BSSC Accomplishments

Our Mission: The Baby Safe Sleep Coalition believes that every baby is loved and cherished and deserves a chance at a happy and healthy life. We work to save babies’ lives from preventable deaths due to unsafe sleep conditions by providing education, community advocacy and resources to those who care for infants.

Strategic Planning

  • Completed our Strategic Planning Process. This work, facilitated by Causewave, provided a blueprint for the Coalition’s next action to reduce infant fatalities. Key strategies include: focus on families and communities where most infant deaths occur; communicate preventability of sleep related deaths; spread clear, simple, culturally appropriate sleep messages; and mobilize trusted caregivers and influencers to promote safe sleep.
  • Identified a priority strategy, through our planning process, to revamp the Coalition’s structure and governance to assure effectiveness and sustainability of the Coalition. The Coalition now has a committee structure that will support effective delivery of our strategies, and a new leadership team with defined roles, responsibilities and term limits.
  • Finalized redesigns of our website and educational materials.


  • Received funds from the Glover-Crask Charitable Trust, the May Foundation, Roc The Day, and private donations. Bivona Child Advocacy Center continued support through their Child Fatality OCFS grant subsidizing our prevention work. Despite the cancellation of several fundraising events, we still remained financially solvent.
  • Received two new Foundation grants: A $25,000 grant from the Florence Muller Foundation will support our safe sleep ambassador program, help us to educate child care providers on safe sleep and assist in developing current, clear, culturally competent safe sleep communication materials. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) awarded the Coalition $20,000 for the delivery of education and demonstration of evidence based safe sleep strategies in partnership with pediatricians and injury prevention specialists. The AAP grant includes 200 Pack n Play beds for community distribution.
  • Increased the Coalition budget to expand staffing from part time (.25) to full-time to support the leadership team and committees in the implementation of our far-reaching Strategic Plan.


  • Supplied safe sleep brochures to the Monroe County Department of Public Health to include in the mailing of 9,292 birth certificates sent to parents of babies born in 2020 (the stats are always released one year behind the current year).
  • Supplied 750 safe sleep brochures to the Junior League of Rochester for distribution in their annual diaper drive and provided diapers/safe sleep information to the Healthy Baby Network diaper drives. Distributed 60 Pack ’n Plays through our partnership with Mothers In Need of Others (MINO).
  • Delivered 4,450 safe sleep kits in 2021, for a total of 54,711 kits since starting the program in summer 2015. Golisano/SMH is no longer distributing our kits effective July 2021 but rather is including some of our materials in their parent information guide.


  • Continued to share our comprehensive educational materials and the latest Monroe County Department of Public Health statistics with local pediatricians, hospitals and agencies that work with infants and families.
  • Convened a Hospital Committee meeting led by both Chairpersons with attendance from our area hospitals and professors of nursing Clara Marchese and Pam Herendeen. The purpose of the meeting was to connect with the new hospital representatives and the safe sleep champions to re-engage our partnership with them, update them with our new mission statement, our strategic planning process and the strategies we are currently working to implement.
  • Provided a speaker (our Program Coordinator) for the Rochester Black Nurses Association Breast Feeding and Safe Sleep virtual forum. Our Program Coordinator attends monthly Community Engagement meetings with Mothers in Needs of Other (MINO) Task Force. Healthy Baby Network, and Project Launch Young Child Wellness Council.
  • Continued ongoing dialogue with our parent agency, Jewish Family Services, regarding our continuing involvement as a JFS program with a focus on planning for the possibility of future changes.
  • Surveyed parents to get their input concerning materials for the safe sleep kits.
  • Launched the Grandparents as Ambassadors program using the Cribs for Kids safe sleep ambassador model (led by the parent engagement committee).
  • Participated in the Rochester Highlands Family Resource Fair and the Healthy Moms’ Resource Fair as part of our outreach initiative (led by the parent engagement committee).