Carolinaeast Medical Center Receives Highest National Safe Sleep Certification

CarolinaEast Health SystemSecond in State to Become Gold Safe Sleep Champion With Cribs For Kids®

CarolinaEast Medical Center was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a Gold Champion, the highest designation, for their commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. CarolinaEast is one of two hospitals in the state of North Carolina to receive this 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, CarolinaEast 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. Community outreach includes distributing safe sleep educational materials at the annual Festival of Fun in downtown New Bern, as well as various other health fairs throughout their service area. CarolinaEast Medical Center also provides a portable crib to families that are otherwise unable to provide a safe place for their baby to sleep.

“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, like CarolinaEast, 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 the Infant Mortality Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Networks (CoIIN) Initiative.  Forty states have designated SIDS/SUID/SRD as their emphasis to reduce infant mortality. Data from the North Carolina Center for Health Statistics state that in 2017 there were 852 deaths to children under age one. Nine of these deaths were categorized as SIDS, the leading cause of death for babies between one month and one year of age, with an additional 119 sleep-related infant deaths that could have been prevented.

“We are honored to receive this recognition. It is our goal to educate not only new parents, but our community at large so that everyone knows how to keep infants safe while they sleep,” says Casey Toler, Maternal Child Educator at CarolinaEast Medical Center. “This program will have a profound effect on the number of babies’ lives that will be saved across the country and our Women’s & Children’s Pavilion staff is beyond pleased to be a part of that.”

CarolinaEast received the Silver status from Cribs for Kids in 2015 and have been recertified as a “Gold Champion” for the next three years, the highest designation. For more information on infant safe sleep or this designation, contact Casey Toler at 252-634-6202.

About CarolinaEast Medical Center

CarolinaEast Health System has been serving the growing needs of the coastal North Carolina community since 1963. In addition to the system’s flagship, 350 bed CarolinaEast Medical Center, CarolinaEast includes a rehabilitation hospital, free standing diagnostic and surgery center and several CarolinaEast Physician practices providing primary and specialty care for all phases of life from offices in four coastal North Carolina counties.

Submitted by: Megan McGarvey, Director, Public Relations, CarolinaEast Health System