WRMC Recognized for Infant Sleep Safety Efforts

Michelle Snow, RN, Melanie Creighton, RN, Dr. Bill Shelton, Gary Bebow, WRHS CEO, Dr. Verona Brown-BebowWhite River Medical Center (WRMC) was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a Gold Safe Sleep Champion for their commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. WRMC is one of two hospitals in Arkansas that has obtained gold status, which is the highest level of participation in the program.

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.  As a Cribs for Kids partner, WRMC developed safe sleep policies that follow the guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and established an education program for staff and parents/guardians who care for infants 12 months or younger.

“Research shows that providing a safe sleeping environment for children less than one year dramatically decreases the chance of death in infants due to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome),” said Dr. Gwenevere White, Pediatrician at The Children’s Clinic. “By becoming certified, WRMC is demonstrating its commitment to preventing as many sleep-related deaths as possible.”

Through an initial gift from the Taylor McKeen Shelton Foundation, WRMC purchased Halo® SleepSack® wearable blankets to be given to each baby after delivery, and Pack n Play® portable cribs to be donated to families who do not have a safe sleeping area for their infant. The Taylor McKeen Shelton Foundation was established by Wes and Ella Shelton in loving memory of their son, Taylor, with a goal of increasing awareness of, and research into, the cause of Sudden Unexpected Death in Childhood (SUDC) incidents. In addition to supporting the SUDC Program, goals of the Taylor McKeen Shelton Foundation include supporting families who are living through similar tragedies, and helping to provide healthy, physical activities for children.

“Wes and I are so honored to be able to help fund the Cribs for Kids Program in memory of Taylor. This program provides very important information and resources for new parents, and we are so happy to bring this to White River Health System and the city of Batesville,” said Ella Shelton. “We love giving back to the community that really rallied around us and our families after losing Taylor.”

The Cribs for Kids® program will be funded in the future by the WRHS Foundation Life Lights program, an annual holiday fundraising campaign to benefit patient care at WRHS facilities. To donate to the WRHS Foundation, visit WhiteRiverHealthSystem.com

For more information on the Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program visit http://www.cribsforkids.org/safesleephospitalcertification/