Little Red Hats to Raise Awareness for Congenital Heart Defects

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Baby Eliana at Good Sam Hospital

The American Heart Association (AHA), in connection with The Children’s Heart Foundation, is offering the “Little Hats, Big Hearts” program for the second year in a row locally. Thousands of little red hats are being delivered to 26 regional hospitals in New York and Connecticut during February, American Heart Month, to help raise awareness for congenital heart defects, or CHD, the most common type of birth defect in the country. Every baby born at participating hospitals during February will receive a little red hat, and parents will receive healthy lifestyle educational information.

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Danbury Hospital

The AHA received donations from more than 100 volunteer knitting and crocheting enthusiasts in the community to help raise awareness for CHD during Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) Awareness Week, February 7 – 14. American Heart Month aims to raise awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of American men and women.

Congenital heart defects 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.

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Phelps Hospital

The AHA put a call out to knitting and crocheting enthusiasts in December, and little red hats came pouring in from all over the region. Approximately 2,500 hats will be distributed. Local yarn shops donated red yarn and Fabricare Cleaners in Norwalk and Red Cap Cleaners in Poughkeepsie donated their services to wash and sanitize the hats.

“We hear these heart-warming stories shared by some of the knitters who were donating hats in memory of a child lost to CHD, or happier, one who lived. The American Heart Association funds pediatric research and we offer healthy lifestyle programs for children in schools throughout the county,” said Carolyn Torella, AHA spokesperson, “We’re so grateful for the community’s generosity and support to help raise awareness for children’s heart health.”

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. Thanks to AHA advocacy, laws were passed in CT and NYS to ensure that every baby born receives pulse-oximetry testing, which can help identify heart defects immediately after birth. The AHA also creates guidelines for, and trains parents, caregivers and medical professionals in infant and child CPR.

More information about the Little Hats, Big Heart program is online at www.heart.org/littlehatsbighearts or by contacting the AHA at 845-867-5374. Learn more about congenital heart defects at www.heart.org/CHD. Parents of children with CHD may find support online at the AHA’s new Support Network at http://supportnetwork.heart.org/

Thanks to all our knitting & crocheting volunteers and to all our participating hospitals who give all their hearts to care for newborns! 

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Good Sam Hospital

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White Plains Hospital

Volunteers Rally to Support American Heart Association

Marist College welcomed volunteers from over 50 local companies and organizations for the American Heart Association’s (AHA) annual Heart Walk volunteer rally and kickoff event.

Vince Amodeo, Business Banking Regional Manager at M&T Bank for the Hudson Valley, will serve as Heart Walk chair for 2017 Heart Walk. The event is the American Heart Association’s biggest annual fund raiser.img_6855

Amodeo encouraged volunteers, team leaders, businesses and community leaders to sponsor and form teams to join the Heart Walk. Two events will be held locally. The Dutchess Heart Walk will be held on March 25th at a new location, Marist College, and the Ulster event is set for April 2nd at SUNY New Paltz. Registration online at www.dutchessulsterheartwalk.org.img_6864

“I know my support of the Heart Walk will insure that the AHA’s good work continues and by walking, I will be creating a healthier me and a healthier community,” said Amodeo, “Residents can join the Heart Walk to support a family member or friend, or for their own hearts. Every step, every dollar raised helps the American Heart Association’s mission.”

According to the AHA, walking briskly can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running. Adults need 30 minutes of physical activity per day, at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week for heart health. Kids need 60 minutes daily.

img_6883Madison Dallies & Matthew Burchell are serving as the 2017 Heart Walk Youth Honorees – both are survivors from congenital heart defects.

Events like the Heart Walk fund the AHA’s critical research and awareness programs that help save lives from cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and stroke – the number one and five killers in the U.S. Thanks to progress made in awareness, early intervention and research, stroke has moved from the #3 killer to the #5 killer in recent years.

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L to R: Vince Amodeo, Heart Walk Chair, Beth Christy, Townsquare Media, David Ping, Health Quest, AHA Board Chair with youth honorees Madison & Matthew

Companies interested in supporting the Heart Walk with sponsorship or teams should call Jaclyn Renner, Event Director, at the American Heart Association at (845) 867-5378 or by email jaclyn.renner@heart.org. Event info and registration for teams and individuals is online at www.dutchessulsterheartwalk.org.

Health Quest is the 2017 “My Heart, My Life” sponsor. M& T Bank will be Tribute Wall sponsor. Rondout Savings bank is the Ulster County CPR in school’s  sponsor. Other Local Sponsors for this year’s event are: Adams Fairacre Farms, Laerdal Medical, UnitedHealthcare, Ellenville Regional Hospital, Marshall & Sterling and Premier Medical Group. Media sponsors include Townsquare Media, Mix 97.7, Southern Dutchess News and Hudson Valley Magazine.

By |January 12th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments