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Smart Start Rowan
Ask Tracy Webb-Goodman what she’s passionate about and the answer comes easily: infant car seats.
Webb-Goodman is executive assistant for Smart Start Rowan, and coordinates a program which provides infant car seats right from the start at Rowan Regional Medical Center. Webb-Goodman is working with Justin Messineo, loss prevention manager at Kmart, to obtain the best possible deal on seats. Funding comes through Todd Hildebran, a Smart Start board member who’s a member of the Salisbury Kiwanis Club, and through other donations.
Webb-Goodman got involved in car seat checks through quarterly programs at Smart Start in coordination with Safe Kids Rowan. Unfortunately, the checks have been discontinued due to budget cuts. However, the Salisbury Fire Department, Station 1, 514 E. Innes St., has free car seat checks from 1 to 4 p.m. each Friday.
“All car seats have an expiration date,” Webb-Goodman explains, and they’re marked with model numbers that can be checked for recalls. If an infant seat is more than 6 years old, it should be thrown away. Infants can only use this first level of car seat until they reach 20 pounds.
Webb-Goodman notes that when she was doing car seat checks, she’d check about 20 seats on any given day. Of that number, at least five needed to be destroyed.
“And they have to be replaced,” she says.
The seats are not cheap. Most start at around $65, Webb-Goodman says.
Smart Start’s involvement with the hospital came about thanks to Connie Hoffner, a Smart Start board member who is the hospital’s clinical educator. Hoffner called Webb-Goodman when a new mom needed an infant car seat. The first time it happened, Hoffner’s nurses pooled their money. The second time, Hoffner called Smart Start.
“It really disturbed me,” Webb-Goodman says. She talked with John Gerstenmier, executive director, about doing a fundraiser to provide the hospital with a closet full of infant car seats. She set a goal of $600. Hildebran agreed to contribute $200. Through Kmart, Webb-Goodman purchased four seats. She wants to keep the hospital supplied with a dozen such seats at any given time.
“It’s not an automatic freebie,” Webb-Goodman explains, “but for someone who’s truly in need.”
“Most people have their car seats and they’re ready when they come to the hospital,” Hoffner says. “But sometimes folks don’t. For the people who need it, it is so helpful. We want babies to be safe and taken care of from day one. I’m so thankful that Tracy was able to work this out.”
Webb-Goodman is still working toward the purchase of additional infant car seats. “Eight more would be fabulous. It’s easier to get one at a time than 12 at a time.”
She’d love to have more sponsors for this program.
“It’s important to me,” she says. “It’s my passion.”
To find out how you can help, call Tracy Webb-Goodman at 704-239-4369.

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