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CAMP HILL, Pa.Geisinger Holy Spirit, in partnership with the American Heart Association of the Capital Region, provided handmade red hats to every baby born at the hospital during February. 

The “Little Hats, Big Hearts” initiative raises awareness of the importance of neonatal congenital heart defect (CHD) screenings. Screening for CHD can identify issues before babies go home from the hospital, which allows for earlier treatment and may prevent disability or death early in life. Doctors can also better plan treatment, allowing the baby to have surgery or other treatment when he or she is stable, not in an emergency. Babies that have a critical CHD diagnosed after they leave the hospital tend to be admitted to the hospital more frequently, spend more time in the hospital, and have higher hospital costs compared with babies that are diagnosed before they leave the hospital.

Geisinger Holy Spirit’s mission integration team organized volunteer knitters and crocheters to create and donate the hats, wash them, and stuff them into plastic bags provided by the AHA. 

For some staff, the project became a family event. Cheryl Myers, a radiology technologist with GHS, said her 93-year-old grandmother loved joining in the fun knowing that she was knitting hats for new babies born at GHS.

“It was an amazing experience,” Myers said. “We had our own crocheting bee at my grandmother’s home. We crocheted, laughed, reminisced and laughed some more. I am very blessed to have an active grandmother and such a close ‘knit’ family. It was an honor to use our skills for such a good cause.”

Geisinger Holy Spirit gave away approximately 150 hats this month.
Keren Jones and son Luke
Keren Jones poses with new baby Luke wearing a red hat at Geisinger Holy Spirit.
Geisinger Holy Spirit staffers with donated red hats
Pictured with some of the donated hats are Sharon Madden, GHS volunteer; Sister Mary Joseph Albright, mission integration officer; and Megan Atticks, communication specialist.
Geisinger Holy Spirit staffers show off their work with the Little Hats, Big Hearts campaign
Pictured with mother and baby Keren and Luke Jones are the GHS staff and volunteers who crocheted and knitted hats for the Little Hats, Big Hearts initiative: Cheryl Myers, Marcy Guido-Posey, Elizabeth Russell, Traci Fulton and Margaret Anderson.