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Florida Hospital Zephyrhills (FHZ) was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a “Bronze Safe Sleep Hospital” for its commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. They are one of the first hospitals in Florida to receive the 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, FHZ was recognized for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and providing training programs for parents, staff and the community. Community outreach includes education at local events, hospital events and inpatient baby care classes.

“Sleep-Related Death (SRD) results in the loss of more than 3,500 infants every year in the U.S.,” said Michael H. Goodstein, MD, 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.

“Our hospital is committed to reducing infant, sleep related deaths by promoting and educating our community on best safe sleep practices,” said Sonia Yaksich, RN, BSN, CLC, Women’s Health Services Navigator for FHZ. “We are proud to be recognized as one of the first hospitals in the State of Florida to earn this certification.”

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.

According to Judith A. Bannon, Executive Director and Founder for Cribs for Kids®, the program kicked off in June of 2015 in Pittsburgh, home of the Cribs for Kids® national headquarters. A total of 148 hospitals in 33 states and Quebec are represented among the hospitals that have achieved the Gold Champion’ status or are working their way toward it, Bannon added. “This will have a profound effect on the number of babies’ lives that will be saved,” Bannon said.

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

About Florida Hospital Zephyrhills
Florida Hospital Zephyrhills is a 149-bed regional medical center located in East Pasco County. It is a proud member of the Adventist Health System, providing a legacy of health and healing for more than 150 years. Florida Hospital Zephyrhills has been nationally recognized by the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association, The Joint Commission, and Women’s Choice Award for providing quality patient care with emphasis on safety and patient outcomes. The award-winning Heart Institute is recognized for the treatment of coronary intervention, heart failure, chest pain, open heart surgery, and electrophysiology procedures and has received the Gold Plus Award for heart failure from the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. The hospital offers a full range of inpatient and outpatient surgical offerings including general, orthopedic, gynecology, urology, cardiothoracic and vascular. The Women’s Health Center offers services for women including gynecology, urology and pelvic floor health, labor and delivery through The Baby Place®, and breast care through the Simpson Breast Health Center. The hospital also offers emergency services, a robotics program, Bone and Joint Center, wellness center, wellness spa, rehabilitation, imaging services, and the Center for Wound Healing. Visit for more information.