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National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program Recognizes Dignity Health Memorial Hospital, First in Bakersfield to Receive Gold Status

BAKERSFIELD, CA ― June 18, 2019 ― 

Dignity Health Memorial Hospital was recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a “Gold Safe Sleep Champion for their commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. Memorial is the only hospital in Kern County and the second in the state of California to receive this title.

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, Memorial Hospital 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.

In 2016-2017 Kern County had 11 deaths of infants under the age of 1, of these 9 were related SUIDS “This is important because our county has higher than the California average of SUID related deaths,” said, Emily Hernandez, neonatal intensive care manager for Memorial Hospital. “We have been working with the Safe Sleep Coalition to decrease this number by coming together as a community with representative from First Five, Public Health, Clinica Sierra Vista, and all hospitals here in Bakersfield to find ways to educate our families on the importance of safe sleep practices as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.”

“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. Forty states have designated SIDS/SUID/SRD as their emphasis to reduce infant mortality.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an interview with a member of our team, please contact Jessica Neeley at (661) 327-4647 ext: 4400 or [email protected]

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

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About Bakersfield Memorial Hospital

Bakersfield Memorial Hospital is a 426 bed acute care medical center offering a full range of services including the Sarvanand Heart and Brain Center, Grossman Burn Center at Memorial Hospital, expanded maternity and family care, the Lauren Small Children’s Center, orthopedic services, wound care center, 24-hour emergency care and general/outpatient surgery. Memorial Hospital is a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and is home to the Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House. Memorial Hospital is a member of Dignity Health and is a trusted community partner, serving residents of Bakersfield and Kern County with quality, compassionate care since 1956.




Publish date: 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Media Contact


Violeta Trujillo

p: (661) 541-0322

[email protected]