at the highest risk for these types of injuries and are most susceptible to education and social pressures. ThinkFirst is reinforcing smart choices upon young adults and can help them understand what happens when you get into a situation that might be cool at the time, but has real consequences.”
Learn more about ThinkFirst by calling 816-276-4955.