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Monday, August 04, 2014 - CentraState Joins Statewide ‘Safe Haven’ Campaign to Protect Abandoned Babies

Contact: Karen Lippai, Public Relations/Marcom (732) 294-7080

CentraState Joins Statewide ‘Safe Haven’ Campaign to Protect Abandoned Babies

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP—CentraState Medical Center has joined with the N.J. Department of Children and Families and the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) to raise awareness of New Jersey’s Safe Haven program, designed to prevent the unsafe abandonment of infants by giving parents a safe alternative in which to surrender a baby.

New Jersey’s Safe Haven Infant Protection Act safeguards unwanted babies from being harmed from the dangers of abandonment. The law allows parents, or someone acting on the parents’ behalf, to legally and anonymously surrender an unwanted infant under 30 days old to any hospital emergency room or police station in New Jersey. Parents will be safe from prosecution if the baby has not been abused.

CentraState Medical Center has displayed new door markers and posters in both English and Spanish in its emergency room as part of this statewide campaign. “Parents who are desperate and have no means to take care of their newborn child need to know that their baby can be kept healthy and safe and given a chance at a good life without any criminal repercussions,” says Jeremy Dayner, MD, a board-certified emergency medicine physician and chairman of the department of emergency medicine at CentraState Medical Center. “An adult can simply hand the infant off to an employee in the CentraState Emergency Department. It’s not something the hospital is encouraging parents to do, but, in the event desperate measures are necessary, parents have the option of bringing their baby to a safe haven, such as CentraState Medical Center, in the best interest of the child’s well-being.”

Sixty-two infants have been safely surrendered state-wide since the Safe Haven program was launched in August 2000, according to state officials.

For more information and support for parents, call the state’s Safe Haven hotline at 1-877-839-2339 or visit their website at www.njsavehaven.org.

CentraState Healthcare System is a nonprofit community health organization consisting of an acute-care hospital, a health and wellness campus, three senior living communities, a Family Medicine Residency Program, and a charitable foundation. CentraState’s teaching program is sponsored by Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

 

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CentraState Healthcare System
901 West Main Street | Freehold, New Jersey 07728 | 732-431-2000