Hennepin Healthcare was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a “Certified Safe Sleep Champion,” for their commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. They are the first hospital in Minnesota to receive this title.
The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created by Cribs for Kids®, a Pittsburgh-based organization dedicated to preventing infant, sleep-related deaths due to accidental suffocation. In addition to being Cribs for Kids® partners, Hennepin Healthcare was recognized for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and providing training programs for parents, staff and the community. Community outreach includes the Hennepin Healthcare Teddy Bear Clinic and booths at Minneapolis Open Streets.
“Sleep-Related Death (SRD) results in the loss of more than 3,500 infants every year in the U.S.,” said Michael H. Goodstein, M.D., neonatologist and medical director of research at Cribs for Kids®. “We know that consistent education can have a profound effect on infant mortality, and this program is designed to encourage safe sleep education and to recognize those hospitals that are taking an active role in reducing these preventable deaths.” This program is well-aligned with the Maternal Child Health Bureau’s vision of reducing infant mortality through the promotion of infant sleep safety as outlined in Infant Mortality CoIIN Initiative. Forty states have designated SIDS/SUID/SRD as their emphasis to reduce infant mortality.
Minnesota has a relatively low infant mortality rate. In 2018, the rate was 5.1 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. However, the number of infant deaths that can be attributed to an unsafe sleep environment – such as sharing a bed with a caregiver – has steadily increased in recent years. “We are working hard in our system – starting during the prenatal phase – to make sure that parents and caregivers know what safe sleep looks like for their baby. We are committed to modeling these practices for our families, in hopes that every baby has a chance to celebrate their first birthday,” said Jennette Flynn, RN, CPN, Clinical Care Supervisor of Pediatrics and Pediatric Intensive Care at Hennepin Healthcare.
The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created in partnership with leading infant health and safety organizations such as All Baby & Child, The National Center for the Review & Prevention of Child Deaths, Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs, Kids in Danger, Children’s Safety Network, American SIDS Institute, Charlie’s Kids, CJ Foundation for SIDS, and numerous state American Academy of Pediatric chapters and health departments.
According to Judith A. Bannon, Executive Director and Founder for Cribs for Kids®, “The program kicked off in June of 2015 in Pittsburgh, PA, home of the Cribs for Kids® national headquarters. Hundreds of participating hospitals across the United States, including Quebec Canada, have already achieved the ‘Gold Champion’ status, or are working their way toward it. This will have a profound effect on the number of babies’ lives that will be saved.”
For more information on the Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program visit http://www.cribsforkids.org/safesleephospitalcertification, or call Tiffany Price, the Director of Hospital and Community Initiatives @ 412-322-5680 ext.112.
Hennepin Healthcare is a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and public teaching hospital located in downtown Minneapolis offering a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient pediatric care.
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