Little Hats, Big Hearts program raises awareness

Heart disease and stroke are the number one and number 5 killers of Americans.  Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect in the country. One in every one hundred babies are born with heart defects. To raise awareness of heart-related dangers, the American Heart Association’s Little Hats, Big Hearts™ program honors babies, moms, and heart healthy lives in a very special way.

As part of the program, the Maternity Department of Peconic Bay Medical Center is distributing hand-made little red hats to all babies born at the hospital. The signature color of the red hats is intended to bring awareness to the need for greater heart health for everyone of every age.

“This is a wonderful program that raises attention of the need for heart healthy behavior to begin at birth,” said Barbara Poliwoda, Long Island Regional Director of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.  “This is the program’s inaugural year on Long Island, and we’re encouraging participation of volunteers interested in knitting or crocheting more little red hats.”

“When the American Heart Association approached us with the idea for this program, we were thrilled to get involved,” said Andrew J. Mitchell, President and CEO of Peconic Bay Medical Center. “With plans to break ground on the new Kanas Regional Heart Center this summer, we are working to ensure state-of-the-art cardiac services and highly trained clinicians to the East End. Programs like ‘Little Hats, Big Hearts’ help spread the word that heart health is a collaboration between the individual and their doctor and it reminds families just how important and common heart disease is.”

For more information about the program, contact: The American Heart Association at 516-962-0804 or visit


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