FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 13, 2012
Press Office: 800-221-7437
First Candle to Host the
2012 International Conference on Stillbirth, SIDS and Infant Survival
Baltimore, MD – First Candle is host to the 2012 International Conference on Stillbirth, SIDS and Infant Survival (IC) to be held on the Baltimore, Maryland waterfront from Thursday, October 4 through Sunday, October 7, 2012. Over 350 people from across the globe who share the common goals of reducing stillbirths and infant mortality will be attending this 4-day event. Registration is available online at http://www.firstcandle.org/internationalconference and is expected to sell-out.
SIDS and stillbirth continue to be among the most significant and challenging public health issues of our time. The need for new research, and the sharing and dissemination of existing research findings, is crucial in order for the global community to have a substantial positive impact on infant survival.
The IC will unite esteemed international researchers, medical professionals, health educators and parents as well as leaders in public policy, safety and product development. The IC will kick off with a welcome reception on Thursday, October 4 sponsored by Pampers. Over the following days, over 35 world-renowned speakers will provide content related to two conference tracks, one for SIDS/SUID research and for stillbirth research. More than 150 presentations will also be included on the agenda allowing the IC to provide a comprehensive review of the latest research and most vital information related to reducing stillbirth and infant loss worldwide.
In addition to its strong focus on research and networking, the conference will unite and support families who have experienced infant loss and recognize them for the important advocates they are. On Friday, October 5 a remembrance service will be held in their honor, sponsored by the March of Dimes and featuring live music from Naomi Arnold. In addition, an Oasis Room where parents can congregate will be open throughout the IC and staffed continuously by First Candle’s bereavement specialists. During a gala dinner Saturday night, sponsored by Star Legacy Foundation, The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) will be presented with a special recognition award in honor of their 50th anniversary. Star Legacy is selling memorial stars (www.starlegacyfoundation.org) that will be prominently displayed at the banquet in order to honor lost babies, and remind attendees of the importance of their work, and thank health professionals for their efforts. The IC will conclude with a closing ceremony and awards presentation on Sunday, October 7.
First Candle is pleased to bring this prestigious global event to the United States. Previous conferences have been held in Sydney, Australia (2010), Oslo, Norway (2008), Birmingham, United Kingdom (2007) and Yokohama, Japan (2006). “First Candle is thrilled to host the conference and welcome the international community to the U.S.” said First Candle Chief Executive Officer Kelly Neal Mariotti, “The ability to share and discuss research breakthroughs with all stakeholders, from the medical community to parents, is critically important and we are working hard to facilitate these interactions and ensure the conference is an extraordinary experience for all attendees”.
The International Conference will be held in conjunction with the annual meetings of the International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) and the International Society for the Study and Prevention of Perinatal and Infant Death (ISPID). The mission of ISA is to raise awareness of stillbirth, to promote global collaboration in the prevention of stillbirth, and to provide appropriate care for parents who have a stillborn baby. ISPID has, for more than 20 years, brought together researchers and support organizations from around the globe to spread knowledge of evidence-based preventive measures and reduction of SIDS worldwide. Both organizations have been active participants in the planning process and have representatives serving on the International Conference Global Support Committee. “Our sincere thanks go out to ISA and ISPID for their overwhelming support of the conference and for the exceptional work their members do to advance our shared cause,” said Mariotti.
Mariotti adds “We also must thank Dr. Rachel Moon and Dr. Ruth Fretts, our conference co-chairs, for their leadership and guidance, and our sponsors, especially our Gold Sponsor MAM and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for their commitment to supporting our mission of helping babies survive and thrive.”
Additional information about the International Conference can be found at www.firstcandle.org/internationalconference, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SIDStillbirth12, and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SIDStillbirth12.
First Candle is a national, nonprofit health organization dedicated to promoting infant health and survival with programs of research, education and advocacy, while at the same time providing compassionate grief support to those experiencing a SIDS, stillbirth or other sudden infant death. For more information on helping babies survive and thrive, to access local support services or to make a donation, please call 1.800.221.7437 or visit www.firstcandle.org.