The National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep Improvement and Innovation Network (NAPPSS-IIN) selected the Family Birthing Center team from Mercy Health – Anderson Hospital to participate in its latest collaborative. 

Anderson Hospital was one of 15 hospitals in 8 states that the NAPPSS-IIN Collaborative accepted for Cohort B, whose goals include influencing the number of infants who:

  • Are ever breastfed
  • Are placed to sleep on their backs in a safe sleep environment that follows the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations
  • Continue to breastfeed at six months

"We are both honored and excited to participate in such an important project that we know will have a positive impact on the families we care for and hopefully our county’s infant mortality rate," said Kimberly Torok MSN, RN, Neonatal Nurse Educator at Anderson Hospital’s Family Birthing Center.

Each year, approximately 3,500 infants die from sleep-related causes and thousands of babies and mothers miss out on the benefits of breastfeeding, which include exposing babies to important antibodies, boosting both mom’s and baby’s resistance to disease, healthy weight promotion for babies and weight loss for moms.

Over the next 18 months, the cohort, which includes 18 doctors, advanced providers and nurses from Anderson Hospital, will implement safe infant sleep and breastfeeding safety bundles that clinical and quality improvement faculty and experts with the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality developed. These bundles will add to the team’s ongoing efforts to promote safe sleep and breastfeeding best practices with infant caregivers.

Participants include:

  • Melissa Samuelson, Mercy Health - East Market Chief Nursing Officer 
  • Michelle Federer, DO, Director of Obstetrics 
  • Laura Ward, MD, Director of Nurseries and Physician Leader 
  • Shawna Straub, RN, Family Birthing Center Manager 
  • John Furby, MD, Director of Pediatrics 
  • Michael Dietz, MD, Community Physician 
  • Joan Scherpenberg, RN, Quality 
  • Adrienne Stocker, RN, Staff Resource RN 
  • Kim Torok MSN, RN, Neonatal Nurse Educator 
  • Rita Blake IBCLC, RN, Certified Lactation RN 
  • Megan Wispe-Stormer, NNP, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner 
  • Stacey Stephenson, NNP, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner 
  • Anita Beck, RN, Staff RN  
  • Erica Edell, RN, Perinatal Nurse Educator  
  • Carrie Mofield, RN, Certified Lactation Consultant 
  • Darla Staten RN, LC, Community RN/Lactation        
  • Penny Barker, Surgical Technologist, Obstetrics
  • Amy Poniske, RN, Patient Experience Nurse 

Members of the Family Birthing Center team traveled to Arlington, Virginia from May 7-9 to participate in an initial learning session with the national team.

The NAPPSS-IIN aims to make safe infant sleep and breastfeeding a national norm. The Cohort works to create safe sleep and breastfeeding champions within Family Birthing Center teams to promote these protective behaviors among infant caregivers.

Infant caregivers are defined as the individual who puts a baby down for sleep. The infant caregiver can be a parent, grandparent, other family member, child care provider or other guardian.