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Helping Little Hearts: More than 400 baby hats donated to hospital

Photo courtesy of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital
Nurses in the Women’s Health & Family Birthing Center and director Jeanne Hill, MSN, RNC, right, hold babies Raiden-Zander Hart of Mechanicsville and Nevaeh Currie of Leonardtown, both born in early February at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital. The infants were two of the first to receive handmade red caps as part of the “Little Hats, Big Hearts” project.

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – A call for red newborn hats at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital has resulted in a tremendous turnout.

Through the American Heart Association’s “Little Hats, Big Hearts” campaign, families who welcome babies at the Women’s Health & Family Birthing Center in February will receive a handmade red hat instead of the traditional pink or blue. More than 400 caps have been generously donated by community members so far.

The special hats are meant to create awareness of congenital heart defects during American Heart Month, plus emphasize the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

Photo courtesy of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital
Mary B. Cheseldine, left, volunteer services coordinator for MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, receives hats collected by Ellen Lewis of Crazy for Ewe. Local crafters brought more than 80 special caps to Lewis’ Leonardtown shop to be donated on Feb. 2.

“We are humbled by the generosity of our community,” said Mary B. Cheseldine, volunteer services coordinator for MedStar St. Mary’s. “Hats have been arriving almost daily, and the creativity and talent are so impressive. These donations ensure that every child born at the hospital this month will have a warm red cap to wear, plus receive valuable resources for parents.”

“Knitters and crocheters are just the most loving group of people,” said Ellen Lewis, owner of Crazy for Ewe in Leonardtown. Lewis’ store served as a drop-off point for red hats through January, when she brought more than 80 to the hospital on Feb. 2. Contributions from Crazy for Ewe were donated to honor Jacob Medrano, who has had three major open heart surgeries and 28 minor procedures to repair a congenital heart defect. Jake, a local pre-K student, celebrated his fourth birthday in January.

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital and the Women’s Health & Family Birthing Center would like to thank the many crafters who donated their time and skills to this project, especially members of the Fifth District Homemakers Club and Crazy for Ewe of Leonardtown.

“The kindness shown by members of our community — too many to name — is very appreciated by the hospital and, more importantly, by our patients and families,” added Cheseldine.

Visit www.heart.org/littlehatsbighearts to learn more about the campaign.

About MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital

MedStar St. Mary's Hospital (MSMH) is a full-service community hospital, delivering state-of-the-art emergency, acute inpatient and outpatient care in Leonardtown, Maryland. Nestled in a waterside community, MedStar St. Mary's provides advanced technology with a dedication to excellence in all services provided. The not-for-profit hospital has been named among the nation’s Top 100 Hospitals™ and is an eight time recipient of the prestigious Delmarva Medicare Excellence Award. In addition, MSMH received the Maryland Performance Excellence award at the Platinum level in 2014 – the highest in the state. Our staff is committed to providing quality and compassionate medical care for all patients by coupling innovation with our outstanding team of Medical Staff members, associates and volunteers. Visit MedStarStMarys.org to learn more.

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