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Friday, December 04, 2020
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Safe Sleep Workshop goal is to lower infant mortality

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A Safe Sleep Workshop was organized on Oct. 22 to empower childcare
providers to have safe sleep conversations with the families they
serve in the Wabash Valley.

The workshop was a collaborative effort between Chances and Services
for Youth, Children’s Bureau, Hamilton Center, West Central Indiana
Healthy Start, Union Hospital, and several childcare providers as part
of the local Safe Sleep Community Action Team.

The Union Health Perinatal Navigation Program and West Central Indiana
Healthy Start are “critical to eliminating disparities in our region”
according to Mr. Steven Holman, President and CEO of Union Health. Due
to the collaborative efforts of these organizations, several babies
are alive today.

The Safe Sleep Community Action Team was first established in 2019, as
part of the West Central Indiana Healthy Start initiative, to help
tackle the Infant Mortality Rate in our region relating to unsafe
sleep. In 2016, the Central Southwestern Region, defined as Vigo and
its surrounding counties, had the highest rate in the State (9.7). IMR
is defined at the rate of infant death per 1,000 live births. It is
worth noting that Indiana also had one of the worst rates in the
nation.

The vision for the community action team is to identify gaps in our
community surrounding safe sleep such as education, training, etc.
Several community organizations have come together to tackle this
community issue as a team and to help reduce the number of infant
deaths related to unsafe sleeping environments. They’ve played a key
role in the IMR reduction which now stands at 4.6.

As part of this celebration, Sarah Fagg, chairperson of the Safe Sleep
Community Action Team, hosted the workshop that included pediatrician
Dr. Holder, UMG Pediatrics, as well as a childcare provider panel
comprised of Busy Bee Daycare/Preschool, Hamilton Center Early Head
Start Child Care and Union Hospital Child Development Center.

Work still remains as too many babies in our region are dying due to
lack of safe sleep conditions. The community action team will continue
to strive to educate and provide resources and services to families
and providers so that families can care for their babies safely and
hopefully never have to live through such a tragic loss.

Join the next Community Action Network meeting today from 10 to 11:30
a.m. at the Landsbaum Center for Health Education to get involved.
This is open to the entire community.

For more information, contact West Central Indiana Healthy Start at
(812) 238-8171 or visit www.allbabies.org.


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