Upcoming Blogger Event: Expert Panel on Preventing Needless Child Deaths

An influential panel of experts on preventable child deaths was made available to a select group of bloggers to release personal stories starting the week of February 15, 2016.  The bloggers’ stories will provide background information, additional statistics, or experiences about child deaths in the Tampa Bay area.

This first time blogger event is part of a groundbreaking 3-year campaign to eliminate preventable child deaths in the Tampa Bay area launched in May of 2015 by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County and Eckerd Community Alternatives.

The collaborative Warning Signs campaign incorporates stark “warning” labels in a context not usually associated with danger to a child to shift thinking about the topic of preventable deaths. The multi-year campaign is reaching all levels of our community to practice and share proven lifesaving safety techniques about water safety, responsible caregivers and safe sleep.

Across Tampa Bay, 41 children under age 6 died last year from three causes that are 100 percent preventable:  drowning, abusive head trauma (also known as “Shaken Baby Syndrome”) and unsafe sleep practices (co-sleeping).

Visit preventneedlessdeaths.com to learn more.


*Select panelists and bloggers are available for media interviews.  Please see the expert panel list below:



Featured Panelists:

Florida Department of Children and Families, Suncoast Region

Communications Director, Natalie Harrell


Healthy Start (Safe Sleep Expert)

Director of Community Outreach & Education, Lisa Colen, MHA


Eckerd Community Alternatives (Community based care provider, oversees foster care and in-home case management and intervention services in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties)

Senior Director of Operations – Hillsborough, Hillary Shaughnessy, MS


Firemedic Hillsborough County Fire Rescue

Ronnie Rivera


Pinellas County Sherriff’s Office

Child Protection Investigations, Brandi Lazaris
Family Impacted by Abusive Head Trauma:

Shannon Byron – runs a non-profit, Stop Shaken Baby Syndrome (stopsbs.org)


Cindy A. Franciosa

President and Co-Founder
Stop Shaken Baby Syndrome, Inc.




About The Children’s Board:

The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County proudly serves children and families. Created by the voters in 1988, we provide funding for services and supports on behalf of children, with an emphasis on pregnant women and children birth to age eight. The strategic focus of the Children’s Board is to work with organizations who share a common vision of offering support to children so they can lead a healthy, safe, and productive life, which makes a difference for all residents of Hillsborough County.


About Eckerd Kids: 

Eckerd Kids is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, that has given much-needed second chances to more than 168,000 children and families since its founding by Jack and Ruth Eckerd in 1968.  Eckerd Kids serves over 18,500 children and their families each year through life-changing child welfare, juvenile justice and behavioral health programs in eight states.  Eckerd’s mission is to provide and share solutions that promote the well-being of children and families in need of a second chance.  To learn more visit www.eckerd.org. Follow us on Twitter at @eckerdyouth and “like” us on Facebook at facebook.com/eckerdyouth.