Jackson, Tennessee (January 21, 2022) – In recognition of National Heart Month, newborns at Jackson-
Madison County General Hospital, Dyersburg Hospital, and Volunteer Hospital in Martin, TN will be
doing their part to promote heart health. The “Heart Warrior” campaign is a collaborative effort
between the West Tennessee Heart & Vascular Center and the West Tennessee Women’s Center.
Throughout the month of February, newborns will receive special heart warrior onesies, instead of the
traditional white onesies, to raise awareness on the importance of heart health from birth.
Deena Kail, Executive Director of the West Tennessee Women’s Center said, “The ‘Heart Warrior’
campaign is one of our favorite events of the year. The initiative allows us to bring awareness to an
important issue impacting so many lives.”
“It is extremely important to diagnose and treat heart defects early, and something as simple as
universal CHD screen prior to discharge has saved many lives already,” said Nirbhay Parashar, M.D.,
pediatric cardiologist at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Outpatient Center in Jackson and assistant
professor at University of Tennessee Health Science Center. “A child born with heart defect can cause
significant stress for the family and we want to support them by providing knowledge and alleviating
their concerns by preparing them for what to expect. Sometimes this journey begins as early as in fetal
life (before baby is even born) so that parents can know what to expect and can prepare accordingly.
This also helps us in providing best quality of care for the infant, leading to best outcomes for children
born with heart defects. We believe that prevention is better than cure and long-term habits which act
as building blocks for heart diseases in adulthood, are picked up often in childhood or teenage years. By
providing education and by early intervention, we can save many lives and make an impact in the long
run. Awareness is at the ‘heart’ of this goal of prevention, and thus this is an extremely important
Heart disease is the number one killer of women ages 20 and over, taking the life of one in four women
each year. More women die from heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases than men.
“The ‘Heart Warrior’ initiative is a distinctive approach to increase awareness to cardiovascular health.
At West Tennessee Heart & Vascular Center, we want to do all that we can to protect our patients’
hearts. Raising awareness from birth on cardiovascular health is a great way for us to accomplish this
goal,” said Deann Thelen, Chief Executive Officer of Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.
About West Tennessee Healthcare:
West Tennessee Healthcare is a public, not-for-profit healthcare system with locations serving 19
counties in West Tennessee and Southeast Missouri. The mission of West Tennessee Healthcare is
to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve while providing exceptional and
compassionate care. For more information, visit www.wth.org.