Babies born at Upper Valley Medical Center and other Premier Health hospitals during February are receiving little red keepsake hats from the American Heart Association to raise awareness of congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the nation.

“Little Hats, Big Hearts™ honors babies, moms, and heart-healthy lives in a very special way,” said Tim Smallwood, Go Red for Women director for the Miami Valley division of the American Heart Association. “Supporters are knitting and crocheting red hats to be given out to babies during American Heart Month to empower moms to live heart-healthy lives and to help their children do the same. Together, we are working to raise awareness of congenital heart defects, provide resources and inspire moms to take their family’s health to heart.”

Congenital heart defects affect 25,000 babies each year in the United States alone. This translates to more than one such defect for every 150 births. At least 500,000 of the nation’s children have some form of cardiac problem. Approximately 1 million people live with congenital heart defects.

“We’re honored to do our part here at Premier Health to call attention to a medical condition that affects a significant number of infants in our community,” said L. William “Bill” Rettig, MD, chair of the Women’s Health Institute at Premier Health. “Thankfully, many of these defects can be easily fixed. Still, some children born with complex defects need special medical care immediately. The good news is that, thanks to modern medicine, children with complex defects typically not only survive into adulthood, but lead normal lives.”

Premier Health hospitals deliver more than 7,000 babies each year, the most in the Dayton region. Premier Health provides comprehensive maternity services, including specialists in high-risk pregnancies at their internationally recognized maternal-fetal medicine center and the region’s most experienced Level IIIB neonatal intensive care unit.


red hats