MT recognized for infant injury prevention efforts


HELENA, Mont. - The following news release was sent out by The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome.

The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) recognized Montana on Monday at Montana's 2014 Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect Conference as a "PURPLE Statewide Program" for its efforts to prevent shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma (SBS/AHT). Several organizations and teams of professionals played key roles in the successful implementation of the evidence-based prevention program called the Period of PURPLE Crying®, which offers new information on normal infant crying. Thanks to their efforts in reaching out to hospitals and community-based agencies to train staff about key program messages, soon every family of a new baby in Montana will learn about the increased crying periods all babies experience as part of standard parent education. Melisa Kaiser Synness is the Executive Director of Healthy Mother Healthy Babies – Montana, a group focused on ensuring the overall wellness of infants and parents, and has been working with the NCSBS since 2011to implement the prevention program. "To date, PURPLE MT has partnered with 20 out of 29 birthing hospitals and clinics across Montana to deliver the Period of PURPLE Crying program to over 7,100 new parents." Synness said. "We believe that the education and materials provided through the Period of PURPLE Crying program will make a profound difference in the lives of Montana families and will provide parents and families with the information, support and the tools they need to provide the healthiest and safest start for their baby." Julie Price is the International Program Director for the PURPLE program at the NCSBS and has been collaborating closely with hospitals and other public health organizations in Montana over the past several years. "It is such a privilege and pleasure to work with these organizations and professionals in Montana," Price said. "The NCSBS recognizes how much collaboration it takes to implement this program in hospitals, to reinforce key messages in the community, and also to create a cultural change with public education campaigns. It takes a lot to sustain a statewide prevention program, and we greatly appreciate everything they do." Among the organizations recognized at the conference were Montana Children's Trust Fund, Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies-Montana, The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, St. Peter's Hospital, along with twenty birthing hospitals across the state. For more information about the Period of PURPLE Crying program, please visit