St. Francis Medical Center Celebrates Heart Month with Little Hats for a Big Impact on Heart Health
Feb 1, 2019 | St. Francis News
Committed to promoting heart health at every stage of life, St. Francis Medical Center (SFMC) is giving each baby born at its Family Life Center in February a little red hat. The hats were presented to SFMC by the American Heart Association as part of its Little Hats, Big Hearts program, with the goal of bringing attention to heart disease, the leading cause of death in Americans, and congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the country.
St. Francis Medical Center President and CEO Eleanor Ramirez, RN, PHN, BSN, MS, along with members of the SFMC senior management and Family Life Center teams, accepted the 450 red caps that were delivered to the hospital by American Heart Association Director of Special Initiatives Marissa Fortuno and Regional Director of Quality Improvement Shawni Smith. The caps were handmade by volunteers across the region who support the American Heart Association’s annual Little Red Hats event.
Eleanor said, “We are very proud of our ongoing collaboration with the American Heart Association to advance awareness of heart disease and conditions that can significantly impact the lives of individuals and families. At St. Francis we have programs to support those affected, ranging from emergency treatment and intervention for heart conditions to health education on heart disease prevention.”
SFMC’s heart services include a STEMI Receiving Center (SRC) which opened in 2014. The SRC fills a critical gap in South Los Angeles, whereas prior to SFMC becoming an approved STEMI Center for LA County, patients suffering from a common and deadly form of heart attack known as ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), had to be transported out of the area for emergency care. Last year SFMC treated more than 450 patients through its SRC.
SFMC also offers comprehensive heart care capabilities and is supported by a team of cardiologists, cardiovascular and endovascular surgeons, specialty-trained nurses and technologists to provide the most advanced heart treatments available to patients. Its Healthy Community Initiatives program brings free health screenings and health education directly to schools, churches, businesses, and community organizations. These services are often the first step in identifying heart and other health conditions and linking individuals to follow-up care and treatment. In addition, SFMC’s annual Sidewalk CPR Day, organized in partnership with LA County Emergency Medical Services, the American Heart Association, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department, teaches free classes in hands-only CPR, a resuscitation technique that can save the life of someone experiencing a cardiac arrest.
In addition, SFMC just launched its new Living Well, Healthy Future initiative. A collaborative with USC Memory and Aging Center, Rancho Los Amigos, and Alzheimer’s Los Angeles, the program provides seniors and family care givers an education series on actions they can take to maintain wellness and quality of life, including brain and heart health, as they age.
SFMC maternity patient Ronisha Mahan acknowledged that heart health education is something she would find beneficial. She was one of the first moms to receive a little red hat for her daughter Serenity. Looking at her baby girl in the red cap and thinking about her growing family she said, “I do want to learn more about heart health.”
With each little red hat given out, St. Francis hopes that awareness not only grows, but also motivates families to make healthy lifestyle choices to promote healthy hearts. Eleanor said, “Just as parents devotedly protect the health and well-being of their babies, we want them to take care of their own hearts and health too so that they can all grow well, and be well, together as a family for years to come.”