Major Health Partners (MHP) Is Now A Safe Sleep Leader

MHP Medical Center - Major Hospital was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a “Silver Safe Sleep Leader,” for their commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. They are one of the first hospitals in Indiana to receive the 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, MHP Medical Center - Major Hospital 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. This includes MHP’s wearable blanket program where Halo® sleepsacks have been gifted to all newborn patients for the last several years. Community outreach conducted by MHP also includes offering safe sleep education at the Bump 2 Baby & Beyond maternal-child health fair events.

The most recent data reports the infant mortality rate in Indiana is 7.5 per every 1,000 babies1 with the national average at a significantly lower 5.9 deaths per 1,000.2 “Implementing the safe sleep program at MHP is vital to the safety of the infants in our community. We are educating and helping families prevent an avoidable catastrophe,” says Michelle England, Registered Nurse and MHP Maternity Care Clinical Supervisor. “It has been proven that if hospitals model safe sleep practices while the infant is in the hospital, then parents are more likely to continue these behaviors at home. If our staff finds an infant in an environment that is not considered safe sleep, then we immediately use this as a teachable moment. For example, if we walk in to a room and find mommy sleeping in bed with her baby, we wake the mother and tell her that we are moving infant to the open crib for baby’s safety and provide education on why this is very important,” states England.

“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. Thirty-nine states have designated SIDS/SUID/SRD as their emphasis to reduce infant mortality.

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 began 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, or call Tiffany Price, the Director of Hospital and Community Initiatives @ 412-322-5680 ext.112.