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Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport – St. Mary Medical Center First in Region to Achieve Gold Level Safe Sleep Certification

Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport – St. Mary Medical Center was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a Gold Level Certified Safe Sleep Hospital for its commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. St. Mary Medical Center is the only hospital in North Louisiana to hold this designation.

The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created by Cribs for Kids®, a national infant safe sleep organization. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, 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. Mary Medical Center is 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 infant mortality rate in Louisiana is 7.59 infant deaths per 1,000 births, the second highest in the nation. In 2020, there were 435 infant deaths before the age of one in Louisiana.

“We are proud of the team here at St. Mary Medical Center for their commitment to educating patients about infant safe sleep,” said Riley Waddell, CEO of St. Mary Medical Center. “Since opening our doors in 2020, more than 6,200 babies have been born here. Our goal is that each one of them stays safe and healthy, not only while they’re in our care, but also after they leave the hospital.”

“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 modeling safe infant sleep in the hospital and providing education to families has a significant effect on infant mortality. Cribs for Kids’ Hospital Certification Program is designed to recognize those hospitals that are taking an active role in reducing these preventable deaths.”

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, PA, home of the Cribs for Kids® national headquarters. Hundreds of hospitals across the US are certified. We welcome St. Mary Medical Center to this expanding group of committed hospitals. This will have a profound effect on saving babies’ lives.”

For more information about Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport – St. Mary Medical Center, visit ochsnerlsuhs.org/smmc. For more information on the Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program, visit cribsforkids.org/hospitalcertification.

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