Community Hospital, St. Catherine Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center again have earned Gold status from the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program for their commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep.
The program was created in 2015 by Cribs for Kids, which is dedicated to preventing infant sleep-related deaths due to sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) and accidental suffocation.
As Nationally Certified Safe Sleep Hospitals, Community Healthcare System’s Community Hospital, St. Catherine Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center are recognized for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and providing training programs for healthcare team members and family caregivers. The 2023 recertification is valid for five years. All three hospitals earned Gold level certification in 2018.
“We want to do everything we can to protect the lives of our youngest and most vulnerable patients,” said Community Hospital Clinician and Neonatal Nurse Educator Mary Puntillo. “We are honored to receive another five-year certification for our three hospitals. It reinforces the importance of educating families on safe infant sleep. Our goal is to safeguard the future for all of the babies who have started their lives at our hospitals.”
Lisa Leckrone, a member of the Northwest Indiana Patient Safety Coalition and Quality/Risk Management director at St. Mary Medical Center, and St. Catherine Hospital Nurse Manager LaTina Ashana echoed Puntillo’s message.
“We are united in safe sleep practices and work together to provide the same education and message to improve the overall maternal and infant health in Northwest Indiana,” Leckrone said.
“One of the most important things we do is provide information on preventing sudden unexpected infant deaths,” Ashana said. “We include this crucial information in our discharge process, via printed materials and through the use of HALO SleepSacks.”
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.
Sleep-related death (SRD) results in the death of more than 3,500 infants every year in the U.S., according to 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,” Goodstein said. “Cribs for Kids Hospital Certification Program is designed to recognize those hospitals that are taking an active role in reducing these preventable deaths.”
For more information on the services provided by Community Healthcare System, visit COMHS.org/baby.