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Nurture KC is facilitating a new certification for local hospitals to adopt a safe sleep policy for babies, train staff accordingly and provide corresponding education to parents. Providence Medical Center is the first hospital to complete this certification process and be recognized as a “Nurturing Safe Sleep Champion.”Providence Women’s Center sleep designation team

“Practicing safe sleep for babies is one of the most simple and effective tools in preventing infant death. In Kansas City, unsafe sleep accounts for 16 percent of all infant deaths, and 24 percent of Black infant deaths. These deaths are preventable,” says Tracy Russell, Executive Director of Nurture KC. “Our goal is for every area hospital to complete this certification and, ultimately, save lives.”

Nurture KC’s mission is to reduce infant and maternal mortality and improve family health. One of the organization’s programs is Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) which identifies trends in fetal and infant loses, along with gaps in the health care system, and recommends actions to improve.

Focusing on safe sleep practices is a critical step to improve infant health.

“Providence is proud to be the first ‘Nurturing Safe Sleep Champion,’” says Seabrin Jensen, Director of Women’s Services at Providence Medical Center. “We know hospitals serve as a first point of contact for new families. As a trusted source of information, we want to ensure our families are fully equipped to care for their newborns. Teaming with Nurture KC on this certification was a no-brainer.”

Nurture KC’s initiative also stems from only two area hospitals, Children’s Mercy and University Health, having safe sleep credentials. Those credentials are from Cribs for Kids, the national model on this type of training and the program Nurture KC is implementing with local hospitals. Currently, several more hospitals are in the process of completing this certification.

Nurture KC works to reduce infant and maternal mortality and improve family health for KC metro families who need the most support. We do so through public policy action and three main programs: Healthy Start, Mid America Immunization Coalition (MAIC) and Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR). Nurture KC is committed to health equity for all families – regardless of race, place or circumstance – because we all deserve the opportunity to be healthy. Check out our web site at and 2021 Annual Report to see our tangible results. Also, be sure to visit us on Facebook and Twitter. Nurture KC is located at 1111 W. 39th Street, Suite 100, KC, MO 64111.