March 24, 2021
In 2019, approximately 7 out of every 1,000 infants in Tennessee did not make it to their first birthday. In an effort to save lives, TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center has partnered with the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) and Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) to reduce infant mortality by promoting breastfeeding, early elective delivery elimination and safe sleep to meet the criteria for the BEST award. The BEST award stands for Breastfeeding, Early elective delivery reduction and Safe sleep for Tennessee babies.
“We are dedicated to ensuring healthy outcomes for babies in our community and are pleased to receive this recognition for our efforts,” said Jan Alexander, nurse director for The Birth Center at TriStar Hendersonville. “TriStar Hendersonville is committed to the health and safety of all of our patients and is proud to partner with the TDH and THA in this important initiative.”
According to the Tennessee Department of Health, increasing breastfeeding, reducing early elective delivery, and increasing adherence to safe sleep practices can reduce infant deaths. For 2019, Tennessee’s infant mortality rate of 7.0 deaths per 1,000 live births exceeded the national rate of 5.6 deaths per 1,000 live births. Sleep-related deaths account for approximately 20% of all infant deaths each year. Premature births were one of the leading causes of infant death in 2019. Breastfeeding is a known protective factor against infant deaths. Focusing on these efforts can increase the number of babies making it to their first birthday.