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Red hats for newborns raises awareness of heart disease
Emanuel, Doctors seeks to educate about #1 killer
Red Hat Press release
A number of local infants and their mothers are receiving red caps to highlight the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid Americas number one killer, heart disease. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Emanuel Medical Center, Doctors Medical Center and Doctors Hospital of Manteca today launched a local campaign that will outfit newborns delivered at the hospitals with little red hats to raise awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of Americans, and congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the country. As part of the program, all babies born at the participating hospitals during the month of August will receive a knitted or crocheted red baby hat, while supplies last.

"It's never too early to start learning about heart disease and the affects it can have on you and your family," said Sue Micheletti, CEO at Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock. "Our hope with the Little Hats, Big Hearts program is that families will become more mindful of the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle."

Emanuel Medical Center, Doctors Medical Center and Doctors Hospital of Manteca are the local Healthy For Good cause sponsors for the American Heart Association and has launched this initiative as part of their efforts to raise awareness about being heart-healthy and encourage the local community to get "healthy for good." The hats were knitted and crocheted by local volunteers including the senior class from a local high school who took it on as part of their senior project.

"We want to thank these hospitals for helping us make a huge impact in the local community," said Katie Malone, executive director for the American Heart Association's Stockton/Modesto division. "We'd also like to thank the supporters who put the red hats together. Without you, none of this would be possible."

Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans and the number one killer worldwide, while stroke is the number five killer in the U.S., Cardiovascular disease, listed as the underlying cause of death, accounts for nearly 801,000 deaths in the US. That's about one of every three deaths in the US. About 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of one death every 40 seconds. In addition, eight out of every 1,000 babies will be born with some form of congenital heart defect.

The hats will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis during August to help raise awareness and draw attention to these devastating diseases.

These local hospitals will continue their efforts to improve the health of the community by participating in the 2017 Stanislaus Heart & Stroke Walk taking place Saturday, Sept. 16 at California State University, Stanislaus.