Who We Are
What We Do
Get Involved


In 2008, a small group of professionals gathered together to discuss the disturbing trend of unsafe sleep fatalities in Monroe County identified by the local Child Fatality Review Team. From that group, the Baby Safe Sleep Coalition was formed.

In January 2011, the Coalition, then a collaborative of 15 agencies, became a program of Jewish Family Service of Rochester. Then, in April 2023, the Coalition became a program of the Interdenominational Health Ministry Coalition, a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency. Baby Safe Sleep Coalition began as an entirely volunteer effort whose funds were and continue to be 80% privately raised.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead


BSSC believes that every baby is loved, cherished, and deserves a chance at a happy, healthy life. We work to save babies from preventable deaths due to unsafe sleep conditions by providing education, community advocacy, and resources to those who care for infants.

Friends of The Coalition

Donna Browers
Caroline Dignan
Clara Marchese, Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor in Nursing at Nazareth College
—And many community supporters.

Our Steering Committee

Dr. Joanne Cordaro, Eastside Pediatrics; Board certified pediatrician and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Kristine DiBitetto, Injury Prevention Coalition for Kids
Karen Knauf, Injury Prevention Coalition for Kids

Minister J. K. Langkans, Words & More; Coalition Treasurer
Cathy Little, Jewish Family Services; BSSC Program Coordinator
Dr. Elizabeth Murray, University of Rochester; Board Certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Julie Nichols, Monroe County; Coalition Secretary
Anna Potter, Bivona Child Advocacy Center
Carol Quester, Baby Love
Jeannie Slaughter, Community Member; Coalition Co-Chair
Sue VanStrydonck, Retired Public Child Welfare Administrator

Our Partner Agencies

Our goals
for families.



Increase the consistent use of safe sleep practices by parents and caregivers of infants in Monroe County.



Mobilize health care and other community service providers to routinely promote safe sleep practices with parents and caregivers of infants in a way that is culturally responsive.