St. Francis Hospital participating in Little Hats, Big Hearts campaign

St. Francis Hospital participating in Little Hats, Big

LITCHFIELD (Feb. 15, 2018) – HSHS St. Francis Hospital is participating in the American Heart Association’s Little Hats, Big Hearts campaign for 2018. The AHA has teamed up with The Children’s Heart Foundation to celebrate American Heart Month by knitting and crocheting red hats for babies born in February at participating hospitals across the nation, including St. Francis Hospital.

The organizations are working together to raise awareness, provide resources and inspire mothers to take their families’ heart health to heart while also raising awareness about congenital heart defects.

Other community members have donated hats for the awareness event. The hospital recently received an additional supply of red hats crocheted and knitted by several local individuals, including Judy Keith Dalhaus of Litchfield, who personally corcheted 26 hats for the cause.

“As Grand Electra of the Order of the Eastern Star of Illinois, I represent a heroic mother portrayed in the Bible, and the color designated for my office is red,” Dalhaus said. “One of the purposes of the Order of the Eastern Star is to reach out to our communities in support of worthwhile activities such as this. When I learned of this program, I thought it was a natural fit for my participation.”

Dalhaus is a member of Gillespie Chapter #430 and a dual member of Palmyra Chapter #453. She explained that state officers are focusing on child-centered activities in 2018. In addition to supporting the Little Hats, Big Hearts initiative, members are collecting library books for elementary school classroom libraries and donating duffel bags and personal care items for children in Illinois’ foster care system.

“It does my heart good to know that these red hats will be used to support newborns in my hometown,” said Dalhaus. “I am very happy to support this initiative, which focuses on the health of children and their mothers.”

Elise Feldman, RN, manager of the hospital’s Women and Infants Center, and Tammy Fellin-Senko, RN, accepted the donation from Dalhaus. “This is a wonderful way to bring awareness about the importance of good heart health,” said Feldman. “Along with Ms. Dalhaus’ generous donation of red hats, we had several other community members bring in handmade hats. We appreciate the time and talent it took to make these handmade gifts. It is wonderful that the tiniest of our patients will help to spread the word about the importance of a healthy heart.”

For more information, visit or join the Facebook group Little Hats Big Hearts Illinois at


Pictured, from left, are Elisa Feldmann, Tammy Fellin-Sanko and Judy Keith Dalhaus.