Our Vision, Mission & Value

Our Vision

A world without Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC).

Our Mission

Raise awareness, fund research, and serve those affected by SUDC.

Our Value

We are the only organization worldwide whose purpose is to raise awareness, fund research, and serve those affected by SUDC. SUDC is the fifth leading category of death in children ages one to four, yet SUDC receives no public funding. The SUDC Foundation provides all services at no cost to families.

Our History

Dr. Henry Krous receiving an award from Laura Gould for his dedication to SUDC at the SUDC program’s 10th anniversary cruise around NYC.

In 1999, a small group of parents affected by unexplained toddler death attended a presentation at the SIDS Alliance national convention in Atlanta, GA.

The presentation by Dr. Henry Krous was entitled “Post-Infancy SIDS-Is it on the rise?” Following the presentation, Dr. Krous agreed to review the children’s records of the families in attendance to learn more about them. Over the following two years, more families who had experienced an unexplained childhood death were identified and Dr. Henry Krous and Laura Gould cofounded the San Diego SUDC Research Project which studied cases of SUDC from 2001- 2012. In 2001, Gould joined Chelsea Hilbert, both SUDC mothers, to create the SUDC Program under the CJ Foundation for SIDS. With each year, the program grew to provide more services to more families with greater needs. In 2014, Gould joined Lorri Caffrey, another SUDC mother, along with Dr. Orrin Devinsky and Jim Lintott to establish the SUDC Foundation as an independent nonprofit organization. The SUDC Foundation was created to continue the mission of the Program, as well as meet the current needs of those touched by Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood.

Our Strategic Plan

In May 2017, the SUDC Foundation initiated a five-year strategic planning process. After months of stakeholder interviews and data analysis, the members of the Board of Directors and staff of the SUDC Foundation met in September 2017 to clarify the Foundation’s vision, mission and value proposition, develop the organization’s priority objectives over the next five years and develop a strategy to accomplish them. Representatives from Sterling Foundation Management, the Foundation’s strategic management partner, led the retreat and below are those priority objectives.

Improve Advocacy Efforts

  • Create federal advocacy program to raise awareness and garner legislative support
  • Help create and implement national investigation standards and guidelines to improve data collection as well as care and treatment of families
  • Cultivate relationship with a nationally-recognized spokesperson to promote greater awareness
  • Evaluate obtaining additional support to improve awareness and outreach efforts

Increase SUDC Research

  • Analyze existing SUDC Foundation data and publish findings to help better understand SUDC and ways to prevent these tragedies
  • Develop award program to attract new investigators to improve data collection efforts
  • Identify, apply for and obtain public and private grants to support research and related publications to help further raise awareness and understanding of SUDC

Enhance Family Services

  • Enhance family gathering program to increase community and decrease isolation of those affected
  • Develop family outreach and engagement campaign to increase number of families supported by the SUDC Foundation
  • Improve virtual services to extend SUDC’s reach and support to families

Increase Awareness Initiatives

  • Expand annual SUDC awareness month proclamations to all 50 U.S. states
  • Develop awareness campaign to medical examiners, coroners, death investigators, medical students, pediatricians and other SUDC-related professionals
  • Engage with medical student associations and medical schools to integrate SUDC into curricula

Strengthen Professional Relationships

  • Spearhead campaign to increase referral rates from medical death investigation professionals and pediatricians to the SUDC Foundation and the SUDC Registry and Research Collaborative to assist in reaching families affected by SUDC
  • Network with organizations that share common interests to build SUDC collaborative network

Diversify Donor Sources

  • Develop corporate sponsorship programs to increase corporate donations
  • Capitalize on corporate matching gift opportunities and increase number of corporations including SUDC Foundation as an approved charity for their employee giving program
  • Increase non-research grant applications to diversify SUDC funding
  • Grow cultivation activities over 12-month period to increase individual giving to SUDC Foundation
  • Enhance SUDC Foundation Special Events Program to initiate and coordinate fundraising events with private foundations and other community organizations

Improve Organizational Development

  • Enhance organizational effectiveness and efficiency
  • Develop a Governance Policy and expand Board of Directors to increase expertise and guidance to support the Foundation

An affiliate of the SUDC Foundation, the SUDC UK is the only charity in the United Kingdom dedicated to raising awareness and funds for research into Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood.

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