Sudden Infant Death Program

Report of the 2004 Safe Sleep Work Group! - Infant Safe Sleep


In October 1999, Michigan expanded the scope of its SIDS efforts to include all sudden infant death and expanded the purpose of the Michigan SIDS and Other Infant Death Program to reduce infant mortality through efforts to educate the public about the risks for SIDS and sudden infant death, to provide grief support for those affected by an infant death, and to promote an optimal outcome for the next pregnancy. The Michigan SIDS Alliance is contracted to provide services for the program collaborates on other infant mortality reduction programs.




Grief Services – The Michigan SIDS and Other Infant Death program coordinates professional and peer services throughout the state through a referral and case management system. An annual training is required of grief support personnel. Conferences are held for geographically and ethnically diverse communities across the state. The SIDS Alliance serves as a clearinghouse for resource materials and current research, mentor and support professionals working with families, and evaluate the effectiveness of family interventions. They also provide direct services to anyone affected by an infant death, including support groups, peer contact, and Helping Hearts, a comprehensive, personalized 13 month mailing of grief support materials.


Risk Reduction – This component of the program focuses on reducing the racial disparity in SIDS and infant death. Risk reduction materials were created for the unique ethnic populations in Michigan. Back to Sleep continues as an ongoing campaign. New campaign materials and outreach strategies for ‘Infant Safe Sleep’ are nearing completion. The program offers technical assistance in communities by convening the stakeholders; sharing/interpreting data; designing intervention strategies; writing grants and identifying alternative funding sources; providing trainings, workshops, and conferences; and organizing community and media events.


Research - A national research project is underway to catalog and analyze the diagnostic discrepancies in sudden infant death across Michigan, and test a standardized algorithm. The project includes: 1) a review of infant death certificates, 2) a survey of medical examiners, pathologists, and members of Child Death Review and Fetal Infant Mortality Review teams. This is a collaborative effort of Michigan State University, the Michigan SIDS Alliance, the Michigan Association of Medical Examiners, MDCH, the Michigan Public Health Institute, the Michigan CDR Program, and the Michigan FIMR Network. At the local level, grief and risk reduction services are provided by professional and paraprofessional staff, including, public health nurses, social workers, and paraprofessionals, hospital nurses, chaplains, outreach workers, community agency staff, and faith based programs.


Contact: Cheryl Lauber, Program Coordinator
             Mary Adkins, Michigan SIDS Alliance