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Share; in 2009 she received the ‘Mak- ing the Difference’ award from the National Center for Child Death Review in Washington DC; the 2011 Pittsburgh Business Times’ Outstanding Women in Business Award’; and this year, the 2012 the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Commendation Award. Since 1998 Judith has chaired three national conferences aimed at con- tinuing the infant safe-sleep dialogue: ‘Breaking the Cycle – A Safe Sleep Sum- mit’ in 2008, ‘Safe Sleep in 3-D – Defin- ing, Defending and Disseminating the Infant Safe Sleep Message’ in 2010, and ‘The ABCs of Infant Safe Sleep – Aware- ness, Belief, Consistency’ in 2013.


How did you get started? When I began my career with SIDS of Pennsylvania in 1989 very little was known about this mysterious syn- drome, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which was taking the lives of vulnerable babies, during sleep, at a rate that made it the number one cause of infant mortality after the first month of age. By 1994 with the introduction of the Back to Sleep campaign by the National Institutes of Health the rates of babies dying in this way began to decrease. In fact, by 1996 the rates de- creased by 50% just by the simple act of putting babies on their backs to sleep.


However the rates hit a plateau and 32 Connect And Grow With Women In Our Community


babies continued to die in their sleep. Prior to the Back to Sleep campaign babies from every socio-economic class were dying from SIDS. Suddenly we observed that our bereavement support meetings were made up of families from the lower economic strata of western Pennsylvania. Af- ter studying the death scene inves- tigations of these babies, thanks to the generosity of the Allegheny County Coroner, a very important fact emerged: 90% of these infants were found in unsafe sleeping en- vironments, in bed with parents, on couches, chairs and unsafe cribs that contained pillows, blankets, stuffed toys and bumper pads.


It was obvious that we had to include education on not only how the baby was put down to sleep (on its back) but where the baby slept, in a safety- approved crib that was devoid of items that could pose a suffocation risk to the baby. With this knowledge Cribs for Kids began. The idea to distribute infant safe-sleep education to the general public and cribs to families who could not otherwise afford a safe sleeping environment for their infants began in 1998 in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh).


However, it was not until 2005 that the present business model became clear. As studies of our Cribs for Kids Program


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