• Franciscan Health Michigan City designated as Gold Infant Safe Sleep Hospital

    MICHIGAN CITY, Indiana – Franciscan Health Michigan City has been designated as a Gold Infant
    Safe Sleep Hospital, achieving the highest level of certification by Cribs for Kids.
    The hospital announced the achievement on March 1, which is designated as National Baby Sleep
    “I am proud of the hard work and dedication of our Family Birth Center team in leading the way
    to earning Gold Safe Sleep status,” Franciscan Health Michigan City President and CEO Dean
    Mazzoni said. “They exemplify our commitment to compassionate concern and care for our
    community in these efforts to provide families with the tools they need to ensure our most
    vulnerable patients are safe and healthy.”

    Franciscan Health Michigan City was previously awarded five-year Silver Level status in 2017.
    “Your hospital’s leadership and healthcare team members’ commitment to best practices,
    education, use of safe sleep products, and quality improvement initiatives along with a dedication
    to community outreach to support safe infant sleep is commendable and should be celebrated,”
    Devon George, chief program officer of Cribs for Kids, said.

    Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), which includes sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), is
    the leading cause of injury death in infancy, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics
    (AAP). The rate of sleep-related infant death declined significantly in the 1990s after the AAP
    recommended babies are placed on their backs to sleep, but rates have since plateaued with SIDS
    remaining the leading cause of infant mortality.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are about 3,400 SUID deaths
    annually in the United States. In 2020, the CDC reports, there were 1,389 infant sleep deaths due
    to SIDS, about 1,062 sleep-related deaths due to unknown causes, and about 905 deaths due to
    accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed.

    The issue is particularly pressing in LaPorte County where the infant mortality rate is 11.4%,
    higher than the state average of 6.6% and more than twice as high as the national average.
    Indiana ranks ninth in the nation for infant mortality.

    “We are so pleased to be elevated to Gold Safe Sleep Designation here at Franciscan Health
    Michigan City,” said Patricia DeStefano, manager of the Franciscan Health Michigan City Family
    Birth Center. “We are working very hard to improve the health of our most vulnerable patients,
    the children in our community. A Gold designation means we held community events going
    outside the walls of the hospital. Our nursing staff is committed to this work with a goal to
    decrease our infant morbidity/mortality rates.”

    Cribs for Kids National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program recognizes hospitals and
    hospital systems for their commitment to infant safe sleep to reduce the risk of sudden
    unexpected infant death, accidental suffocation, and strangulation in bed, sudden infant death
    syndrome and unsafe sleep injuries.
    To achieve Gold Level status, hospitals must implement a host of policies including providing
    training to all staff caring for infants, providing safe sleep education to families, identifying families
    needing safe sleep space and distribute them prior to discharge and participate in community
    outreach initiatives to educate the community on safe sleep practices.

    Franciscan Health Michigan City joins four Franciscan Health hospitals with the Gold Infant Safe
    Sleep Hospital designation including Franciscan Health Olympia Fields, Franciscan Health Dyer,
    Franciscan Health Crown Point and Franciscan Health Lafayette East. Franciscan Health
    Mooresville and Franciscan Health Indianapolis both have Silver Infant Safe Sleep Hospital

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