Published on 27 August 2014
An award-winning University of the Sunshine Coast program that provides portable safe sleeping places for at-risk Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies has gained a funding boost of $143,560.
USC Professor of Nursing Jeanine Young said the funding, provided through three entities managed by the foundation arm of financial services group Perpetual, was a welcome support for the Pepi-pod Program.
The Perpetual funds came from: the E Robert Hayles and Alison L Hayles Charitable Trust ($100,000); the Marjorie Biggs Charitable Trust ($21,000); and the estate of the late Henry Angus Sutherland ($22,560).
Dr Young said the innovative Pepi-pod Program aimed to reduce the high rate of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“The pod is a safe sleep space, which fits between parents in a bed, enabling babies to safely co-sleep with them,” Dr Young said.
“Our program, which this year has been implemented across 10 government and non-government organisations serving metropolitan, rural and remote Queensland communities, combines the safe sleep spaces with an education initiative.
“This extra funding will really help USC and its partners continue to take this program to where it is needed most.”
In May this year, the Apunipima Cape York Health Council Pepi-pod Program Team won the Team Innovation Award at the HESTA Australia Nursing Awards.
The program was again recognised nationally in June, when the state-wide program won the National Lead Clincians Group 2014 Awards for Excellence in Innovative Implementation of Clinical Practice: Cultural Competence in Indigenous Care.
USC is implementing the program in collaboration with Children’s Health Queensland, Change for Our Children New Zealand and organisations including Queensland Health and Aboriginal-controlled health services.