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St. Joseph’s Hospital’s first-in-state Safe Sleep Certification advances to Gold Level

West Bend, Wis. — St. Joseph’s Hospital, which became the first hospital in the state in August 2018 to achieve safe sleep certification, advanced its certification in 2019 to gold level status — also the first in the state.

The certification from the Cribs for Kids National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program recognizes hospitals that demonstrate a commitment to reducing infant sleep-related deaths by promoting best safe sleep practices and by educating on infant sleep safety. The certification reflects best practices and education on infant safe sleep through the development of a hospital policy, staff training, parent education, modeling through a wearable blanket program, and a pledge to participate in ongoing audits.

“As the only hospital in Washington County providing birth services, St. Joseph’s Hospital recognizes the importance of providing exceptional care to moms and babies in our community,” said Kristin Lebiecki, director of birthing services at St. Joseph’s Hospital. “We are committed to providing research-based care in a compassionate manner as we help families safely welcome their newest little additions. Gold level Safe Sleep Certification is one example of this commitment.”

St. Joseph’s Hospital, now certified at the gold level, is the first hospital in the state to become certified at any level. To earn gold level accreditation, the hospital was required to:

  • Conduct outreach activities related to infant safe sleep.
  • Affiliate with or become a Cribs for Kids partner.
  • Develop and maintain a safe sleep policy.
  • Provide staff working on the units serving infants and children under the age of one year with training on infant safe sleep.
  • Provide infant safe sleep education to the parents of infants prior to discharge.
  • Make use of wearable blankets in the well-baby nursery and neonatal intensive care unit.
  • Change all photography on the unit and in print material to demonstrate safe sleep positions. 
  • Audit progress and report outcomes.

There are approximately 3,500 infant sleep-related deaths annually in the United States due to accidental suffocation, strangulation or undetermined causes during sleep. Cribs for Kids has worked since 1998 to prevent babies from dying of accidental, sleep-related death in unsafe sleeping environments by educating parents and caregivers on the importance of practicing safe sleep for infants.