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Release: Feb. 8, 2002

Heart Defects Awareness Day event set for Feb. 14 at UI Hospitals and Clinics

Heart specialists and families will call attention to congenital heart defects next week with a special event on Valentine's Day.

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack has declared Feb. 14 as "Heart Defect Awareness Day" in the state. The observance raises awareness of the health concerns of people born with heart defects.

On Valentine's Day (Feb. 14), patients, family members and others interested in learning more about congenital heart defects are invited to attend a special party to celebrate Heart Defect Awareness Day. Sponsored by Heart Friends and University of Iowa Health Care, the event will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Activities Therapy Gym on the first level of the John Pappajohn Pavilion at UI Hospitals and Clinics. The event will feature valentine making, face painting and cookie decorating. Please call Lisa at (515) 253-2368 to R.S.V.P.

People born with congenital heart defects who are now adults may also join a new support group. Called Hopeful Hearts, the group's goals are to provide emotional support, information and educational opportunities to adults with congenital heart disease. The co-founders, Amy Weber and Stephanie Wilkinson, say they plan to provide hope and encouragement to families who have a child with a congenital heart defect. Information about Hopeful Hearts will be available at the Heart Defects Awareness Day event on Feb. 14.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at