The Women and Infants Center at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a “Gold Safe Sleep Hospital. Representing the Women and Infant Center care team are (front row seated, left to right) Kimberly Struckhoff, RN; Kaitlyn Norman, RN; and Bernadette Kottkamp, secretary; (back row, left to right) Natasha Bean, RN, Dawn Charlton, surgical tech, and Amanda Schaefer, MSN, RN, Women and Infants Center manager.O’FALLON The Women and Infants Center at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a “Gold Safe Sleep Hospital,” for their commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep.

The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created by Cribs for Kids®, a national infant safe sleep organization. Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cribs for Kids is dedicated to preventing infant sleep-related deaths due to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and accidental suffocation. As a nationally certified Safe Sleep Hospital, St. Elizabeth’s is recognized for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and providing training programs for health care team members and family caregivers.

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“Sleep-Related Death (SRD) results in the loss of more than 3,500 infants every year in the U.S.,” said Michael H. Goodstein, MD, neonatologist and medical director of research at Cribs for Kids®. “We know that modeling safe infant sleep in the hospital and providing education to families has a significant effect on infant mortality. The Cribs for Kids Hospital Certification Program is designed to recognize those hospitals that are taking an active role in reducing these preventable deaths.”

The St. Clair County Health Care Commission’s Illinois Project for Local Assessment of Needs (IPLAN) states infant mortality and morbidity measures in St. Clair County continue to be behind both the State of Illinois and U.S. rates.

“I am so proud of our colleagues’ commitment to ongoing education, community outreach and adherence to best practices to support safe sleep for infants,” said St. Elizabeth’s Women and Infants Center Manager Amanda Schaefer, RN, MSN. “This Gold Safe Sleep designation recognizes that we are working diligently within the hospital and with community partners to increase this important education and resources for our mothers and families in order to improve infant mortality outcomes.”

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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 certification program launched in 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home of the Cribs for Kids® national headquarters. Hundreds of hospitals across the U.S. are certified. We welcome St. Elizabeth’s Hospital to this expanding group of committed hospitals. This will have a profound effect on saving babies’ lives.”

For more information on the Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program, visit cribsforkids.org/hospitalcertification.

If you are expecting and are interested in delivering at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital or attending any of the 2023 prenatal classes, visit steliz.org/baby or call (618) 234-2120, ext. 31260.

About Hospital Sisters Health System

Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states – Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.

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