UAMS First Arkansas Hospital Certified Gold for Infant Safe Sleep Practice

By ChaseYavondaC

UAMS is one of 44 hospitals in the nation with the designation, the highest of three from Cribs for Kids, a national organization dedicated to infant sleep-related death prevention.

UAMS garnered the designation by adopting a safe sleep policy, including using and promoting wearable blankets, a safe alternative to traditional infant blankets; training staff and educating parents on safe sleep practices in the hospital and at home; conducting community outreach activities; and providing safe sleep alternatives to at-risk parents in the community.

“As Arkansas’ academic health center, we have an obligation to all our communities to model safe sleep and promote those practices throughout the state,” said Rebecca Sartini, clinical services manager in the UAMS Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit.

According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, there are about 3,500 sudden unexpected infant deaths each year, including about 1,500 deaths caused by SIDS.

“Recent data consistently show many more babies die as a result of SIDS than all other causes combined, including car accidents. Safe sleep will help prevent most of those deaths,” said R. Whit Hall, M.D., a neonatologist and professor in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics. “This is a wonderful step by UAMS to lead the state in promoting safe sleep practices and educating parents so more babies will be able to celebrate their first birthday.”

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized UAMS Medical Center as a Best Hospital for 2021-22; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide for the third year; and named five areas as high performing — colon cancer surgery, diabetes, hip replacement, knee replacement and stroke. Forbes magazine ranked UAMS as seventh in the nation on its Best Employers for Diversity list. UAMS also ranked in the top 30% nationwide on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women list and was the only Arkansas employer included. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.