ThinkFirst of Murrieta County/Temecula Valley, CA

Healthcare Hero Award 2013

Jennifer Seitel, pictured left.

A recipient of this year’s prestigious Healthcare Heroes awards, Jennifer Seitel was honored at the annual Community Collaborative Breakfast, sponsored by the Fallbrook Healthcare District, on January 26. Jennifer was recognized for her dedication in educating young people by coordinating the K-12 ThinkFirst program and personally speaking to youth at assemblies about making good decisions in order to avoid life-impacting debilitating injuries. She emphasizes the importance of seat belts, car seats, helmets for bike riders, and advises children of the life-changing events associated with the use of alcohol and drugs. She shares her message with approximately 6,000 youth each year. The Think First program is also supported by North County Fire Protection District and other community volunteers.

Seitel, who survived a tragic automobile crash at the age of 16, was left paralyzed from the neck down. Through will and determination, she now walks with the assistance of canes. “She exemplifies courage and encourages those she teaches and works with,” said Fallbrook Healthcare District board members. “She is a remarkable human being.” Healthcare Hero awards are meant “for those who possess qualities of selflessness, dedication and perseverance, and who demonstrate extraordinary service to foster the health and well-being of the people of the Fallbrook community.”