We Did It: 500 Safe Sleep Ambassadors

November 6, 2017

During his 2017 State of the City address, Mayor Andrew J. Ginther continued his focus on reducing infant mortality by asking the community to join CelebrateOne and Columbus Public Health to reach 500 Sleep Ambassadors by the end of the year. The goal was reached early at the end of October.

“Everyone in the community has a role to play in helping to reduce the infant mortality rate in Columbus. We know that Safe Sleep practices are key to the work and that residents helping residents is critical to spreading the word about safe sleeping practices,” said Mayor Ginther. “I am deeply grateful to all of the individuals who have stepped up to be Sleep Ambassadors for the CelebrateOne program.”

Safe Sleep Ambassadors are part of the CelebrateOne Safe Sleep Campaign. Sleep-related deaths are a significant contributor to infant mortality, so the campaign educates new mothers and their support networks on how to sleep a baby safely during the first year of life. These practices include following the ABC’s of safe sleep; Alone (no adults or toys), Back (not on their stomach) and Cribs (not in beds) – for every nap, every night, every time.

“We are excited to have reached our goal of training 500 Safe Sleep Ambassadors this year. Our ambassadors play a key role in educating the community on the importance of the ABCs of safe sleep through conversations they have with friends, family, coworkers and neighbors,” said Karen Gray-Medina, director of child fatality review and infant safe sleep at Columbus Public Health. “We look forward to training more ambassadors to help ensure that every baby sleeps safely in Columbus.”

Anyone can become a Safe Sleep Ambassador. Trainings are taught by infant safe sleep experts and are done throughout the year at different locations in the community. Over 20 churches supported the effort in September this year with Safe Sleep Sundays. Interested parties can find training dates and apply to attend one on the CelebrateOne website.

“I’m proud of the team, our residents, and community partners who have volunteered their time and energy towards the Safe Sleep Ambassador program. Reaching 500 Safe Sleep Ambassadors means that more people are supporting their mothers, sisters, and friends in using safe sleep best practices to ensure babies celebrate their first birthday,” said Erika Clark Jones, executive director of CelebrateOne. “Our hope is to reach more every year, so that even more people in our community are impacted.”