First Candle currently has four programmatic focus areas: research, education, advocacy and family support.
First Candle’s national research program funds projects that meet the highest standards of scientific merit and medical significance in furthering the understanding of SIDS, stillbirth and other causes sudden, unexpected infant deaths (SUID). During the past four decades, we have funded cutting-edge research projects at medical institutions throughout the United States.
First Candle supplies comprehensive, quality-assured information on infant health and survival to new and expectant parents and the general public through a toll-free information hotline and website. We also provide technical assistance, education and training to health professionals and community organizations who work with families. Last year alone, we distributed more than 200,000 brochures and fact sheets and conducted train-the-trainer-style workshops for more than 800 health professionals.
First Candle helps guide national and local political action to ensure that SIDS, stillbirth and other infant health issues receive adequate awareness and funding. Since 1985, Federal funding for SIDS research has increased from $300,000 to its current level of $17 million. In recent years, working through the National Institutes of Health and its Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network, First Candle has helped increase Federal funding available for stillbirth research from $0 to its current level of more than $3 million. Most recently, First Candle convened a congressional briefing to introduce the National Caucus for Infant Health and Safety.
First Candle provides bereavement services to help families through the difficult time after the death of a baby. Through the distribution of grief packets, conferences, referrals to local support services and our website, we help families connect and share experiences. Crisis counselors are also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through our toll-free crisis hotline at 1-800-221-7437. Every year, First Candle reaches more than 13,000 people devastated by the death of a baby.
Last Updated: Apr 14, 2011