Mending Kids’ Hearts: Children's of Alabama celebrates kids heart health this February

Mending Kids’ Hearts: Children's of Alabama celebrates kids heart health this February
Mending Kids’ Hearts specialty car tag
Mending Kids’ Hearts specialty car tag

From Children's of Alabama

A new specialty car tag design is now available to residents of Alabama who want to show their support of kids' heart health.

The Mending Kids' Heart specialty tag will provide valuable funds for patient care, research and specialized physician training for the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center at Children's of Alabama. The center provides pediatric cardiac care for more than 12,000 patients a year.

In order for the state of Alabama to produce the specialty tag, there must be a minimum of 1,000 commitments. The first 1,000 supporters to request the Mending Kids' Hearts specialty tag will receive the tag free of charge for the first year through the contribution of a generous donor to Children's. You will still be responsible for your regular motor vehicle registration fee. After the first year, you can continue to support the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center of Alabama by purchasing the Mending Kids' Heart tag for $50, of which $41.25 will go to Children's.

More information about the tag, including a commitment form, is available at

Congenital heart disease (CHD) affects about 40,000 births per year in the United States, or about one percent of all births. CHD kills more children each year than all the cancers combined and is the top killer of children born with developmental abnormalities. Survival of infants with CHD and other congenital defects depends on how severe the defect is, when it is diagnosed and how it is treated. Children with CHD are about 50 percent more likely to receive special education services compared to children without birth defects.

In addition to the medical costs of care for CHDs, families of children with CHDs can face other costs, such as lifestyle changes, emotional stress, family uncertainty and being unable to return to work in order to care for their child.

"Many people don't associate heart disease with young children. However, congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defects, and most congenital heart defects have no known cause," said Yung Lau, M.D. a pediatric cardiologist at Children's and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Dr. Lau also serves as director of the division of pediatric cardiology. "Our dedicated team of heart doctors, nurses and other medical professionals work together to help each of our patients reach his or her full potential. As Children's recognizes February as Heart Month, we invite the public to learn more about our cardiology clinic and research programs, which will raise awareness about pediatric and congenital heart disease."

The Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center of Alabama had more than 635 inpatient admissions last year, and staff performed more than 266 cardiopulmonary bypass surgeries and more than 670 cardiac catheterizations. Each of these procedures represents a child with a critical health need.

Join Children's of Alabama this February in recognizing National Heart Month and the child heroes in our care through the following events:

Children's will host the free Journey of the Heart Cardiovascular Workshop to enhance the understanding of children with congenital and acquired heart disease at its Russell Campus on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Seating is limited. Contact Paula Midyette at for details.

Children's Russell Building will be illuminated in red in honor of National Heart Month throughout February.

Children's website will feature a variety of videos about some of the young patients being treated for cardiovascular disease. The public is invited to visit to donate online and meet these remarkable youngsters.

By starting heart-healthy habits right now, kids can reduce the chance they will ever need to worry about cardiovascular disease. Visit for heart-healthy tips.

The public is invited to share its stories of patients who have fought heart-related illness and injury at

Children's Facebook page, Twitter feed, blog and YouTube channel will feature patient stories that spotlight patients, families and staff all month.

Spectrum will run public service announcements about pediatric cardiovascular disease throughout February.

Dorothy McDaniel's Flower Market (3300 3rd Ave. S., Birmingham, AL 35222) will create a signature floral arrangement that will be available online for the month of February. A percentage from each floral arrangement will benefit the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center of Alabama.

Kendra Scott (225 Summit Blvd., Suite 101, Birmingham, AL 35243) is hosting a Give Back Night on Wednesday, Feb. 8. The event runs from 5-8 p.m. The Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center of Alabama will receive a percentage of sales from that night.

Rojo (2921 Highland Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35205) will donate 10 percent of sales from 5 p.m.-12 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

KBC in Dothan (151 N. Foster Street, Dothan, AL 36303) will donate 10 percent of profits from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23.

Texas Roadhouse in Dothan (3730 Montgomery Highway, Dothan, AL 36303) will donate 10 percent of profits from 3-10 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27.

The Photogenic Baby Contest will be held at The Summit babyGap (240 Summit Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35243) on March 10-12. Visit for details.

About the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center

Children's cardiovascular services are located on the fourth floor of the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children. It is often referred to as a "heart hospital within a hospital" because it represents a five-decade tradition of superior clinical care and research dedicated solely to children. The medical division focuses on making the patient and the family at the center of care. This single platform of care includes surgeons, intensivists, cardiologists and many others, including nurses, social workers, child life specialists, counselors, nutritionists, occupational and physical therapists, and chaplains.

About Children's of Alabama

Since 1911, Children's of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by US News & World Report, Children's provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama, 46 other states and seven foreign countries last year, representing more than 676,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 inpatient admissions. With more than 2 million square feet, Children's is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. More information is available at