American Heart Association “Little Hats, Big Hearts” program raises awareness of heart defects
The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association has teamed up with seven of Vermont’s birthing hospitals for the “Little Hats, Big Hearts” program. This initiative will provide approximately 350 newborns with a handmade, red infant cap in February during American Heart Month to celebrate heart health while raising awareness of congenital heart defects (CHD), the most common type of birth defect in the country.
In addition to the handmade hat, new parents will receive information about congenital heart defects and the AHA’s Support Network for families affected by heart disease and stroke. CHD are structural problems with the heart present at birth. They result when a mishap occurs during heart development soon after conception and often before the mother is aware that she is pregnant. Defects range in severity from simple problems, such as “holes” between chambers of the heart, to very severe malformations, such as complete absence of one or more chambers or valves.
The American Heart Association put a call out to knitting and crocheting enthusiasts and little red hats came pouring in from all over the state. They will be distributed to babies born at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Gifford Medical Center, North Country Hospital, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, Northwestern Medical Center, Southwestern Vermont Health Care and University of Vermont Medical Center. The program is sponsored by Morgan Stanley.
“As a heart attack survivor, I am beyond thrilled that Morgan Stanley has not only sponsored the Go Red for Women luncheon, but also stepped up in sponsoring the Little Hats in Vermont. I think it is a testament to how much Morgan Stanley cares about women’s health and the health of our future generations,” Julie Braun, Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley.
The American Heart Association is committed to raising awareness for CHD, and helping children live stronger lives through education, research and public policies. In fact, the organization’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. The American Heart Association also creates guidelines and trains parents, caregivers and medical professionals on CPR specifically for infants and children.