Raising Awareness for early detection of Heart Disease and Congenital Heart Defects
Singing River Health System along with the American Heart Association and the Children’s Heart Foundation have partnered to raise awareness for infant congenital heart defects through the “Little Hats, Big Hearts” program. As part of the partnership, babies born at Singing River Hospital and Ocean Springs Hospital during February (Heart Month) will receive their own “little red hat” as a reminder of the importance of early detection and treatment of heart defects.
Little Hats, Big Hearts™ started in February 2014 in Chicago, IL collecting 300 hats in the first year. The program has now expanded to 40 states with volunteers throughout the United States. Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, and each year at least 40,000 babies are born with congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect. Congenital heart defects are structural problems with the heart present at birth. A defect results when the heart or blood vessels near the heart don’t develop normally before birth. 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.
“Little Hats, Big Hearts is truly a labor of love directly from the hands and hearts of our local volunteers, to the sweet little ones who will wear them,” said Shondel Humphrey, Local Representative for American Heart Association. “Our campaign in Mississippi was actually born because of those volunteers. As the program enters its third year, Mississippi became the 33rd state to adopt it. The American Heart Association is truly thankful to hospitals on the coast including Singing River Health System for graciously accepting the invitation to become a part of this movement as it sweeps the country.”
“We at Singing River Health System are proud and glad to be a part of the Little Hats, Big Hearts program,” said Laurin St Pe’, Administrator for Singing River Hospital and Singing River Health System Heart Services. “Anything that helps raise awareness and prevention of heart disease is positive for the community, especially when it comes to our tiniest patients.”
To find out more information on how to participate in Little Hats, Big Hearts, visit the American Heart Association.