Aug 11, 2017
NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst is the first hospital in Queens, and only the second in New York City, to receive “Gold” recognition—the highest award of Cribs for Kids®’ National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program—for its commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep, it was announced today. Only six hospitals citywide are recognized at any level through the program, five of which are part of the city’s public health system.
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, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst was recognized for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and providing training programs for parents, staff, and the community. The hospital’s community outreach includes hosting health fairs, a lecture series, and Lamaze and breastfeeding classes, as well as participating in partnerships with various community-based organizations to provide Safe Sleep educational materials.
“We are enormously grateful to the Cribs for Kids Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program for partnering with our Pediatrics Department to promote infant safety and reduce sleep-related infant deaths in our community,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst CEO Israel Rocha. “We are committed to expanding our outreach to parents and other caregivers regarding safe sleep practices and the many other ways we can help keep children healthy and thriving as they grow.”
“Our nurses and hospital leadership deserve enormous credit for their collaborative work to implement this program at Elmhurst,” said Dr. Randi Wasserman, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst’s Director of Pediatrics. “Through their diligent efforts, we have been able to thoroughly integrate safe sleep practices into our patient education and community outreach efforts and serve as a resource for newborns and their families even after they leave the hospital.”
“Sleep-related death 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 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.”
In New York City, sleep-related injuries remained one of the leading causes of death among infants, with 40 deaths in 2014 and 48 deaths in 2015 at a combined rate of 36.1 per 100,000 live births for 2014-2015.
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.
The other New York City public health system facilities that are Safe Sleep-certified by Cribs for Kids® are NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island (Gold), NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem (Bronze), NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan (Bronze), and NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull (Bronze). Before the new Gold certification, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst was the only hospital in New York City to hold Silver certification.