Newswise — Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center is extremely excited to be a part of the American Heart Association’s Little Hats, Big Hearts program for February 2018.
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, with support from The Children’s Heart Foundation. This effort aims to empower new moms to take charge of their own well-being while creating a healthy lifestyle for the entire family.
“It is so important to raise awareness any way we can about family heart health, and what better way than at the beginning of life with our tiniest patients,” said Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D., president, Hackensack University Medical Center.
As part of the Little Hats, Big Hearts program, babies born at Hackensack University Medical Center received a beautiful handmade, knitted or crocheted red hat, as well as a kit full of heart-healthy information for mom and baby. Each mom received a health packet which included tips on raising a healthy family, ways mom can take care of herself, heart-healthy recipes and information on children’s heart health.
In New Jersey alone, 3,500 kits were handed out across the state. Hackensack University Medical Center was proud to distribute kits during Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week, starting on February 7th. 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. 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.
Hackensack University Medical Center and the American Heart Association hope to spread awareness to moms and families during February, American Heart Month, about heart health and a healthy family lifestyle.
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, please visit www.heart.org/littlehatsbighearts.
About Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center
Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center, a 781-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is now part of one of the largest networks in the state comprised of 33,000 team members and more than 6,500 physicians. Hackensack University Medical Center was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017-18 Best Hospital rankings - maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. It was also named one of the top four New York Metro Area hospitals. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. Becker’s Hospital Review recognized Hackensack University Medical Center as one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America 2017. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 23 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. Hackensack University Medical Center has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Hackensack University Medical Center is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to The Northern Trust PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events especially the Tackle Kids Cancer Campaign providing much needed research at the Children’s Cancer Institute housed at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. To learn more, visit www.HackensackUMC.org.