CEO Update

ABCs of Safe Sleep

With winter fast approaching, we’ve decided to launch an ABCs of Safe Sleep campaign to reinforce the importance of creating safe sleep environments for infants. The campaign, an initiative of our Child Health and Safety Team (CHST), will include billboards depicting a safe sleep environment and the ABCs of Safe Sleep message and stories in local media pressing the same message. Winter can be a particularly dangerous time for infants. Parents tend to put blankets in cribs or bring children into their own beds thinking their child will be cold. In January of 2014, six infants died in less than a month in Erie County. Public health officials said unsafe sleep environments contributed to the deaths. It sparked legislation which has passed the New York State Assembly and is working its way through the Senate which will require birthing hospitals to share safe sleep information with parents and caregivers. Southern Tier Health Care System and the members of our CHST are supporting the legislation, urging its passage. These deaths are completely preventable as long as parents know how to create a safe sleep environment for their newborns. Please take time to visit the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) webpage for more information on safe sleep environments for infants.

State EMS Council

I attended a very informative meeting of the State Emergency Medical Services Council (SEMSCO) this week in Albany along with Dr. Brian Walters, regional SEMAC and WREMAC representative, and Ron Hasson and Mickey Forness of the Southwestern Regional EMS Council. We were part of a very productive workgroup on collaborative protocols for EMS providers. State officials also gave us an overview of statewide EMS updates and issues moving forward into 2016. One topic that’s on the agenda is community paramedicine and its potential to improve the health of patients with chronic illnesses. A bill has been introduced in the State Legislature to amend New York’s Public Health Law to allow community paramedicine programs. The bill was passed by the Assembly and is being reviewed by the state Senate. If approved, it would have a huge impact on rural communities such as our own that are health provider shortage areas. Community paramedics could provide routine checkups and ensure medication compliance for the homebound and the chronically ill.

In This Issue:

ABCs of Safe Sleep
State EMS Council

It is the mission of the Southern Tier Health Care System to improve the health and wellness of our rural communities.

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