Community Projects

BEST for Babies - Hospital Project

For information on the BEST for babies award criteria, Click Here.

The Tennessee Department of Health is partnering with hospitals across Tennessee to spread the Safe Sleep message to parents and caregivers.

Sleep-related infant deaths account for 20 percent of all infant deaths in Tennessee. Since 98.7 percent of Tennessee babies are born in hospitals, they play an important role in educating new parents and caregivers about ways to keep babies safe while sleeping.

The Tennessee Department of Health has partnered with 100% of birthing hospitals and 5 non-delivery hospitals across Tennessee to spread the safe sleep message to parents and caregivers. Click here for a list of participating hospitals.

These hospitals have agreed to:

  • Develop and implement hospital Safe Sleep policy, which at minimum contains
    1. At least annual education to all perinatal staff (OB, peri/postpartum and pediatrics) on Safe Sleep recommendations
    2. Requirements for staff to model Safe Sleep recommendations
    3. Plan for at least quarterly internal compliance audits with hospital policy
  • Submit annual report on educational activities and staff compliance to Tennessee Department of Health



As a part of the agreement, once Safe Sleep policy written and submitted to Tennessee Department of Health, partner hospitals receive:

  • Free “Sleep Baby, Safe and Snug” board book for each birth in your facility
  • Free TDH “ABCs of Safe Sleep” materials
  • Free Recognition on TDH website
  • Signed certificate from TDH Commissioner
  • Press release template
  • More information about the hospital partnership  can be found in this presentation.
  • Hospitals interested in partnering with the Tennessee Department of Health should complete and return the pledge form.
  • For more information, please contact Rachel Heitmann (

Resources for Hospitals

Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program

Apply for the Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification with this link:

The Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program awards recognition to hospitals that demonstrate a commitment to reducing infant sleep-related deaths by promoting best safe sleep practices and by educating on infant sleep safety.  By becoming certified, a hospital is demonstrating that it is committed to being a community leader and is pro-actively eliminating as many sleep-related deaths as possible.

Hospitals can earn one of three National Safe Sleep Certifications based on their levels of commitment:

22610 Hospital seal_14

BRONZE – Certified Safe Sleep Hospital

22610 Cribs for Kids Seal_Silver

SILVER – Certified Safe Sleep Leader

22610 Cribs for Kids Seal_Gold

GOLD – Certified Safe Sleep Champion

See the criteria for each level click here.

Direct On Scene Education (D.O.S.E) Project

Lt. James Carroll of the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Fire and Rescue Department - in conjunction with The Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Broward, Inc. - created the Direct On Scene Education Program for first responders out of concern for the growing number of sleep-related deaths reported in Broward County., FL. Since its inception in 2012, D.O.S.E. has become a model program that has been adopted by several agencies across the country, including the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH).

When responding to an emergency or non-emergency call from a household with a pregnant woman or infant, first responders are trained to look for possible unsafe sleep conditions and offer the residence a safe sleep kit with information on the ABCs of Safe Sleep. The kits are assembled and provided by TDH staff. All participating first responder agencies also receive a limited number of cribs from TDH to distribute to families that cannot afford one on their own.