Red hats on newborns promote lifetime heart health


Bella and Brisa are just two of the thousands of beautiful babies who will leave the hospital in red this month. 

During Heart Health Month in February, Adventist Health uses red hats to raise awareness about being heart healthy.

“We really do believe that being heart healthy starts at day one. so this program is really to emphasize that,” Director of Maternal Child Services at Adventist Michelle Lawrence said. 

Kelly Zielstorf has been working in the NICU at Adventist Health Bakersfield for 10 years. 

“It’s the best job ever.” 

He says the hospital is using this opportunity to educate parents about their own heart health, and the heart health of their babies. 

“Congenital heart defects are not just something you address later in life, it’s something that we need to address right away,” Zielstorf said.

Thanks to the generous knitting hands in our community, nearly 2,000 red hats will find homes atop the heads of newborns, not only at Adventist Health in Bakersfield.

“We actually send hats to communities that don’t have as much involvement or they have more babies and less hats. so of course we’re going to share it.”

The red hats will be shared across Kern County, and throughout Southern California. 

“We thank our community,” Zielstorf said. “We have tremendous support, not only during heart month but all the time.”

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