Hackensack University Medical Center is collaborating to raise awareness and reduce the risk of sudden infant death. The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Center of New Jersey, based at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and the Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, has secured a renewed governor’s proclamation calling attention to this public health issue.
“I would like to commend the SIDS Center of New Jersey team for obtaining this proclamation,” said Jeffrey Boscamp, M.D., vice president and chief academic officer at HackensackUMC. “It draws renewed attention to the critical goal of decreasing sudden infant deaths.”
The SIDS Center of New Jersey provides public education along with emotional support for bereaved families. It investigates possible causes, working with national organizations to reduce infant mortality and the racial and ethnic disparities associated with it. The overarching goal is to educate and motivate families and caregivers to make informed decisions regarding safe sleep practices.
“The hardest thing to change is human behavior,” says Barbara Ostfeld, Ph.D., program director of the SIDS Center of New Jersey and a professor in the department of pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “We educate across the lifespan. For example, the involvement of grandparents is critical. Many have not stepped into a pediatrician’s office in years and the guidelines have changed.”
The SIDS Center of New Jersey’s public health education programs on safe infant sleep are in compliance with the evidence-based guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Safe to Sleep Campaign of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. As such, Dr. Ostfeld cautions against a risk-elevating sleeping environment such as lying stomach down on soft bedding.
“We have seen a decline over time in New Jersey, where the sudden unexpected infant death rate is among the lowest in the nation,” says Dr. Ostfeld. “We all want the same thing -- we want good outcomes for infants and their families.”
The SIDS Center of New Jersey is funded in part by a Health Services grant from the New Jersey Department of Health to Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a grant from the CJ Foundation for SIDS to HackensackUMC. The SIDS Center of New Jersey’s statewide hotline can be accessed 24 hours a day to address any questions or concerns: 1-800-545-7437.
About Hackensack University Medical Center
HackensackUMC, a 775- bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is the flagship hospital of Hackensack University Health Network, one of the largest health networks in the state comprised of 1,717 beds, more than 10,000 team members and 3,300 credentialed physicians. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015-16 Best Hospital rankings - maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. It was also named one of the top four New York Metro Area hospitals. HackensackUMC is the only hospital in New Jersey, New York and New England to be named one of Healthgrades America's 50 Best Hospitals™ nine consecutive years, and receive the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ 13 years in a row. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 24 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. HackensackUMC has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to The Barclays PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit: www.HackensackUMC.org.