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Each year, approximately 40,000 babies are born in the United States with a congenital heart defect. This equates to one out of every 110 newborns. Fortunately, with early detection and treatment, more than 85 percent of these children survive into adulthood. To continue to advance children’s health, IPM supported the Children’s Heart Foundation and other health charities for its most recent Integrated Project Mercy activities.
The Children’s Heart Foundation is dedicated to advancing the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of congenital heart defects (CHD). The cause is especially dear to the woman who led the project, Human Resources Business Partner Kellie Villarreal, whose son was born with a CHD. “We are so lucky that he is alive and thriving today. But that may not have been the case if organizations like the Children’s Heart Foundation didn’t exist,” Villarreal says. “Research funded by the Children’s Heart Foundation has already improved survival rates, longevity, and quality of life for CHD patients. With our help, the Children’s Heart Foundation is able to continue working toward their mission of placing children at the heart of research.”
Villarreal works at IPM’s Chicago office and led that team’s participation in the Children’s Heart Foundation Congenital Heart Walk in Lincoln Park. The event was a blend of fun activities, entertainment, and research updates, all aimed at funding congenital heart defect research. IPMers not only raised funds and walked but also volunteered their time to unload trucks, set up the refreshment stand, and clean up after the event. IPM also donated funds and sponsored a balloon artist who entertained children.
Teams from the Boston and San Francisco offices participated in the organization’s walks in their respective cities. New Jersey office volunteers joined the national walk, which was virtual. Because they couldn’t walk together, they each stopped along their route to take a selfie with their family and friends.
In St. Louis, IPMers supported Camp Rhythm, a camp hosted by St. Louis Children’s Hospital for children with heart defects. This day camp provides a safe and enjoyable environment for the children, with the necessary medical infrastructure in place. IPM’s volunteers hosted an ice cream sundae bar during a swim party for the kids.
Volunteers from IPM’s Los Angeles office supported Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), a pediatric hospital treating children throughout Southern California. They created and donated activity packs for patients and their families, providing entertainment and a much-needed distraction during treatments.
And in Minneapolis, IPMers volunteered at Children’s Minnesota Hospital. They co-hosted bingo games on Star Studio, an entertainment program broadcast within the hospital. The team assembled and donated more than 100 toiletry kits for patients and their families.
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