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Franciscan Health Olympia Fields certified as Gold Infant Safe Sleep Hospital

The Franciscan Health Family Birth Center Olympia Fields has been redesignated as a Gold Infant Safe Sleep Hospital, the highest level of certification issued by Cribs for Kids.

“I commend our Family Birth Center team for the hard work and dedication that went into earning and maintaining our Gold Safe Sleep status,” Franciscan Health Olympia Fields President and CEO Raymond Grady said. “These dedicated professionals embody the Franciscan spirit as they work to provide families with the tools they need to safely care for their babies.”

October is National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDES) Awareness Month. Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), which includes SIDS, is one of the leading causes of death in infancy in the U.S.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are about 3,400 SUID deaths annually in the United States.

SIDS is one of the top 10 causes of infant death in Illinois, which is ranked 29th for infant mortality in the nation with a rate of 5.62 percent, slightly higher than the national average of 5.4 percent.

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 SUID, accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed, sudden infant death syndrome and unsafe sleep injuries.

“Cribs for Kids continues to be an excellent partner and allows us to promote safe sleep practices not only within our hospital walls, but to our community,” said Joan Culver, director of patient care services at Franciscan Health Olympia Fields.

To achieve Gold Level status, hospitals must implement policies including providing training to all staff caring for infants, providing safe sleep education to families, identifying families needing safe sleep space and distributing them prior to discharge and participating in community outreach initiatives to educate the community on safe sleep practices.

“We know that modeling safe infant sleep in the hospital and providing education to families has a significant effect on infant mortality,” said Dr. Michael H. Goodstein, a neonatologist and medical director of research for Cribs for Kids. “Cribs for Kids Hospital Certification Program is designed to recognize those hospitals that are taking an active role in reducing these preventable deaths.”

Franciscan Health Olympia Fields was first awarded certification in 2015 and was last recertified in 2021.

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

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