Helen DeVos Children's Hospital
Hospital-Based (HB) SBS Prevention Programs Profiles
"Sharing our Stories"
Hospital/Hospital System Name
Helen DeVos Children's Hospital (HDVCH)
100 Michigan NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Contact Person Name
Wilma Zeemering-Nelson RN,BA
Specialty Nurse Consultant, Center for Child Protection
Center for Child Protection
Mail Code 178
1. "Once Upon a Time..." - How, when, why you got started?
Responding to a desire to "do something" to decrease the number of shaken babies occurring in our community, the Center for Child Protection collaborated with the Women's Services and Neonatal Services Departments to implement a hospital based post partum parent education program. The program was modeled after the program utilized by Dr Mark Dais, et al in New York and was implemented in March of 2003 in the Family Birthplace at Spectrum Health and the Neonatal Services Unit of HDVCH. This was initially planned as a 3 year research project.
2. Program Overview -
The program consists of the RN introducing the subject of SBS and asking the parent to watch a video, "Portrait of Promise". Afterwards, the RN debriefs/discusses major points with the
parent(s) and encourages them to "share the message". Literature provided by the Children's Trust Fund of Michigan is shared. Throughout the hospitalization, there is a focus on providing
information about soothing of infants to prepare parents for dealing with infant crying.
The initial goal was to implement the program internally and then to encourage and support 3-5 other hospitals in the immediate referral region to also implement SBS prevention programs. A Start-Up Kit was designed to streamline implementation of a similar program. An overwhelmingly positive response resulted in SBS education programs in 14 other hospitals in the region. Letters were then sent to the remaining hospitals in Michigan and by the end of the third year, the program had been successfully shared with over thirty hospitals. Some implemented immediately, while others placed the program in their future planning. We continue to be available to hospitals to provide kits and consultation/education services as requested.
3. Tell more about your funding issues and successes in the past, present, future?
The 3 year implementation of SBS education was fully funded at the outset by the Children's Trust Fund (CTF) of Michigan. Hiring of a .5 SBS nurse coordinator, as well as start up costs were covered. The remaining 2 years were covered by decreasing amounts from CTF and an increasing amount by the HDVCH Foundation. The position continues to be funded with a focus
on expanding community prevention programs. We have found it difficult to find grants to support ongoing program, as grants often focus on "a new idea".
4. Are there other hospital based SBS prevention and/or CAN prevention, injury prevention programs, initiatives in your State/s?
At this time our focus has been on inpatient Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention education. We are aware of those on our list, whom we have educated or helped to implement. There are
others in the state.
5. Is there legislation?
6. What have been your greatest obstacles and successes?
1. Post partum parents have much to learn in a very short time. They are challenged with hormonal changes, fatigue and other stressors.
2. RN perspective, it was an added item to an already long list of teaching they have to accomplish.
3. The challenges of ongoing funding for the program, as grants often focus on new initiatives.
1. We found that of those families (peaked at over 80%) who participated in the program 91% of parents found the program helpful and recommended it for all parents.
2. We have been able to offer SBS prevention education to over 8000 families a year in addition to all the hospitals that joined us in this effort
3. We were able to train professionals regarding "how to teach families about SBS" via conference presentations and on site education sessions.
7. Anything else you'd like to share about your SBS Prevention Program Story?
Parent response to the program has been positive and affirms us to continue. This is what they remember most:
- The video
- The stories of the families in the video
- The damage that can be done to the brain by shaking a baby
- That it is OK to walk away and put the baby in a safe place
- To be sure to tell anyone who cares for my baby about SBS
These are some of their comments:
- Thanks for teaching me about an important issue.
- What a great program, something so simple and easy can save so many, young lives.
- Your video was really helpful. I never thought a baby could get so hurt.
- You should show this video to all parents, even siblings.
- It was very helpful; I actually learned something new. Thank you.
- Very memorable video (very striking).