Marlton, NJ–Virtua Voorhees and Virtua Memorial are excited to be a part of the American Heart Association’s Little Hats, Big Hearts program this year. The American Heart Association is raising awareness about family heart health and congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the country.
As part of the Little Hats, Big Hearts program, babies born at Virtua Voorhees and Virtua Memorial during February, will receive a beautiful handmade, knitted or crocheted red hat, as well as a kit full of heart-healthy information for mom and baby. Each mom will receive a health packet, which includes tips on raising a healthy family, ways mom can take care of herself, heart-healthy recipes and information on children’s heart health. This effort aims to empower new moms to take charge of their own wellbeing while creating a healthy lifestyle for the entire family.
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In New Jersey alone, 3,500 kits will be handed out across the state. Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week is recognized from February 7th – 14th.
Congenital heart defects are structural problems with the heart that are 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. According to the American Heart Association, it’s possible to fix most congenital heart defects and there are an estimated 2 million CHD survivors in the United States.
“Participating in this program each year is a highlight for the entire mother-baby staff at Virtua,” says Lauren Ochs, assistant vice president of women’s and children’s services. “These hats are a beautiful way to raise awareness for congenital heart defects. The earlier we can educate a mother about the importance of heart health and how it can affect her newborn, the better it will be for both of them.”
The Little Hats, Big Hearts program started in Chicago in 2014 and has expanded to more than 40 states. Since 2016, nearly 5,800 hats have been distributed in the Garden State.
For more information about the Little Hats, Big Heart program in NJ, click here.
As one of New Jersey’s largest, non-profit health systems, Virtua provides comprehensive health care services to achieve its mission to help people be well, get well and stay well. Virtua provides services through Virtua Medical Group with 500 physicians and other clinicians, and at its urgent care centers, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, health and wellness centers, fitness centers, home health services, long-term care and rehabilitation centers, and paramedic program.
A leader in maternal and child health services, Virtua delivers nearly 8,000 babies a year. It provides health services to 1,500 businesses, and participates in Virtua Physician Partners, a clinically integrated network of 1,000 physicians and other clinicians. Virtua is affiliated with Penn Medicine for cancer and neuroscience and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for pediatrics.
It employs over 9,000 and has been honored as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Delaware Valley many times since 2007. It is the recipient of a 4-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for quality of care, and its hospitals earned straight A’s in patient safety by The Leapfrog Group and the 2016 Patient Safety Award from Healthgrades.
U.S. News and World Report ranked Virtua’s Mount Holly and Voorhees hospitals as High Performing Hospitals and Voorhees as a Best Regional Hospital. Virtua is also the recipient of the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation.
For more information, visit www.virtua.org or www.virtuabroadcastnetwork.org.