First Candle honored for its role in saving infant lives and improving the lives of families
As part of its 75th annual meeting and anniversary celebration, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) presented its 2010 Directors Award for Collaborations to the founding partners of the national Back To Sleep Campaign. The campaign is recognized as the most successful public health campaign in our nation’s history, having saved literally tens of thousands of babies’ lives since its inception in 1994.
Chief Executive Officer Susan Berning was honored to receive the award on behalf of past and present board and staff members of First Candle/SIDS Alliance. “We are pleased to accept this award on behalf of the families whose lives have been forever changed by the death of a baby. The BTS campaign has given them hope for a future where SIDS is a thing of the past and provides new and expectant parents with proactive steps that can help protect their babies,” said Berning. “We remain committed to working together with these partners, and others, to continue the campaign and save as many lives as possible.”
In addition to First Candle, the founding partners include the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, MCHB/HRSA, American Academy of Pediatrics and Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs.
The Director’s Award recognizes pioneers and emerging leaders in maternal and child health who have contributed to the field through innovative practices, partnerships and research at the local state and national levels. The Back To Sleep Campaign was nominated because it exemplifies how the best of what the public health model offers has saved the lives of infants and improved the lives of their families.
While SIDS rates have decreased by more than 50 percent since 1994, there is no longer an overall decrease in infant mortality due to unexpected causes, and SIDS remains the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age. In response, the Back To Sleep partners are now focusing on a broader set of issues for safe sleep beyond the back sleep position.
First Candle is a leading national nonprofit dedicated to safe pregnancies and the survival of babies through the first years of life. With programs of research, education and advocacy, the organization is working to ensure that every baby is given the best possible chance to reach not only his or her first birthday, but many happy birthdays beyond. First Candle also provides compassionate grief support to all those affected by the death of a baby.
Recently given a 4-star ranking by Charity Navigator, America’s premier independent charity evaluator, First Candle meets all requirements as set forth by the Better Business Bureau and is listed in its Wise Giving Guide. For more information on how to help your baby survive and thrive, to access grief support or to make a donation, please visit www.firstcandle.org or call 1.800.221.7437.