Little Red Hats Warm Hearts in a Big Way at Monmouth Medical Center

MMC Red Hat Babies

Long Branch, NJ - Babies born at Monmouth Medical Center during the week of February 7 received a special gift from The American Heart Association – a little red cap that carries a big meaning about congenital heart defects and heart health.

As part of the Little Hats, Big Hearts program, babies born at Monmouth Medical Center between February 7 and 13 — Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week — received a handmade, crocheted red hat, as well as a kit full of heart-healthy information for mom and baby. Each mom received a health packet which included tips on raising healthy children, work outs to do at home, an American Heart Association recipe, as well as information on congenital heart defects.

The American Heart Association is using the program to raise awareness about family heart health and congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the country, with support from The Children’s Heart Foundation. This effort aims to empower new moms to take charge of their own wellbeing while starting a healthy lifestyle for the entire family.

Congenital heart defects are structural problems with the heart present at birth. They result when a mishap occurs during heart development soon after conception and often before the mother is aware that she is pregnant. Defects range in severity from simple problems, such as "holes" between chambers of the heart, to very severe malformations, such as complete absence of one or more chambers or valves. According to the American Heart Association, it’s possible to fix most congenital heart defects and there are an estimated 2 million CHD survivors in the United States.

“Monmouth Medical Center was proud to distribute nearly 100 kits during Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week,” said Bill Arnold, President and CEO, Monmouth Medical Center. “As the region’s leading hospital for the delivery of babies, we are dedicated to helping the American Heart Association spread awareness to moms and families during February, American Heart Month, about heart health and a healthy family lifestyle.”

The Little Hats, Big Hearts program started in Chicago in 2014 and has expanded to more than 40 states. Over 2,000 kits are being distributed throughout the Garden State. For more information about the Little Hats, Big Heart program in NJ, please visit