San Jose, CA – At O’Connor Hospital, it isn’t just the staff who participate and wear something red as part of National Wear Red Day, Feb. 1; it is also the babies in the hospital.
Five years ago, Diana Doner, RN, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services, came up with the idea of having red caps knitted for O’Connor Hospital babies, including some for premature babies, as part of National Wear Red Day. Wear Red Day began ten years ago by the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in support of the fight against heart disease in women – the No. 1 killer of American women.
Doner got O’Connor employees to knit the caps. She also gives each mother a letter about following a heart-healthy lifestyle so each can be a role model for her child, while also explaining the reason for the red knit cap, Doner said.
“I have learned that most young mothers have little knowledge of their risk of heart disease, so providing this information to them is very valuable,” she said.
Initially, employee Marcia Miloslavich knitted the baby caps and got her sister, Paulette Fultz, of Tolleson, Arizona to help. Now Fultz knits 50 hats and Miloslavich knits a few for the premature babies for Wear Red Day. Fultz starts knitting the caps in the summer then ships them to her sister in late December. She says, she has arthritis in her hands and making the hats is good exercise for her hands and fingers.
“I love making the baby hats, it is so rewarding,” Fultz said. “If we can help one mother, sister, grandmother, aunt or friend fight heart disease it is all worth it. Every time I make them, it reminds me to get a heart-healthy checkup.”
As part of National Wear Red Day, Doner will also have a “Go Red for Women” table set up outside the cafeteria for employees and visitors to learn more about women and heart disease.