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Syracuse, NY (March 13, 2019) – St. Joseph’s Health was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a “Silver Safe Sleep Leader,” for their commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. They are one of the first hospitals in New York State to receive the title.

“We are proud to receive this designation,” said Dr. Jonathan Chai, neonatologist at St. Joseph’s Health. “It proves our commitment to reducing sleep-related deaths in our community by utilizing a robust infant safe sleep environment policy and modeling safe sleep practices in our hospital.”  

According to the New York State Department of Health, the infant mortality rate in Onondaga County is 5.9 per 1,000 live births, and the rate in the Central New York region is 6.5 per 1,000 live births.

“Sleep-Related Death 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.” 

“Providing the very best care for mothers and their babies is a top priority at St. Joseph’s Health,” said Dr. Chai. “We are already recognized as a Baby-Friendly hospital by WHO and UNICEF, which represents the gold standard of care for infant feeding. With this newest distinction, there’s no question St. Joseph’s is the best choice for expectant mothers.”  

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, St. Joseph’s Health 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 Childbirth Education Classes and one-on-one education with patients. 

About St. Joseph’s Health

St. Joseph’s Health is a regional non-profit health care system based in Syracuse, NY. St. Joseph’s has been an innovative leader in health care since our founding in 1869 as the first hospital open to the public in the city of Syracuse. Offering primary, specialty and home care, a Magnet-recognized hospital, and collaboration with community partners, St. Joseph's Health advances the well-being of the communities we serve through an expanding range of services to ensure our patients achieve optimum long-term health. St. Joseph’s is ranked by Consumer Reports among the top 15 heart surgery centers in the country, a designated Stroke Center and a U.S. News “Best Regional Hospital.” St. Joseph’s Health is affiliated with Franciscan Companies and St. Joseph’s Physicians, and is a member of Trinity Health. St. Joseph’s Health is celebrating our 150th Anniversary throughout 2019. For more information on our founding Sisters of St. Francis including Saint Marianne Cope, our legacy and our innovations, visit www.sjhsyr.org/legacy