Strong Memorial and Highland Hospitals are teaming up with the Rochester chapter of the American Heart Association through Feb. 14 for Little Hats, Big Hearts, a nationwide campaign to present newborns with a red hat knit by local volunteers.
The campaign commemorates Congenital Heart Awareness Week. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, congenital heart defects affect nearly 1 in every 100 babies born each year in the U.S. and are the most common type of birth defect.
“Every baby born at Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals is screened for congenital heart defects so treatment can begin as soon as possible,” said Crystal Dobri, of Highland’s Family Maternity Center-Mother/Baby and Special Care Nursery. “Congenital heart defects can’t be prevented, but with simple, noninvasive screening, critical defects can be recognized early and treatment can help prevent heart failure or death.”
About 900 tiny red hats were donated to Highland Hospital by volunteer knitters from across western New York last year. In February 2016, the 220 babies born at Highland’s Family Maternity Center all received red hats before heading home. This is Strong Memorial Hospital’s first year participating in the program.
Red hats are being collected by the American Heart Association, 25 Circle St., Rochester, for distribution next year.
For information, visit