15 May 2014
An innovative program partnered by USC to provide safe sleeping places for at-risk babies has been recognised with a major national award.
The program’s leader, USC Professor of Nursing Jeanine Young, said the Pepi-pod Program based at Apunipima in Cape York won the Team Innovation Award, along with a $10,000 grant, at the HESTA Australia Nursing Awards in Sydney on 8 May.
“The extra recognition and the funding will really help to give this important program a tremendous push ahead,” Professor Young said.
She said the Pepi-pod program aimed to reduce the high rate of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“More than 30 Pepi-pods have been distributed to families across 17 Cape York communities and there are plans to extend the service in 2014.”
The pod is a safe sleep space, which fits between parents in a bed, enabling babies to safely co-sleep with them. The program combines the safe sleep spaces with an education initiative.
The University of the Sunshine Coast rolled out the program in partnership with the Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Children’s Health Queensland, and Change for our Children New Zealand.
Professor Young said the Pepi-pod Program was also being implemented at six other sites around Queensland, in collaboration with organisations including Queensland Health and Aboriginal-controlled health services.
She said a number of organisations were also adapting the safe-sleep pods into their existing health care programs.
– David Cameron