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Center for Research for Infant Birth and Survival (CRIBS)

CRIBS logo alongside photo of baby


Each year, 200 Kansas infants die before their first birthday. The purpose of the Center for Research for Infant Birth and Survival (CRIBS) is to eradicate preventable infant death in Kansas. CRIBS will do this by providing expertise in program evaluation, research, dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices related to maternal and infant health. In addition, CRIBS will develop an implementation network in which to roll out programs and best practices throughout the state.

Current Projects

Baby Talk is designed to address key causes of infant mortality. It serves pregnant women who are at high risk for poor birth outcomes, and their support people. Participants attend six two-hour classes promoting evidence-based health and safety practices. This project is funded by a Kansas Department of Health and Environment Aid to Local grant. Learn more and sign up for classes on the Baby Talk website.

LYFTE improves the lives of young families, parents and children through an integrated approach to life-skills development focusing on health, education and employment. LYFTE navigators work one-on-one with eligible participants on individualized goal attainment in the priority areas of personal health, positive parenting, family relationships, education and career aspirations.

In addition, clients are connected to local services to support physical, social and emotional health. All sessions are offered at convenient locations for participants. This project is funded by the Office of Adolescent Health and the KDHE.

Contact for more information, and visit their website and Facebook page.

This project will provide baseline data to develop action steps to address the topic of equity in access to perinatal mental health services. Barriers will be identified through interviews with low-income pregnant or recently delivered women, primary care providers and mental health providers.

Action steps will be developed with community experts to improve mental health access in Sedgwick County. This project is funded by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment through the Kansas Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Opportunity Project.

See the MCH Opportunity Project Community Report.

In partnership with the KIDS Network, a certification program was developed to imbed regional Safe Sleep Instructors across the state. Certified Safe Sleep Instructors provide standardized education to professionals and families regarding the American Academy of Pediatrics Safe Sleep Guidelines.

Instructors also are trained to facilitate community safe sleep baby showers, assist hospitals in receiving national certification for safe sleep through Cribs for Kids©, and embed the Safe Sleep Toolkit in outpatient physician offices. The project is funded in part by a KDHE Aid to Local grant and Agency for Healthcare Research Quality (AHRQ) grant 1R13HS027541.

Pregnant and recently delivered women were surveyed regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on behaviors related to their pregnancy and infant care. Results identified engagement in risk-reduction behaviors, but also changes in mental, employment and financial status as a result of the pandemic. This project was funded by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

See the infographic for details.

Get Involved

CRIBS is currently seeking clinical and community partners! If you are interested in helping us reduce infant mortality in Kansas, contact:

KU School of Medicine-Wichita

1010 North Kansas
Wichita, KS 67214-3199