Monroe Clinic/SSM Health, Monroe, 2021 Community Benefit

Offering a Safe Haven for Babies

Safe Haven decals placed at 13 entrances across all of Monroe Clinic’s locations.
After a local newborn tragically lost her life, Carol Stabenow, RN, Monroe Clinic Emergency Department manager, recognized a community education opportunity. 
As a ‘Safe Haven’ partner, Monroe Clinic provides a safe environment for parents to relinquish their child at any of their locations. A parent has the right to leave their baby within 72 hours of birth at any medical facility, fire station, police station, emergency medical services providers or any other law enforcement agency while staff are present with no questions asked. 
“There are many circumstances that may accompany an unexpected pregnancy – financial distress, shame, fear – and those circumstances can cause people to take desperate measures they never would have anticipated,” shared Carol. “Having Safe Haven as an option to place a child anonymously can prevent a tragedy that impacts the infant and the parent.” 
The first step to growing the awareness of Monroe Clinic’s Safe Haven abilities was to start internally. Carol worked with her team members and hospital leadership to update their policy. She then provided staff education through manager trainings and internal news stories, as well as had Safe Haven decals placed at 13 entrances across all of Monroe Clinic’s locations. 
Phase two is extending the awareness out into Monroe Clinic’s communities. This is being accomplished through the sharing of Safe Haven information with appropriate community organizations, partners and school districts. Posters in both English and Spanish with information have been provided to those groups and are also displayed in public areas at Monroe Clinic. 
“With this education, we want to be here for the community to feel comfortable in knowing there are safe options,” she explained.