Trinitas Regional Medical Center participated in the American Heart Association’s Little Hats, Big Hearts program to empower new moms to live heart-healthy while raising awareness of congenital heart defects.

Trinitas Regional Medical Center is joining the American Heart Association’s Little Hats, Big Hearts program to raise awareness of family heart health and congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the country.  The campaign coincides with Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week in February, and aims to empower new moms to take charge of their own wellbeing while starting a healthy lifestyle for the entire family.

As part of the Little Hats, Big Hearts program, babies born at Trinitas in February will receive a red knitted or crocheted hat, and a kit full of heart-healthy information for mom and baby. The kit includes tips on raising healthy children, heart-healthy workouts that can be done at home, recipes, and information on congenital heart defects.

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“More than 40,000 infants are diagnosed with congenital heart disease each year.  At Trinitas all of our newborns receive a critical congenital heart disease screening before they go home, but some heart defects don’t become known until the child is months or years old,” states Gary S. Horan, FACHE, President  & CEO of TRMC. “This is why we are so pleased to be part of a program that educates parents on congenital heart disease and informs them of symptoms they should look out for as their child ages.”

Trinitas distributed nearly 100 kits during Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. 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 of the heart’s 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.

Trinitas maintains a full-service cardiac facility as well as facilities for the intensive nursing care of patients with cardiac disease. These include a cardiac care unit, intermediate coronary care unit, cardiac catheterization lab, non-invasive cardiology services, full-service emergency department, and cardiac rehabilitation services. Trinitas and the American Heart Association hope to spread awareness about the advantages of a heart healthy family lifestyle to new mothers and families during American Heart Month in February.