SLCH was honored to be joined by AHA Tri-County Heart Walk Honoree, Sydney, and her family to deliver hand knit red hats to SLCH Birthing Center babies. From left: Jeanne Boydston, Director of the SLCH Birthing Center & NICU; Stephanie Paruolo, Director of Patient Care Services; The Pepe Family; Kathryn Elias, Clinical Nurse Manager of the Birthing Center & NICU; Margaret Deyo-Allers, Vice President of Patient Care Services & Chief Nursing Officer; The Lundgren Family; Beverly Keefer, Director of Cardiovascular Services; and Dr. Anthony Patrello, Medical Director of the SLCH Cardiovascular Institute.

Newburgh, NY – St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) participated in the American Heart Association’s Little Hats, Big Hearts Program on National Wear Red Day to celebrate American Heart Month and help raise awareness for congenital heart defects (CHD), the most common type of birth defect in the country. Every baby born at SLCH during this month will receive a little red hat made by volunteers.

Dedicated volunteers from across the region who knit, and crochet sprang into action making thousands of hats for Hudson Valley babies. Some of the volunteers are personally connected to this program either having a child who was born with a congenital heart defect or in loving memory of those lost to heart defects and heart disease. 

“This was my first year participating in the event in my role as Medical Director of the Cardiovascular Institute,” said Dr. Anthony Patrello, Medical Director of the SLCH Cardiovascular Institute. “It was an emotional day, highlighted by the opportunity to spend time with Sydney, a young survivor herself and it was a privilege to participate in the event. I look forward to continuing the annual tradition.” 
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. 

SLCH’s Kaplan Family Birthing Center has undergone extensive renovation and features some of the newest technologies in the industry, including a wireless fetal monitoring system that allows women in labor to walk freely throughout their labor room. In addition, SLCH labor and delivery rooms include private bathroom and shower, as well as private and semi-private recovery rooms. Birthing suites for labor, delivery, recovery and post-partum (LDRP) are also available to allow new mothers to remain in the same room throughout their entire birthing experience. The facility also includes a private lactation room where families can utilize all of SLCH’s breastfeeding resources. A certified lactation consultant also provides assistance and education on breastfeeding techniques and nutrition. The Birthing Center also has a comprehensive infant security program.

The American Heart Association (AHA) is committed to raising awareness for CHD, and helping children live stronger lives through education, research and public policies. In fact, the organization’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. Thanks to AHA advocacy, laws were passed in New York and Connecticut to ensure that every baby born receives pulse-oximetry testing, which can help identify heart defects immediately after birth. The AHA also creates guidelines for, and trains parents, caregivers and medical professionals in infant and child CPR. 

More information about the Little Hats, Big Hearts program is online at www.heart.org/littlehatsbighearts or #Littlehatsbighearts online. Learn more about congenital heart defects at www.heart.org/CHD.  

Parents of children with CHD may find support through the AHA’s free online Support Network at www.heart.org/supportnetwork

About the American Heart Association  
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit www.heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.

About St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital
St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) is a not-for-profit community hospital with campuses in Newburgh and Cornwall, NY. The hospital is dedicated to serving the health care needs of the Hudson Valley and has achieved excellence in the delivery of compassionate and comprehensive health care services. The Joint Commission noted SLCH for excellence in Key Quality Measures in the management of Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Stroke and Surgical Care. SLCH is also recognized as an industry leader in using information technology to improve patient care, by winning the Most Wired Award for the fourth year in a row. In January 2018, SLCH officially became part of the Montefiore Health System to strengthen the delivery of health care locally and enhance access to exceptional specialty care for Hudson Valley residents.