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Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri today announced that he is declaring February 7th- 14th Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week.


Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the most common birth defect in the United States, affecting approximately 1 in every 110 (about 40,000) babies each year.


A CHD is a lifelong condition requiring special care, and often additional surgeries and medication are needed later in life.


Approximately 25% of children born with a CHD need heart surgery and/or other interventions to survive.


In response to a growing need, Mended Little Hearts (MLH), a national CHD support organization, was started in 2004 with two chapters. The group has grown to 75 chapters across 30 states and is the largest CHD support organization in the country.


In June 2017, MLH of Utica/Mohawk Valley was formed by four local mothers. Already the group consists of two dozen members.


Mayor Palmieri stated, “It is my pleasure to help bring awareness to this important medical condition that affects so many children. We have local families who have children that have struggled with this condition, but we are a warm and giving community that provides compassion and support to each other.”

Chelsea Scaramuzzino of Mended Little Hearts of Utica/Mohawk Valley stated, “We are grateful to Mayor Palmieri and the City of Utica for recognizing the impact CHD has on our community and for helping to spread awareness of this common but critical birth defect.”


More information about Mended Little Hearts of Utica/Mohawk Valley can be found on its Facebook and Twitter pages. CHD facts from the Congenital Heart Public Health Consortium can be found at