HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT)– Deaconess Henderson Hospital is launching a new program to ensure babies are safe at home and on the road.

‘Safe Babies: Secure at Home and on the Go’ is a Deaconess Foundation Initiative to address car seat and safe sleep needs in Henderson, Union, and Webster counties. The program is expanding, thanks to grants, and a collaboration with Marsha’s Place, a pregnancy resource center.

“We want babies to be safe when both at home and on the go. When Deaconess approached us, we were thrilled to partner with them in this way,” says Jared Marshall, Executive Director of Marsha’s place.

The collaboration refers new parents for educational programming, and to the hospital to determine their eligibility for safety equipment.

“What we’re doing is making sure those people in need, those who qualify, have the ability to get a car seat as well as a pack and play,” says Linda White, VP, Chief Administrative Officer, Deaconess Henderson Hospital.

2,000 infant deaths occur annually in the U.S. due to unsafe sleep environments, and last year
there were four such deaths in Henderson County. The hospital says the need has been growing.

“A lot of people have struggled, throughout COVID, and a lot of people just don’t have the money they used to have,” says Laura Hish, a Nurse Clinician for Moms and Children at the hospital.

Hish has served in the position for over two decades. She says that years ago, types of programs did not exist.

“I have seen a lot in my 25 years. We’ve let babies go home that we did not think were safe and we did not have a choice but to let them go home. And you see them on the news a few days later and something has happened, or you hear them come back into the ER and something has happened. And you hear about these things, and you know that we could have done better,” Hish says.

More information can be found on the Deaconess website.