AGIS AFGIS History Grief Counseling Prevention Site Map

H I S T O R Y

        


WHO WE ARE  &  WHAT WE DO


WHO:

The American Guild for Infant Survival, Inc. is an IRS-recognized 501 (c)(3) non-profit charity, was founded in 1972 in Newport News, Virginia, by Richard and Regina Raring to combat SIDS, the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, ("crib death" or "cot death") and other forms of infant mortality, and to help families_who have lost babies to SIDS and other causes. The original name was "Tidewater Guild." A sub-section of the group, the American Forces Guild for Infant Survival, was established to help military families who had lost babies meet the unique challenges posed by the military system.

WHAT:

The Guild supports families, conducts and supports research, holds regular meetings, publishes educational information, and fights against SIDS and other forms of infant mortality in all ways possible. A great part of our emphasis is placed on simple actions "average" people can take to reduce the threat ofSIDS (i.e."Remember "BoB"-keep "Baby on Back" for sleep.")

WHEN:

Guild volunteers are available "24/7-365." Monthly meetings are held in Virginia Beach, VA, and elsewhere as necessary. There are no charges for our services.

WHERE:

While most meetings are held in the Tidewater area of Virginia (Norfolk-Hampton region), the scope of our services and research are national and world-wide.

WHY:

Our goal remains the same since our founding: to "Strike out crib death and spare each new life" by any and all means possible.

HOW:

Besides conducting and supporting research and education efforts, the Guild seeks to serve as a catalyst for change between and among existing institutions. For example: having the Red Cross conduct infant CPR classes, encouraging the national "Back to Sleep" campaign, publicizing little-known research findings from around the world, encouraging safer clinical, medical and household practices to reduce the risk of SIDS and other illnesses, and similar activities. Because we recognize that we cannot be everywhere and do everything ourselves, we seek to prod existing institutions into incorporating new developments into their daily practices. We are usually two to ten years "ahead of the curve" in urging the implementation of new practices to save infant lives.

GUILD ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Some of the more significant Guild accomplishments include the following:

DEVELOPED AND IMPLEMENTED "THE AFGIS TEST." A simple question and answer test that posted babies who appeared normal, but were at high risk. Although initially developed to spot "SIDS-prone" babies, the test identified infants at high risk to all different types of illnesses. This resulted in a major change in general medical procedures and resulted in huge reductions in infant mortality from dozens of causes,....

DEVELOPED AND IMPLEMENTED FIRST SIMPLIFIED MEDICAL INFANT HOME MONITORING PROGRAM. Based on initial trials at CHKD Childrens' Hospital in Norfolk, a Guild plan to simplify prescribed home infant apnea/cardiac monitoring for high-risk babies was promoted nation-wide by the Guild starting in the late 1970's.. Within two years, it became the national, and ultimately the world, medical standard for home infant monitoring. About two million American babies, and countless millions overseas, have thus been monitored at home so far for dozens of different medical conditions, with a survival rate in excess of 99%! This has allowed these babies to go home with their parents, and saved countless billions of dollars in hospital medical bills.

FIRST WATERBED WARNINGS to keep infants off waterbeds to reduce risk of SIDS. Now this is standard practice.....

FIRST EVER "REDUCING THE RISK OF SIDS" brochure. All the other health charities now have something similar,...

FIRST EVER "BABY ON BACK" POSTER. Launched in 1992, two years ahead of the Federal Government,...

FIRST EVER LAUNCHED FIRST SIGNATURE CAMPAIGN TO GET MILITARY LIFE INSURANCE COVERAGE (SGLI) EXPANDED TO COVER THE WIFE AND CHILDREN,... Family coverage started in November 2001,... Every military family can have it.

WHAT ABOUT FUNDING?

The Guild is supported totally by voluntary contributions, all of which are tax-deductible by IRS rules. The Guild does not seek government funding. A copy of the annual report may be obtained by writing the Department of Consumer Affairs, Richmond, VA.

"HOW CAN I HELP?"

Tax-deductible gifts of any amount may be sent to:

The American Guild for Infant Survival, Inc.
Suite 200
301 Eastwood Circle
Virginia Beach, VA 23454 USA
Phone: 1-757-463-3845
Email: agis@sids-supportguild.org
Web site: http://www.sids-supportguild.org
                  http://users.arczip.com/agis







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