Recently, the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program recognized Mercer County Community Hospital as a “Gold Safe Sleep Hospital.” They received this designation due to their commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. The program was created by Cribs for Kids®, a national infant safe sleep organization headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, that is dedicated to preventing sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) and accidental suffocation.
As a Nationally Certified Safe Sleep Hospital, Mercer Health follows the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and provides training programs for healthcare team members and family caregivers at the highest available designation level. This certification acknowledges their efforts to reduce preventable deaths caused by Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID).
Dr. Michael H. Goodstein, neonatologist and medical director of research at Cribs for Kids, expressed his appreciation for hospitals that are taking an active role in reducing these deaths: “Sleep-Related Death (SRD) results in the loss of more than 3,500 infants every year in the U.S. We know that modeling safe infant sleep in the hospital and providing education to families has a significant effect on infant mortality.”
Ashley Piper, RN, OB Clinical Coordinator for the Childbirth Center at Mercer Health, expressed pride in their efforts to join the national movement to reduce infant mortality: “We have always been promoters of safe sleep. The Cribs for Kids National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification is an important step in our efforts to provide parents and caregivers with the evidence-based information they need to ensure their babies sleep safely from day one.”