Good Shepherd’s Birth Center Receives National Certification

Good Shepherd Health Care System Family Birth Center Staff proudly display their National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification. (Photo: GSHCS)

Good Shepherd Health Care System (GSHCS) Family Birth Center was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Certification Program as a Silver Safe Sleep Leader, for their commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep.

Good Shepherd is one of the first hospitals in Oregon 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, GSHCS Family Birth Center 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.

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

“Our primary goal was really to educate parents on best sleep practices for their newborn,” said Family Birth Center Manager Kyle Furukawa. “We actually began the education process back in 2013 by putting into place what are now best practices for safe sleep. We also began offering HALO SleepSack swaddles to parents in blue or pink as a gift from the Family Birth Center when the family is ready to go home.”

According to an Oregon Health Authority report from 2014, Childhood Fatalities in Oregon, Umatilla and Morrow counties combined for one infant death, while Oregon as a whole experienced 130 occurrences of which 111 were reviewed. “One infant death is too many,” said Furukawa, “especially if it is related to preventable complications from a sleep-related issue.”