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An Act establishing a newborn health and safe sleep pilot program

Joint Committee on Public Health

The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA), on behalf of our member hospitals, health systems, physician organizations, and allied healthcare providers, appreciates the opportunity to submit comments strongly supporting SB1316, “An Act establishing a newborn health and safe sleep pilot program.”

SB1316 requires the development of a newborn health and safe sleep pilot within the Department of Public Health (DPH). In particular, the pilot would advance a system to distribute baby boxes to serve as safe sleep spaces for newborns. In addition to providing bedding materials, the boxes would contain a number of resources for new families, including contact information for community-based assistance programs to promote the wellbeing of infants and their parents by promoting safe sleep practices. The pilot program would also develop an online parenting education portal that instructs caregivers on the use of the baby box as well as other safe sleep practices. These programs have proven to be successful in many states and other countries, where there has been a significant reduction in infant mortality after the introduction of the baby boxes. To help alleviate some of the new administrative burdens posed to DPH by this requirement, MHA encourages the committee to consider the creation of collaborative efforts to manage and coordinate distribution logistics among the provider and community-based organizations.

SB1316 would provide a much needed resource for families and help reduce infant mortality, while encouraging parental education on proper care and safe sleep practices for newborns. As Massachusetts hospitals are strong supporters of safe sleep initiatives, MHA respectfully urges the committee to issue this legislation a favorable report.

Thank you for the opportunity to offer testimony on this matter. If you have any questions regarding this testimony, or require further information, please contact Michael Sroczynski, MHA's Senior Vice President of Government Advocacy at (781) 262-6055 or