NEA Baptist Recognized by National Safe Sleep Program DR

JONESBORO, Ark. – An area hospital just announced it had received a certification for safe sleeping practices for infants.

NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a bronze level hospital for their commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. They are one of the first hospitals in Arkansas to receive the title, a release said.

“It is our goal that our patients receive the best quality care possible, this means safety is our top priority,” says Gina Branscum, RN, Director of NEA Baptist Women’s Center. “In order to achieve this we must educate our colleagues, patients, family members and our community about the importance of safe sleeping habits for newborns. I am extremely proud of our staff for their diligence and passion for working to achieve the Safe Sleep Hospital Certification.”

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, NEA Baptist was recognized for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by Safe Sleep Recognition the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Bronze Safe Sleep Certification_seal“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 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 Infant Mortality CoIIN Initiative. Thirty-six states have designated SIDS/SUID/SRD as their emphasis to reduce infant mortality.

Erin Weeks, RN, works at NEA Baptist Women’s Center as a manager in the department and has headed up the initiative for becoming safe sleep certified. “Safe sleep practices start in the hospital, so ensuring nurses are modeling safe sleep guidelines for parents has been a focus,” Weeks stated. “All nurses have completed education, along with the implementation of policy change to align with safe sleep guidelines. Our hope is to help each new family establish a strong foundation of safe sleep guidelines they will in turn practice when at home. They are impacting the infant mortality rates in Arkansas. This certification is an honor!”

Arkansas is ranked number 47 in infant mortality in the nation with 7.5% resulting in death per 1,000 live births. These numbers alone stress the need to provide education on SIDS and other sleep related deaths of infants.

The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created in partnership with leading infant health and safety organizations such as All Baby & Child, The National Center for the Review &

Prevention of Child Deaths, Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs, Kids In Danger, Children’s Safety Network, American SIDS Institute, Charlie’s Kids, CJ Foundation for SIDS, and numerous state American Academy of Pediatric chapters and health departments.

For more information on the Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program visit

NEA Baptist Health System comprises NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital and NEA Baptist Clinic – northeast Arkansas’ largest physician group. The 228-bed hospital offers cancer care, heart care, labor and delivery service, inpatient and outpatient services, emergency care and surgical services. These services include: weight loss surgery, neurology, respiratory care and pulmonary rehabilitation. NEA Baptist Clinic consists of over 100 physicians practicing in more than 35 specialties and offers a wealth of services, from pediatrics to orthopedic services. For more information about NEA Baptist, please call 870-936-1000 or 870-936-8000 or visit


Press Release – NEA Baptist

(Editor’s note: Not affiliated with NEA Report. We’re just both picked NEA for our names)

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