Ozarks Medical Center Newborns Sporting Red Hats for a Good Cause
American Heart Association teams up with Children’s Heart Foundation
for Little Hats, Big Hearts Program during Heart Month
The American Heart Association (AHA) and The Children’s Heart Foundation
today launched the fourth year of Southwest Missouri’s Little Hats,
Big Hearts. The program that dons newborns with knitted red caps raises
awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of Americans, and congenital
heart defects (CHD), the most common type of birth defect in the country.
All babies born at participating hospitals, including Ozarks Medical Center
(OMC) during the month of February will receive a hat.
The program is raising awareness of survivors in our community like Reiss.
During a routine ultrasound at 20 weeks, Reiss’ parents learned
that their little girl would be born with a congenital heart defect. In
her six short years, Reiss has undergone multiple medical procedures,
including two open-heart surgeries and the placement of a pacemaker. While
Reiss is thriving, her family knows that the fight is not over. She will
need constant monitoring, additional testing, surgeries and procedures,
and a regimen of medications for the rest of her life.
Reiss’ Mom, Sara, shares, “Before my pregnancy with Reiss,
I had no idea about the prevalence of congenital heart defects, let alone
the breadth of types and severities. This is why our family now advocates
for awareness, funding and research as it pertains to congenital heart
defects year-round. I urge newly pregnant mothers to know the statistics
and not be afraid to ask heart specific questions during the 20 week ultrasound.
Early detection is key.” The American Heart Association works to
spread awareness and fund life-saving research on congenital heart defects.
The American Heart Association is asking for volunteers to knit or crochet
red baby hats to distribute to participating hospitals. Participation
is easy, go to
heart.org/littlehatsbighearts to find knitting patterns, participating AHA offices and more. The AHA
is also accepting
donations to support the program, including yarn, for those who would like to contribute
but don’t knit or crochet.
Little Hats, Big Hearts brings attention to congenital heart defects –
a condition that affects about 40,000 babies born in the U.S. each year.
“We’re proud to be part of this program for the first time,
as it brings together the community to rally around those families affected
by congenital heart defects,” said Lacey Carter, Executive Director
of Nursing. “We also would like to thank Summit Utilities for their
sponsorship, as well as all the incredible volunteers that share their
time and talent to make this program possible.” In 2018, over 630
babies were delivered at OMC.
Little Hats, Big Hearts began in Chicago in 2014. The project has grown
to include 980 hospitals in 41 states handing out more than 230,000 hats.
In Southwest Missouri, this project has grown from 2 participating hospitals
to 10. In addition to using red hats to raise awareness of heart disease
and congenital heart defects, Little Hats, Big Hearts also drives awareness
for the American Heart Association’s
Support Network, an online forum for families affected by heart disease and stroke.
Contact Peggy Scott at
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and specific delivery dates/times.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer,
healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based
association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are
a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health,
brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations
and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger
public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information.
Connect with us on heart.org or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
About The Children’s Heart Foundation
Established by Betsy Peterson in 1996, The Children’s Heart Foundation
(CHF) is the country’s leading national organization solely committed
to congenital heart research funding. CHF is a national 501(c)(3) tax‐exempt
charitable organization, whose mission is to fund the most promising research
to advance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of congenital heart
defects. Since 1996, CHF has funded millions of dollars of research across
the U.S. and Canada. For more information, please visit
About Ozarks Medical Center
Ozarks Medical Center is a system of care encompassing eight primary care
and 16 specialty clinics, along with complete rehabilitation, behavioral
healthcare and home care services. While the 114-bed acute care hospital
cares for more than 5,400 admissions, the entire medical system has more
than 364,000 patient visits annually in South Central Missouri and Northern
Arkansas. For more information about OMC, visit
Pictured from left to right: Melody Hubbell, OMC Marketing and Public Relations
Director; Phil Marcum, Senior Manager, Business Development, Summit Utilities;
Jessica “J.J.” Corman, Med Surg /House Supervisor Nurse Director;
Josh Reeves, Executive Director of Operations; Lacey Carter, Executive
Director of Nursing; Kim Thompson, Vice President and CFO; Pam Ream, Vice
President of OMC Medical Group; Peggy Scott, Communications Coordinator,
American Heart Association.